identifying examples of culture in your own culture

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Throughout the course we will be looking at various aspects of cultural anthropology, beginning in the first part of the course with a review of what anthropology is and what anthropologists study, which is essentially human culture in all of its aspects. Accordingly, we will be taking a detailed look at what human “Culture” is and how intimately (if often unconsciously) we live the beliefs and practices of our cultures every day in many different ways. Although all human beings “have culture”, so to speak, each human being also belongs to a particular culture in which they were born and raised, and as members of that culture, we carry out our everyday lives in a world that is so intimately familiar to us that we may not always recognize or appreciate specific aspects of it.

For this first assignment, you are to define or explain what is meant by all of the following concepts and components of Culture. Then you are to provide detailed examples of each concept/component from your own particular culture.



1. All of your definitions of the concepts and components listed below must come from the information provided in the PowerPoint and Lecture Notes for Unit 1: Topic 2: What is Culture? That is, do not just Google the terms as the answers you get will not always mean the same thing as the anthropological explanations provided in the course materials. It would also be a very good idea to have this assignment in mind (or even in hand) as you go through the materials posted for Unit 1: Topic 2: What is Culture? andmake notes for your answers, including ideas for your examples, as you do so.

2. In your descriptions/explanations of the different aspects/components of culture (e.g., Culture is shared, Culture is adaptive, etc.) I do not want to see answers that are simply cut-and-pasted from the PowerPoints or copied from the textbook or any other source. I will deduct marks for this, up to and including a possible 0 for that part of the question. Your descriptions/explanations must be in your own words and clearly demonstrate an understanding of the concept.

3. You must also come up with original examples to illustrate each concept (i.e., not the examples that were given in the PowerPoints/Lecture Notes). You must use examples from your own personal experiences of your own culture, or something that you have observed going on around you in your culture, something you know about from your culture that you think represents a good example of a component of Culture, etc.

4. You must also be sure to explain/make clear how your example is relevant to the concept – i.e., don’t just state an example but also relate your example to the concept to, again, demonstrate a clear understanding of what the concept means by explaining how your example illustrates that concept.

A)What is “Culture”? What are the different anthropological meanings of human culture implied by the use of Culture (with a capital “C”) and culture (with a small c) in the name of this assignment (“Identifying examples of Culture in your own culture?”)?(3 points)

B)Explainand provide detailed examples of – what is meant by all of the following aspects and components of human Culture. Identify the culture you belong to and/or will be providing examples from for the following components of Culture.

1) Cultural knowledge and Cultural behavior. We don’t often think about it maybe, but as members of a particular culture we know things (practical knowledge) and know how to do things (practical skills) that people from other cultures might not have any idea about.

o Describe an example of a specific kind of practical knowledge and/or practical skills that you possess as a member of your culture. (2 points)

2) Cultural knowledge and Cultural Behavior also include values and norms.

o Define cultural values and provide an example of values in your culture. (3 points)

o Define cultural norms and provide examples of bothkinds of norms (mores and folkways) in your culture.(5 points)

3) Culture is symbolic. (5 points)

o Define what it means to say that “culture is symbolic”

o Include in your answer a definition of what asymbolis and give an example of a significant symbol from your culture.

4) Culture is socially learned. (5 points)

o Define what it means to say that “culture is socially learned”.

o Include in your answer a definition of enculturationand provide an example of how you learned something about your culture through/during enculturation.

5) Culture is adaptive. (3 points)

o Define how cultural behaviors, beliefs, and/or practices help humans to adapt to their environment.

o Note: Finding a definition of this concept within your own culture might be tricky, so if you get stuck you may use an example from another culture/period of time.

6) Culture is integrated. (5 points). Please note: This does not mean cultural integration as in the blending of elements of different cultures. Check the meaning of the term in this context/for this assignment as provided in the class PowerPoints.

o Define what is meant by the concept “culture is integrated”.

o Provide an example of how different elements (beliefs, behaviors, etc.) of your culture are integrated with each other.

7) Culture is dynamic. (5 points)

o Define what “culture is dynamic” means.

o Include an example of a significant change within your culture and what precipitated/caused that change – or – Include an example of a significant change within a particular aspect of your culture (such as politics, economics, social norms, etc.) andhow it has affected other aspects of your culture as well.

8) Culture is shared. (5 points).

o Define what is meant by “culture is shared”.

o Describe a specific occasion when culture is shared gave you a sense of group identity with members of your culture.or – Describe a specific example of how culture is shared provides you with a sense of security with regards to what expect in a particular type of situation.

9) Culture organizes the way that people see the world, including both the natural world and the social world, with the result that “reality” itself is, in a way, a cultural construct. (9 points)

o Discuss what this concept means and provide a detailed example from your own culture/cultural experience.

o Note: This is the “big one”, in a sense, so give some serious thought to this. You may and even should use multiple examples to illustrate different aspects of this concept.

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