To begin, select a topic from the following list:
- Body art and ornamentation
- Child rearing practices
- Healthcare practices
- The use of music or dance as a form of political protest, or as a reflection of cultural issues, values, and beliefs
- Educational practices
- Elderly care
- Body language and proxemics
- Rites of passage
- Conflict resolution
- Marriage practices
- Alternative gender roles
- Alternate topics are possible, but these must be approved by your instructor at least one week before the Week Three draft is due.
For your final paper, you will compare one of the topics above across two specific cultures of your own choosing. It may be helpful to brainstorm a list of cultures you are interested in researching. Then, you will need to begin conducting research on those cultures.
For this assignment, you will expand your it into a five- to seven-page research paper (excluding the title and reference pages) that contains the following components:
- A discussion of how two cultures (other than your own) approach the topic, including specific ethnographic examples. Be sure to choose two specific and contemporary (currently existing) cultures. Terms such as European, Asian, or African refer to continents, not cultures, and are not appropriate for this paper. Describe the culture briefly, including elements such as location, language, kinship, or other relevant information. This helps the reader understand the cultural context of your topic.
- A compare and contrast analysis how the two cultures approach the topic from a culturally relativistic perspective.
- A discussion on the cultural context of the topic and how it relates to symbolic systems such as religion, communication, or ritual. Here, you can use what you described in section A and discuss how it relates to your topic as it is found in the two cultures, which you discussed in section B.