Discussion: Searching Cultures—Finding Uncommon Commonalities
How can one learn about culture? Anthropology involves examining other cultures and documenting human behavior. Sometimes it involves comparing societies in order to increase self-understanding. Comparing observations of an indigenous culture with another culture can be complicated, but may be unavoidable as a participant observer who—no matter the efforts at objectivity—will most likely see things through his or her own culture. Anthropologists often learn about indigenous groups by examining cultural elements, including language, values, symbols, rituals, customs, and beliefs. These are elements that help define a culture. In this Discussion, you compare a thought, belief, or ritual from your own culture with that of an indigenous culture.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review this week’s assigned readings in the course texts.
- Select one indigenous group from the reading and review the cultural elements of that group.
- Compare a thought, belief, or ritual that you practice in your own culture to a thought, belief, or ritual in an indigenous culture.
- Consider how comparing aspects of two different cultures can be problematic or useful.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post one paragraph that describes your comparison of a thought, belief, or ritual in your own community with that from an indigenous culture. In a second paragraph, discuss the challenges in comparing thoughts, beliefs, or rituals from two communities in this way. Explain how this comparison might be useful.
|For this Discussion, your Instructor will either assign groups to threads or direct you to choose one thread from the choices listed this week. If you are directed to choose a thread on your own, follow these instructions: Each thread is limited to a maximum number of students based on class size. A thread will close if the limit is reached. If a thread is closed to new posters, select from the open threads. You will post both your initial post and your response post in the same thread.|
A thought from your own culture and a thought from an indigenous culture.
A belief from your own culture and a belief from an indigenous culture.
A ritual from your own culture and a ritual from an indigenous culture.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings that contain a perspective other than yours.
- Explain how your colleagues’ perspectives do either of the following:
- Align with or complement your perspective.
- Contrast with or are in opposition to your perspective.