CULTURE SKETCH DIRECTIONS
Instead of exams I require a culture sketch paper. This is a 100 point document that will be due at the end of the semester. It will require outside research and application of terms and concepts learned throughout the semester.
Pick a culture. You can pick ANY culture you want with two exceptions. You may not pick modern mainstream American culture. You may also not pick your own culture. For example I am from Iceland, therefore I would not pick Iceland. You may pick a culture that exists today, or choose a culture that no longer exists physically or culturally. For example you may pick the Amish as they exist today, or as they existed when they first immigrated to America in the 1800s. You may pick the modern Japanese, or the indigenous group the Ainu who live in Japan either today, or what they were in the past. If you pick a smaller culture group make sure you pick a specific group. For example do not pick "Native Americans" there are many many groups, pick say the Blackfoot of Montana. Do not pick "Aborigines" from New Zealand, pick say the Mauri. I do not care who you pick as long as it is not mainstream America, or your own personal cultural ancestry. You might want to make sure you can find information on the group before you commit however! Email me with any questions.
Begin researching your culture group and decide what time frame you want to focus on. You are welcome to focus on any 20 year span of time in the group's history. If you want to go overboard (and yes I know there are students out there like that) you are welcome to do a past versus present study. While researching the group you will be looking for several things, some are required some are by choice. Whatever you do make sure you keep good records of your research as you will be required to use APA referencing for your paper (see the discussion of APA in the short paper guidelines).
Be careful you are using valid references. You are more than welcome to use the internet but believe me there is way more crap out there then we know what to do with. If you are using things like ebscohost database (see the library online databases) you can be sure the references are peer reviewed and scholastic in nature. If you just go onto the internet and type in say Cherokee you will get any number of websites that are written by anyone who feels they just "know" stuff. You would be amazed at how many people claim native ancestry who actually have none. They also claim (for some reason) that they are 1/16th cherokee and always descended from a "princess". Now do not mistake me of COURSE there are Cherokee people, but everyone in the world? What I am saying is look at who wrote the website. Is it the official website of the tribe? Or is it something that some dude named bob put up a website one day cause he was bored and thought it would be funny? FYI do NOT repeat DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA for any reason for any class at any time. It is NOT an academic website. Anyone can put anything up on the website they want regardless of if it has been academically researched or not. I could make up an entire story about the booger eating tribe of southern california and no one could say boo. So seriously people USE ACADEMIC SOURCES. If you have any question about the veracity of a source ask me!! Your library has both in person and on the online websites ebscohost actual cultural anthropology academic journals, ask me and I'll share with you how to find them.
You are required to include in your paper the name of your group. Explore its meaning, is it the original name or is it the name given to the people by conquerors for example the Nez Perce of northern Idaho are called the Nez Perce by settlers, but they call themselves the Nimipoo (sorry i'm sure my spelling is off). The time frame you are using (past, present, late conquering, etc.). The geography of the group, where do they live, or did they live. If you are discussing a group in the current then pick their current geography, the past their past geography.
Required Materials that you choose: You are required to discuss three specific culture traits of the group. You may pick ANY of the three you want from this list. You are also welcome to email me and ask if you can discuss something else I may not have thought of. Your list includes:
Food production and its affects on their society
Art including anything that can be considered art such as music, poetry, sculpture etc etc
Marriage and kinship patterns
Please make sure that you USE THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL TERMS AND DEFINITIONS. For example if you pick the Dogon people of Africa and discuss their drumming I would expect that you will use the discussion of their drums as works of art that fall under the graphic/plastic category plus the drumming itself falls under the music category. Or perhaps you pick the Masai people of Africa and discuss their use of polygyny and how that is tied into their pastoralist life style. Does that make sense?
-five to seven pages of text
-minimum of five references in APA style (you can include your textbook as one source)
-inclusion of the groups' name, geography, and time frame plus three culture items of choice (you are welcome to do more but you need at least three)
-use of anthropological terms applied correctly
-proper use of spelling, grammar, presentation, and APA referencing
-neutral presentation without judgement either positive or negative
These are the basics. You are welcome to get as fancy as you would like. Do you want to include pictures? Clips of their music? Links to their websites? Basic good jobs with all the requirements get a basic A, those with extra "flair" of their choice get higher A's :)
Let me know if you have any questions you absolutely should be working on this the ENTIRE semester long, okay? Okay!