Exploring Cultures Fall 2018 Research paper assignment The purpose of this paper is to research a cultural practice in a non-western culture (other than your own) and then to compare it to its counterpart in your own culture. Part I: Identify the culture and the cultural practice you have chosen (2-3 pages) Begin by identifying the non-western culture that you have chosen, where the people who belong to this culture live, how they live, and a brief overall sketch of their cultural context (economy, religion, gender relations, class structure, traditions, etc.). For this you will need to use at least one general ethnography and a source written by someone from that culture. Be sure to specify a given time period – when the culture existed as you are describing it. If most of the people no longer live this way, be sure to state this and to use the past tense. If certain aspects that you are describing are still being practiced today, make this clear (e.g., “Most of the people continue to herd camels today”). Then identify and describe a particular practice or aspect of this culture. Be sure to make your topic specific and to describe how this aspect of culture relates to other parts of the cultural system. Part I should be written in the third person. Critique your sources and mention any particular perspectives or limitations the authors may have. Part II: Compare/contrast the counterpart of this institution in your own culture (2-3 pages) Identify the culture in which you were raised. (Be specific – what part of the country are you from; did your family adhere to strict traditions; did you move or grow up in the same place/subculture; mention anything that has a bearing on your topic, but keep the description to several sentences). Remember that you do have a culture – instead of referring broadly to Anglo- American culture be specific about your culture/subculture insofar as it has shaped the institution/aspect that is the topic of your paper. For example, if you are comparing/contrasting shamanism among the Yavapai Indians of Arizona with your own religious tradition, and you grew up attending a spiritualist church, be sure to identify your specific church and spiritual beliefs rather than referring generally to Christian beliefs. Identify the counterpart that you are using in your own culture for comparison and contrast. Then develop a point by point comparison and contrast that refers back to the institution you described in Part I. Be sure to describe your own culture as analytically as possible. You need to use at least one reference for describing your own culture. Grading Rubric (95 points total) 10 points for paper proposal, due October 5 10 points for paper outline, due 20 points for format, composed of the following specific points: 10 points: grammar, spelling, and syntax 3 points: length 4-6 full pages, double-spaced with 1” margins on top, bottom, and sides. Be sure to use 12-point font. 3 points: References: At least one ethnographic source (books, journal articles, or chapters in edited volumes) or other academic analysis of the culture you are studying. This should be from a peer-reviewed journal or academic book. If possible, one first-person account of the culture you are studying (book, article, story, poem, film, interview, etc.). If you cannot find a first-person account, you may use a second academic source. One credible source (academic preferred, but it could be a news article) about your own culture for comparison. In addition to these sources, I recommend that you seek out information from newspaper articles, popular magazines, history or other social science texts, or conversations/interviews with knowledgeable people. Many of the sources listed on pages in the references of the text book are ethnographies. Online sources are often a good way to get background information about your topic, but they do not count as one of your four main sources, except for online academic journals. Ask your TA or Dr. Mundell for help if you have difficulty finding ethnographies or have a question about online or other sources. 2 points: critique of sources 2 point: citations and bibliography: APA Style Cite information from texts in this manner: The Trobriand Islanders have a matrilineal society (Malinowski, 1961). Cite quotations as follows: The difficulty of life in the Alto de Cruzeiro has fostered what Nancy Scheper-Hughes calls, “the morality of triage” (Scheper Hughes, 1989, p. 45). Your bibliography should follow APA style (see https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02/ for examples) Cite all information that is not common knowledge. Avoid long quotes. Quotes of more than a few sentences should be paraphrased in your own words. 25 points for Part I 25 points for Part II These sections will be graded based on the completeness of your descriptions and the thoroughness of your comparison and contrasting of the two cultures. Both parts should reveal extensive research and deep familiarity with both the newly researched culture and your own. Writing should be clear, convincing, and non-repetitive. The culture I picked is the Navajo people and the cultural practice I chose is health and illness of of Navajos. One of the things I will be comparing to my own culture is how some Navajos use native healers, or medicine men with any health concerns. Whereas I would go with traditional western medicine. A little about me. I am anglo with no strict traditions, spiritual or religious beliefs. Born in southern California moved to Ohio then to New Mexico then Arizona My parents are both in medicine. Mom is a Radiology technologist CT/MRI. My dad is a Physicians assistant with the Public Health Service, hence the move every few years. We were sent to underserved areas by the government. While in New Mexico dad worked at a hospital on the Navajo reservation. That is where I was introduced to the Navajo culture. I learned that cultural beliefs and values need to be respected to have good medical outcomes.
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