In the paper, students describe how anthropologists study culture and critically and creatively discuss ways anthropological research can be applied to resolving social and global problems (e.g., health, nutrition, land-use, agriculture, climate change, inequality, and ethnic conflict). Finally, students will reflect on how learning about the human past and diverse cultures in this course has influenced the way they understand their own culture and place in the world.
Your paper should address the following:
How do anthropologists study culture? What do anthropologists from the different subfields study? How do they study it? Think about the specific methods they use and the types of materials or data they study. The Gonzalez textbook should be a good source for this, but you are welcome to use any of the sources we cover in the course, on the list of suggested sources, or academic sources you find on your own.
How is anthropological research applied to resolving social and global problems? Discuss at least 3 examples of how anthropological research has been used to address social or global problems (e.g., health, nutrition, land-use, agriculture, climate change, inequality, and ethnic conflict). I provide a long list of sources you can start with (the Dettwyler book is also a great example), but I recommend finding others with a librarian or on your own. You can cover just one topic (such as climate change), or provide examples of many different fields to which anthropological research can contribute. Email me if you want help finding sources on a particular topic.
How has learning about the human past and diverse cultures influenced how you think about your own culture and your place in the world? Reflect on what you have learned in this course, and how it has affected how you think about American culture and America’s role in the world, and your role in the world.
Finally: Turn your paper into a coherent argument. Start with a thesis sentence about the value of anthropological research in relation to social and global issues. Describe what anthropologists do. Discuss several examples of how anthropological research has been applied to social and global problems. Finish with your reflections and conclusions about the value of anthropological research to social and global problems, innovative ways of applying the anthropological perspective, as well as to your own understanding of American culture and your place in the world. Be sure to cite each source within the text as well as including them in the bibliography.
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