Assignment: Culture from an etic Perspective

Assignment: Culture from an etic Perspective

Assignment: Culture from an etic Perspective

In the Final Research Paper, you will examine your own culture from an etic (outsider’s) perspective and another culture from an emic (insider’s) perspective to demonstrate your understanding of cultural relativism and examine misconceptions and ethnocentric beliefs concerning each of these cultures. Keep the distinction between cultural relativism and moral relativism in mind as you write your final paper. Even if you do not personally agree with a cultural practice, demonstrate your understanding of the practice in its cultural context. Avoid opinionated or judgmental language in your paper.

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Cultural relativism is the idea that the beliefs and practices of a culture should be understood within the context of that particular culture’s background, history, and current events surrounding it. We should not ethnocentrically impose our own beliefs and opinions, which are products of our own enculturation.

Cultural relativism is not the same as moral relativism, however. As Crapo (2013) notes

We need not, for instance, come to value infanticide in order to understand the roles it may play in peoples’ lives in a society where it is customary. What cultural relativism requires of us is simply that we do not confuse our own feelings about such a custom with understanding it. To do the latter, we must investigate the meanings the custom has for those who practice it and the functions it may fulfill in their society. (section 1.4, “Cultural Differences: Cultural Relativism,” para. 3)

Keep the distinction between cultural relativism and moral relativism in mind as you write your Final Research Paper. Even if you do not personally agree with a cultural practice, demonstrate your understanding of the practice in its cultural context. Avoid opinionated or judgmental language in your paper.

Your Final Research Paper will consist of two main parts, framed by an Introduction and a Conclusion. See the Final Paper Flow Chart for a quick overview of the assignment. See the following instructions for information on each part of the paper.

Introduction

Begin with an introductory paragraph that has a thesis statement at the end. The introduction should set up your topic, giving a preview and summary of the analysis you will present in the body of the paper. The thesis statement is the last sentence or two of the introduction and states what the main point structuring your paper will be.

Here is an Example of an Introduction.

Assignment: Culture from an etic Perspective

Assignment: Culture from an etic Perspective

Part I

Using the article by Miner (1956) and the feedback you received from your instructor on your worksheet in Week Three, describe one aspect of your own culture from an etic perspective. See the appropriate Sections in the Textbook in the List of Topics, based on your chosen topic from Week Three, for information on how to approach your paper from an anthropological perspective. You can describe American culture in general, as Miner does, or you can describe an American subculture, such as a specific geographical group (e.g., New Yorkers), a particular ethnicity (e.g., African Americans), or an age-related category of Americans (e.g., millennials).

Use reputable statistics and/or scholarly research to support any factual statements. Do not rely solely on personal experience or opinion.

Here is an Example of Part I.

Part II

Refer to the article you chose for Part II of the worksheet assignment in Week Three and describe an aspect of another culture from an emic (insider’s) perspective. You do not have to do research beyond reading your chosen article; however, if you do choose to conduct additional research make sure to use reputable statistics and/or scholarly sources to support any factual statements. Do not rely upon personal experience or opinion.

Here is an Example of Part II.

Conclusion

End with a concluding paragraph that reinforces your thesis. Summarize and tie together your main points for the reader. Provide a brief self-reflexive analysis of what you learned while writing this paper.

Here is an Example of Conclusion.

The Final Research Paper

Must be five to six double-spaced pages in length (excluding title page and references page, meaning it will be seven to eight pages total), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (see the APA Essay Checklist for Students).
Must include a title page (see title page) with the following:
Title of paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted
Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
Must have well-structured body paragraphs with clear transitions from one topic to the next. Incorporate in-text citations (see In-Text Citation Guide) from your scholarly sources to support your analysis throughout the paper.
Must describe an aspect of your own culture from an etic perspective for Part I.
Must describe an aspect of another culture from an emic perspective for Part II.
Must demonstrate a perspective of cultural relativism throughout, avoiding judgmental and opinionated language.
Must end with a conclusion that that reinforces the thesis and provides a self-reflexive analysis.
Must use at least one scholarly resource in addition to the textbook, the Miner article, and the article chosen from the list in Part II of the Week Three assignment.
Must document all sources in APA style in the body of the paper and on the references page as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Must include a separate References Page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Here is an Example of a References Page.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

 

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