Cynthia Wing Yu SzeANTH 101-00812/12/17Final Exam1. First, according to Marcel Mauss (1950), what are the three obligations of “the gift?” Second, what is it that gifts do? In other words, in Mauss’s theory, what is the point of gift giving? According the Marcel Mauss, the three obligations of the gift are to give, to receive, and to reciprocate.
He states that with a gift a certain degree of reciprocity is involved. To Mauss, the point of gift giving is to create a social bond between the giver and the receiver. The person giving the gift creates the bond which is received by the person they are giving it to, then it is expected of that person to reciprocate the bond. The exchange creates a relationship that is understood by the parties involved.
2. According to Emile Durkheim (1895), what are “social facts?” How can we identify them? Where are they to be found?According to Emile Durkheim, social facts are a set of ideals and values that are shared by a society. The way people in a certain region act and think are directly influenced by the society they live in. Social facts can be found in the language, currency, politics and other institutions surrounding that region. We all adhere to these social facts as we consider them the norm. For example, marriage is a major social fact in our society. It is expected that one will get married when they’re older and people who don’t are often viewed as deviating from what is expected of them. 3.
In Beattie’s (1964) words, kinship does not simply refer to a set of genealogical relationships. Rather, kinship describes a set of social relationships. What does this mean? Use examples to illustrate your answer.It has been viewed that kinship is when people have a blood relation to each other. However Beattie describes kinship as a set of social relationships. He states that kinship terms often have nothing to do with a genealogical relationship but rather a relationship in characteristics that people share. In my native language of Chinese, we often call a close older male by uncle despite not having a blood connection to that person. This also applies to aunt, brother, sister as they are all used interchangeably between people we are directly related to and those that we are not.
It is considered socially acceptable and respectable to call any person that we have a social relation to an uncle or aunt. Beattie believes that kinship is not solely applied to people who have a blood relationship but also to those who have social relationships. 4. Why is it that Braman (2007) says that mass incarceration policies have worsened the social problems they were intended to solve in the first place? What effects does he suggest mass incarceration has had on perpetrators, families and communities?Braman believes that mass incarceration has worsened the social problems that they intended to solve by putting offenders in a constant cycle of crime and a poor way of life. Prisoners often receive little treatment and guidance towards change when they are released. This results in them possibly committing crimes again and reverting to their old ways. The effects of incarceration on families and communities can be life changing.
Families feel accountable for their loved one and their actions and don’t know how to deal with their relative once they are released. There is a major drain on material and moral resources as people no longer know how to handle those who are incarated and it can lead to a strain on the community as whole. Those who are incarcerated are also in turn isolated from the care and help they need to become functional and social members of society. 5. According to Mary Douglas (1966), what is “dirt?” What does she say the elimination of dirt represents? Apply her analysis of dirt and purification to a case of your own choosing.According to Mary Douglas, dirt in a society is what is considered out of place and disorderly.
She believes that by eliminating the dirt in a society, order can be restored. A major issue in our society is the health of many Americans. When we are given certain standards of what is deemed healthy, more people will follow it and not fall risk to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. In the past cigarettes were deemed relatively healthy and were promoted by doctors. When the idea that cigarettes were linked to cancer, many people quit smoking or were deterred from smoking altogether. She believes that if there are stricter standards to a society then all the “dirt” can be removed leading to a well functioning and orderly way of living. 6. What, for Sherry Ortner (1973), are “key symbols?” What are the differences between, first, “summarizing” and “elaborating” key symbols and, second, “root metaphors” and “key scenarios?” Give your own examples to support your answer.
Sherry Ortner categorizes key symbols under two main categories; a summarizing symbol, and elaborating symbol. A summarizing symbol is a symbol that takes all the ideas behind a system and represents them as a whole. An example of a summarizing symbol would be a flag to a country in which every individual that sees it knows the meaning and history that it stands for. A elaborating symbol takes apart the ideas and represents them in a way that is more defined. A root metaphor is an elaborating symbol in that it represents difference experiences. An example would be the saying we often use which is “Time is Money.
” In our culture it represents a certain way of thinking in which we value time as precious as monetary wealth. A key scenario is an experience that many people can relate to and is considered a model for achieving certain goals. An example of a key scenario is how we go to college with the prospects of obtaining an ideal job. This way of thinking is embedded in many people as a way of reaching success. 7. Edmund Leach (1954) tells us that real societies are never in equilibrium. Rather, because societies exist in time and space, they are constantly changing.
How does he employ the concept of “gumsa” among the Kachin to illustrate this point?Edmund Leach believes that a society is always everchanging. He states that anthropologists tend to treat societies as in equilibrium and that any change that happens is in relation to the equilibrium that has been established. He views all societies as constantly changing whether it’s their language, ethnicity, culture as people are constantly changing and never stagnant. In referring to the Kachin ethnicity, he talks about the Gumlao and Gumsa and two forms of social structures that are prevalent in their society. The Gumsa is considered a mix of Gumlao ideals and that of the Shan ethnicity that is also located in the same region. As the people of the region evolve so do their societies and they are not tied to one specific equilibrium. 8.
What, according to Elijah Anderson (1994), is “the code of the streets?” From where did this evolve? And, what does “the code” do for those who follow it?According to Elijah Anderson the code of the streets is a set of unwritten rules and values in which people of the same community tend to follow. The code evolves from the street culture that is prevalent in these neighborhoods that tend to promote violence as the correct way to deal with issues. In rough neighborhoods the code of the streets acts as defense mechanism for residents who want to fit in and not be singled out and picked on.
For those who follow the code, they feel as if it is the only way they can gain respect from others in the same community. It directly affects the younger generations that are exposed to such a code as they have to decide whether they want to follow it or diverge into their own way of thinking. The code promotes aggressive behavior and leads to a cycle of violence and crime in the generations that continue to follow it.