No consideration of marriage can avoid a discussion of gender issues. Discuss with ethnographic illustrations.

Anthropology: Studying Human Diversity
School of Social and Political Sciences


Dr. T. Kohn
Semester 2, 2011

This essay is worth 50% of the subject total mark. It should be 2000 words long (exclusive of bibliography). Also note that the word limit has only 10% flexibility in either direction.

You must include substantial reference to relevant anthropological theories and ethnographic material in your essay. Be reflexive in your answers and, when relevant, consider including contemporary issues.

Ensure that your work fully acknowledges all sources in the body of the text as well as in a complete bibliography. Consult the essay writing guides available through LMS, SSPS, and the Skills Unit for plenty of guidance on writing essays and correct referencing style etc. The Harvard style of in-text and bibliographic referencing is popular. Do not put anything in the reference list you havenat actually cited in the text.

Please put the essay question/topic chosen below as a title header, use double spacing and ample margins, and paginate and put your name on the essay document as well as the cover sheet. While there is no set requirement for numbers of sources cited for this work, you should aim to cite at least 10 sources from anthropological literature (try to use a majority from our course reader). You can supplement these anthropological sources from other material found in academic and popular literature.

Essays must be submitted by the deadline (Tuesday, 8th November, 2011). All hard copies of the essays must have a completed essay cover sheet (available in the SSPS office or you can download it) and they must be submitted in the SSPS office (4th floor, John Medley (west)). DO NOT submit essays to the lecturer or tutors. Ensure you keep a copy of any work submitted. You MUST also submit this final essay before the deadline electronically through the LMS submission portal. Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and late work will be penalised. See the School guidelines at the beginning of the subject reader.

ESSAY TOPICS (choose ONE topic from the 11 provided on this list and read it very carefully to ensure you are addressing all parts of it in your essay).

1) Critically compare and contrast the ways in which social order is established, maintained, and/or negotiated in two very different societies of your choice.

2) Assess the merits and pitfalls of cultural relativism in contemporary anthropology.

3) Write an essay entitled: a?From gifts to commodities: an introduction to the anthropology of exchangea?

4) Drawing on at least two ethnographic examples, write an essay explaining how an anthropologist might describe to a layperson how magic, witchcraft and science are related.

5) Describe one cultural practice of food production or consumption and analyse from the perspective of two different key approaches covered in this subject (eg. Cultural Evolutionism, Functionalism, Structural-Functionalism, Interpretive Anthropology, etca¦).

6) Write an essay describing a ritual that you are familiar with, but do so with the knowledge that the audience/readers that you are trying to impress or convince would include Victor Turner, Mary Douglas, and Clifford Geertz.

7) How have PIGS featured in anthropological studies? Write an essay using at least two ethnographic examples and making reference to at least two substantive topics covered in this subject (eg. Classification, exchange, ritual, politics, etc.).

8) Are rituals a thing of the past, slowly but surely giving way to rational choice and action in contexts of global social change? Consider your answer in light of the theory and ethnography you have encountered in this subject.

9) No consideration of marriage can avoid a discussion of gender issues. Discuss with ethnographic illustrations.

10) Is a?attachment to placea a thing of the past? Has the era of globalisation demonstrated that mobility is just as powerful as a?placea in forging identities and social attachments? Discuss with reference to ethnographic case studies.

11) Describe something that is a?tabooa to you, explain what makes it a?tabooa, and consider how different anthropological theorists might try to make sense of this prohibition.

essay writing guide for this department : 88281/Essay_Writing_Guide.pdf