Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

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Discussion 1 (Wk4)

Urban Legends and Cultural Divides [WLOs: 1, 2] [CLOs: 1, 4, 5]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, review the following Required Resources:

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Choose one of the following two options to address in this discussion. Be sure that your initial post meets the full length requirement of 300 words, and that you incorporate at least two of this week’s required resources in your post, one of which should be the textbook. Include citations and a full reference to your chosen sources. (See the Required Resources page for all references in APA format).


Option 1: Read What Makes an Urban Legend? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and address the following:

  • In what ways have urban legends adapted over time, both in terms of the content of urban legends and the way in which the spread over time?
  • What urban legends, folklore, or scary supernatural tales do you remember hearing about as a child?
  • What kinds of urban legends have you encountered as an adult?
  • How many counterintuitive elements exist in the urban legends and other tales that you have encountered?
  • What strong emotions are evoked by these tales?
  • Are there elements to these stories that deal with death and survival or both?
  • What do you think urban legends will look like in the future?

Option 2: According to the maps in ‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Modern Family’: 50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Scroll to the end of the article and enter your zip code, then address the following:

  • What kind of television is most popular where you live?
    • Which shows are most and least popular where you live?
      • Do your own preferences line up with what is popular in your area?
    • On the list of 50 shows, are there any shows that you are unfamiliar with, and if so, why might this be?
    • What do our television preferences say about us as individuals and also about our regional cultures?
    • What cultural divides are illustrated in the maps in this article?
    • How does our consumption of media today differ from the 1960s and 70s, when television was “the great unifier”?
    • What benefits and drawbacks are there to the wide variety of television shows and diverse casts that we have available today?

    Week 4 – Journal

    Self-Reflexive Journal

    [WLO: 3] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

    In this week’s journal entry, you will critically reflect on your own beliefs and biases about your Final Research Paper topic by using the concept of self-reflexivity. To paraphrase Crapo (2013, sec. 1.3), self-reflexivity is the process of confronting one’s own preconceived notions and examining how these may influence how one understands (or misunderstands) others. Understanding biases and beliefs about other cultures helps researchers apply cultural relativism to their work.For this journal, consider the sources that you summarized for Part I and Part II of your paper in your Week Three Assignment Worksheet.

    • What was your initial response to the sources you read for your paper? Include in-text citations using Ashford’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. guide and full reference entries in APA format to all sources you will be using for your Final Research Pape
    • In the course of this class, you have learned about cultural diversity and how to apply cultural relativism to understand beliefs, practices, and behaviors within their cultural context. How has learning about different culturally practices helped you to better understand how narrowmindedness and prejudice constrict diversity?
    • Can you identify any biases that you might have about the cultural practices you will discuss in either Part I or Part II of your Final Research Paper?
    • Identify any problems you might be having in examining your own culture from an etic perspective or the other culture from an emic perspectiv Review Miner’s article Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.and explain how his discussion of Americans (also known as Nacirema) will help you take an outsider’s perspective on your own culture.

    The journal entry should be at least 250 words in length. You should also include a title page and a references page.

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