You have read material (labeled 1 to 5 ) this week that demonstrates how different cultures not only have different types of families and marriages, but also different ways of grooming, eating, eliminating ways, and engaging in sexual relations. From anthropological perspective, most everything about human behavior, including bodily functions, is cultural — that is, a learned practice shared throughout that society.
In some instances, cultural practices come into conflict with what the United Nations would refer to as inalienable human rights, such as the right to worship and free speech, and to be free from murder, bodily harm, slavery or incarceration without a legal trial. Many times, such practices fall into grey areas: female genital mutilation, infanticide, and cannibalism are just a few.
Given what you have learned about culture, ethnocentrism, and cultural relativism, discuss what perspective an anthropologist should or could take in the following situation: A minority tribe in Papua New Guinea practices a specific type of mortuary ritual after a family member dies. Before incineration of the body in a ritual fire, there is a 3-day period in which family members wash the deceased’s body, and then consume cooked portions of the individual’s heart and liver as a way to honor the dead person, and keep the spirit with them. They believe failure to carry out this practice will incite the dead person’s spirit to cause them harm. However, the national government is working to modernize society, and is seeking to pass a law outlawing this religious practice. There is considerable pushback from many indigenous tribes who see the government as trying to outlaw and restrict their right to traditional worship, and they are violently opposed to the law. An anthropologist has been hired to help mediate. What perspectives could they offer?
Respond to all questions of this prompt in your paper (700-1000 words total)
Pick two specific examples from this week’s readings on Family/Kinship and Marriage (one on kinship, one on marriage) that either changed your thinking, or made you confront your own ethnocentric biases and briefly describe them. In what ways did you reconsider what seemed “natural” to you about family and marriage practices in your culture? What things that were formerly “invisible” become visible to you? Did any of these other cultural practices makes some sense once you understood them in context (economic, social, political)? Why or why not?
You must first make an original post in response to the prompt question (250 words), and then respond before the deadline to two classmates in order to receive full credit.
special note : when writing the two examples, please keep in mind im a middle eastern Muslim. So try to use a examples that could be applicable to me.
Classmates discussion post reply :-
This segment of the question is due 4-6 days from now. after you complete the discussion post and reflection paper, I will send you screenshots of classmates replied for you to answer them. Replies are expected a couple of sentences