ANT 101 Week 5 Final Research Paper New 2015
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.
Your Final Research Paper will consist of two main parts. See the flow chart for a quick overview of the assignment.
Focus of the Final Research Paper
In the Final Research Paper, you will demonstrate a culturally relativistic perspective, in order to understand why different groups of people do what they do, without expressing a positive or negative opinion of their cultural practices.
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 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.
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.
The introduction should be one paragraph.
Explain the scope of your paper and set up the topics you will cover. Everything covered in your paper should relate back to the introduction/thesis statement.
Draw from what you learned in the Week Two thesis statement identification assignment to help you craft your own thesis statement.
Review your instructor’s feedback on your thesis statement from your Week Three “Summarize Your Sources for the Final Research Paper” assignment.
See resources from the Ashford Writing Center on Moving from Prompt to Thesis and Introductions and Conclusions.