Final Reflections for class readings

The readings for week three are all related in some way. To start, the texts made available during week three reflect on various subjects and ideas. However, because each reading places a strong emphasis on a different area of cultural anthropology, it is possible to say that the readings are connected in some way.
The study of man as the top member of the animal world is at the center of the discipline of anthropology. There are other subject divisions that focus on different facets of the human experience. Some of these units examine how species evolved, while others address social issues including race, gender, equality, and variety. In this particular case, we can argue that the readings provide are connected to social cultural anthropology. Articles such as “Performing gender identity, Young men talk, and the construction of Heterosexual Masculinity” by Deborah Cameron and “Surrogate, Motherhood, and American Kinship” by Helena Ragon focuses mostly on socio-cultural issues and quest for identity.

For instance, in the article “Poverty at work: office employment and the crack alternative” by Philippe Bourgois, the author has asserted how some decades back, employees would quickly search for jobs by visiting factories and other market places. These workers would pick work related tools to conduct their duties, and at the end of the day, they would come back home with their wages and very happy. During this particular period, instances of professional qualifications were not rampant, but instead, preference was given to the ability of an individual to handle specific tasks. However, in today’s contemporary society, there is a paradigm shift from physical ability towards professional degree oriented qualifications or even in some instances, having a God father, or being politically correct.

Another example is the readings from the article “Recognizing cultural diversity: what we can learn from Japanese civilization, by Levi-Strauss”. The article begins by elaborating on cultural diversity. The examples given are acquired ethnic identity, racial identification, holidays celebrated, religion and language. The paper proceeds and illustrates how Japan which during the First World War was amongst the most unequal nations on earth whereby malpractices such as corruption and ethnic hatred were the order of the day. However, after the war, the country realized that there was a need for an all-inclusive society that catered for the interest of both wealthy and poor regardless of their traditional culture. As a result, a country that once was on the brink of collapsing economically due to hatred and animosity amongst its citizens has today transpired as an economic powerhouse comprising of admirable socio-cultural norms.

All the readings throughout the week focus on seeking identity and how experience from different factions of the society had assisted man to evolve from primitivism during the stone age era when the political Burgois ruled the world towards current contemporary society where civilization and democracy are the order of the day. Such an analogy is further on accentuated by the article “Climate change and the victim slot: from oil to innocence” by David McDermott Hughes. The article depicts that the current problems experienced by man are different from the problems during the era of medieval kingship where a ruler dictated the order of the day. Today, man has free will to choose what he desires, and it is only nature that ultimately dictates the tempo of the freedom and a good example is the climate change whereby human beings have been forced to seek alternative energy or else they perish. It is a case of nature controlling its course.

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