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Papers On Anthropology
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"Dancing Skeletons": A Review of the Book by Catherine Dettwyler
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A 5 page review of the ethnographic account of fieldwork in medical anthropology. Working among malnourished children in West Africa Dettwyler experienced both professional and personal insight. Although sometimes criticized for her subjective approach to her subject, in reality Dettwyler provides both a a touching human account and a valuable ethnography. Her approach to death as "the ultimate illness", however, is one which is unfortunate. This paper points out that death is in fact a natural component of life. To view death as an ultimate illness is to regard death, a phase which we must all pass through, as a personal and medical failure. No additional sources are listed.
Filename: PPskeltn.wps

"Mortality is Not Relative": James Rachels' Views on the Theory of Cultural Relativism
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A 7 page exploration of Rachels beliefs in regard to what determines certain cultural practices and whether or not there are inherent rights and wrongs in those practices. More specifically, Rachels explores the question of whether morality is a phenomena that varies according to culture, whether different cultures do in fact operate under different moral codes. Rachels points out that many cultures even diverge greatly from our Western precepts of right and wrong. He is particularly interested in the theory of cultural relativism, that theory that demands that we view behavior and situations in a world context rather than from the closely defined views of one culture. Rachels sees both positives and negatives in that theory, however. No additional sources are listed.
Filename: PPmoralR.rtf

"National Geographic": Political Propaganda or Insight into the Exotic and Fascinating?
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A 6 page discussion of the criticism that has been waged by some authors against "National Geographic". Analyzing those criticisms and evaluating them against one specific article in particular this paper concludes that "National Geographic" is not a political publication and it is not intended to be. The publication's "images are formed, selected and controlled, purveyed and read" (as one author has contended) all right but they are presented for the specific purpose of giving us a view of the exotic and the interesting not the political and controversial. Bibliography lists 3 sources.
Filename: PPntlGeo.rtf

"Primate Behavioral Ecology: From Ethnography to Ethology and Back"
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An 8 page review of an article published in the March, 2003 edition of the "American Anthropologist" by author Karen B. Strier. The article's focus is delineated and the content criticized both in relation to the work her literature review encompasses and to work that it does not encompass. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Filename: PPprimat.rtf

"Rabbit-Proof Fence" and Other Insights into Aborigine Subjugation
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An 8 page discussion of the concept of manifest destiny as it is illustrated in the film "Rabbit-Proof Fence". The author reviews the plot of this film and compares the blatant discrimination experienced by the characters with other acts of discrimination conducted against other aboriginal peoples around the world. Bibliography lists 8 sources.
Filename: PPaboRbb.rtf


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