1. In your own words, define the term ethnocentrism and provide a concrete example that illustrates the concept. Then discuss how ethnocentrism is related to cultural relativism and why anthropologists must concern themselves with ethnocentrism when conducting cross-cultural research. Conclude by offering some suggestions for concrete ways in which anthropologists can counter ethnocentrism in mainstream society today.
2. Compare Nancy Scheper-Hughes’s early ethnographic fieldwork in Alto do Cruzeiro with her current research and work with Organs Watch. How has globalization affected her fieldwork?
3. Explain how and why the “one drop of blood rule” was traditionally used to determine race in American culture.
4. Identify three things that are used as ethnic boundary markers, and explain in what cultures they are used and how.
5. Analyze how idealized gender roles and attributes of both sexes are reflected in the sexual division of labor and jobs that adult men and women tend to pursue in the United States. Provide two examples for each gender.
6. Compare and contrast the perspective on human sexuality offered by evolutionary biologists and cultural constructionists. What factors do evolutionary biologists study to learn more about human sexuality? How does this compare to the factors an anthropologist with a cultural constructionist perspective might investigate? Which approach do you find most valuable?
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