Prompt for Synthesis essay #1 (100 pts) (800-1000 words)

For the past two weeks we have explored the anthropological perspective on the concepts of sex, gender, kinship, family and marriage. The meanings of these concepts are woven into our worldview through the enculturation process. Therefore, our perceptions of these concepts tend to become “naturalized” and we begin to think of any deviations from our perception as abnormal or unnatural. However, from an anthropological perspective, all these concepts have been culturally constructed and instituted within local societies or groups. Therefore, they are neither normal nor abnormal, but simply diverse. Even within the context of our own society the meaning of these concepts is dynamic (changing). In your essay, synthesize these concepts in a discussion that demonstrates your understanding of these concepts as social constructions. Please note, I am very aware that these topics can be very provocative and personal. I am not asking you about your personal beliefs or understanding of these concepts based on your worldview. I am asking you to present the anthropological perspective using cultural relativism as your guide. You must be sure to define these concepts and use a specific example from the course material that demonstrates the application of that concept.

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Concepts that must be included:






Course material that must be included in your essay:

Neither Male nor Female

Two Spirits

Household: Four Stories of Kinship and Curiosity

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