Thursday, April 28, 2016

Language Blog

Language Blog: Part 1

    I found this experiment to be very difficult because it was hard to communicate without using my language and I do not know sign language. I am om vacation right now with my husband and two daughters and I was trying to communicate with my husband on what we were going to do for the day. I was trying to use hand gestures and facial expressions to describe that I wanted to go to the beach and other places. It was quite frustrating and that was only for fifteen minutes. 

My partner's impression was that he was confused and irritated because he did not know what I was trying to say. I noticed that my partner was also using a lot of hand gestures and facial expressions to try and use symbolic communication. I was trying to use wave hand gestures to symbolize the ocean, but he did not know if I meant the pool or the ocean. So my partner was also using hand gestures to symbolize the ocean. 

I believe the culture that does not speak can communicate better only because language can be foreign and therefore misunderstood. The culture that only uses hand gestures can be better understood because that culture can show objects with their hands, for example a bird or the ocean. Although, the culture that has a spoken language would have the advantage of complex ideas because those people are able to communicate better. Spoken language is more time saving, more powerful and more effective in getting someone's thoughts across.

Individuals in our culture that might have difficulty with spoken language might be people that are deaf and use sign language or people like Steven Hawking that have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In other words, that some people with disabilities would be affected and can not speak.

Language Blog: Part 2

     I was able to last for the whole fifteen minutes by only using my speech for communication. It was very hard because I had to put my arms by my side, my face still and my speech mono tone.

My partners in this part of the experiment were affected because they were not able to stay focused to me when I was speaking. My communication limitations made my conversation with other people seem to be boring and hard to want to listen to me. It was also very difficult for my partners to know if I was mad, sad, or happy when I was talking. It was difficult for me to get my message across without any physical embellishments.

The experiment tells me that our use of signs in our language is extremely important. Communication has to involve both verbal and nonverbal ways to make sure our message is heard. When we communicate with other people without speech we have to use facial expressions which is part of the larger communication process. For example, a smile indicates our approval or happiness and a scowl shows people that we disagree or are angry.Facial expressions and physical embellishments with non-speech communication helps boost our understanding of speech and interactions with other people.

There are people who have a difficult time reading body language, for example people that are blind or have poor eyesight and/ or other cultures. Foreign cultures might have a hard time reading our body language because they have never seen it before. For instance, native tribes that live in isolated areas of the world would not understand most of our body language because they have never experienced our culture or people before. The adaptive benefit to possessing the ability to read body language is it helps to ensure our relationship with other people. It helps us to communicate with the outside world. I think reading body language is beneficial to everyone, but maybe in some environmental conditions it would not be beneficial. . For instance, if a person was preforming on a stage and noticed all of the audience looked bored and crossing their arms, that might distract the performer and make him/her not want to continue with the performance. Another situation that might not be beneficial to read body language is when someone has a physical disorder like Parkinson's disease. They have no control over their facial expressions and movements and if you were to read their body language it might be interpreted.

Language Blog: Part 3

  I do think that part one would have been a lot easier if I was permitted to write because writing is considered a type of symbolic language. Writing would have made it possible to convey complex ideas that can easily be communicated and comprehended with a system of symbols.

It  is very beneficial for other cultures to develop writing because once they have established a system of letters and words it is then easier for other cultures to communicate. Writing allows the preservation of ides, facts, and stories to become history. Later in the future people can learn about their ancestors and relate to their time and culture. 

The impact of written language on globalization is significant because it helps all societies to advance in many ways. Illiteracy is a disadvantage to many people because they stay in poverty and do not enroll in school. Now people depend on computers to email each other and cell phones to text one another. Globalization depends greatly on written language to spread ideas around the world.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Population Zulu and Andean Indians

Population A: Zulu 

1. The type of environment that the Zulu population live is mostly in South Africa. This part of the world is semi-arid, meaning that it is mostly dry every year.The average temperature ranges from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and in the month of January being the hottest month. There is not much change in the seasons it is warm with little rainfall through most of the year. According to Study zone, " Since South Africa receives little rain, it sometimes experiences long droughts.  Droughts make it hard for farmers and wildlife to find water.  The droughts also bring extremely hot temperatures." It could produce physical stress to the body because of the hot and dry conditions causing the body to not maintain a normal homeostasis. 

2. Because there is so much sunshine and little rain providing for the vegetation the Zulu population have made physical adaptions to their harsh environment. It is also known that the African people are more physically adapted than the European people because of their dry and hostile environment. According to Every culture" Zulu hair is much like the hair of most people with African blood.  It is coarse, dry, and curly.  Their hair is adapted to living in a hot semi-arid environment naturally.  Body hair in general is an adaptation that is meant to trap heat and moisture to keep a person warm.  Zulu’s hair is short and allows the flow of air throw it to keep them cool.  Europeans have straight greasy hair that would not suit them well in the heat of KwaZulu-Natal; they would literally fry their brains during prolonged exposure to the environment."

3. For the Zulu population to adapt culturally I noticed that they wore their traditional of wearing little clothing. It was because of the extreme hot and dry weather that wearing heavy clothing was unnecessary. Women that were not in a relationship wore nothing but a grass or beaded skirt. But sometimes the women wore cows tails on their arms to appear bigger. From my research Every culture informs us that,"It is commonly known that Africans have lived in Africa longer than Europeans have lived in Europe.  Thus, African adaptations are further along than European’s adaptations.  Without technology Europeans would not be able to survive in Europe.  Zulu people on the other hand are well adapted to live in a natural environment without technology to help them survive."

4. For my point of view on the race of the Zulu people, I choose the racial category of black. This type of population would fit into this category because the are African American and most people in Africa are black.

5. When I observe the cultural adaptations for both populations and comparing both choices I have come to the conclusion that each race can be defined very general and vague. We cannot explain a group of people's culture just on skin color and features.Physical cultural adaptions can and will explain more of that population that is unknown because it tells us about the type of environment that this population have become accustomed to. We also learn how these people maintain their homeostasis in this harsh environment and we can learn from that. " For example Britannica says "Similarly, cultural adaptations tell a wealth of information about a people; specifically, they tell how a group responds socially and practically to environmental stress."

Population B: The Andean Indians

1. The Andean Indians live in a very high altitude among the mountains that is well above 9,000 feet. The average temperature The Andean mountains are located in South America and South of Guatemala. The environment is very tropical and the seasons can be extreme because of the heavy rainfall and changes in temperature. The lower parts of the Andean mountains are hot and the higher the elevations it tends to cool down. According to Britannica, "Areas of heavy rainfall support dense forest. whereas a few dry regions support little more than sparse grass."

2. The Andean Indians had to make physical adaptations because they live in such high altitudes. They had to physically adapt and developed traits that help them deal with the effect of low oxygen at high altitudes. Also Andean Indians develop a reddish skin color because they are making more red blood cells to compensate for the loss of oxygen. They need more oxygen to their tissues so their body makes more red blood cells than people at sea level. " The lungs increase in size to accommodate the osmosis of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There is also an increase in the vascular network of muscles which enhances the transfer of gases. These adaptations help the Andean people survive in their unique environment."

3. Because the Andean Indians live at a such high altitude and far above sea level it is much harder for them to farm because of the slopes of the mountains and elevated surfaces. It can also be very dry because their is little moisture in the air because it is so high up. The sporadic rainfall or snowfall makes it more difficult to find the right time to farm and grow fruits or vegetables.This would cause stress to these peoples but they have been around a long time and have made cultural adaptions to resolve their problems. "This makes it very difficult to grow adequate food for proper nutrition. To aid these tough conditions, the Andean Indians have come up with a system of forecasting the rains using simple astronomical observations." This allows them to grow food and also using the freeze-dried method. It is summer during the day and winter at night so the Andean people use this to freeze-dry any of their meats so it won't spoil.

4. If I were to be asked what race the Andean Indians are, I would say that they were part Asian. The race of this group of people are to be grouped as the Mongoloid race which includes most people of Asia and indigenous people of South America. The type of skin color of the Andean Indians are called Affron or yellow to red skin color. Their hair is dark and straight and their eye color is dark brown. I believe the best race that they fit would be Native American.

5. When I compare the Zulu population and the Andean Indian population I think using the different cultural adaptaions is better than using their race. They both have cultural disadvantages in similar ways and they both have adapted to their environment in different ways. Race is so generalized and does not explain a person or group of people, it is their culture and adaptation that explain everything. If I was an Anthropolgist I would not choose one culture over the other because we can all learn from both. We are all human beings just live and adapt to the different environments that are on Earth.

Works cited:
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Body Ritual of the Nacerima; Part A and B

Part A:

After reading the article by Horace Miner and have chosen five words that describe the population that he talks about. These five words are Nacerima, unusual, unique, private and pathological. I think that these words are very descriptive regarding this group of people.

  1. Nacerima:
I chose this word because it the tribe name of these people. Professor Linton is the first anthropologist to bring the attention of this population to other anthropologist. These groups of people are little known about and poorly understood. Actually, Miner's  purpose of this name "Nacerima", American spelled backwards, was to show that the common American behaviors and beliefs seem magical and silly.

    2. Unusual:

I chose this word because in Miner's article he portrays the Nacerima to be unusual in their rituals. They show unusual behaviors by having shrines in their houses that hold charms and magical potions. It is also unusual that this population have rituals by going to a witch doctor, holy-mouth-man and medicine man where they endure torture and manipulation. This type of tribe show very unusual behaviors and they have an unusual culture.

     3. Unique:

I chose this word because the Nacerima culture is characterized as being unique. The ceremonial aspects affiliated are very different. The way that we look at other cultures as if they are really strange, exotic and unique. The Nacerima don't look at themselves as being unique but only normal, other cultures are weird and strange.

   4. Private:

I chose this word because the Nacerima show rituals of being very private. For example, when it comes to their shrine box. Most families have at least one shrine box in their home and the ceremonies are private and secret. The shrine boxes are private because it holds many magical potions that are very important to the Nacerima people and each magical potion is private to each one person.

    5. Pathological:

I chose this word because the Nacerima people have a "pathological horror" when it comes to the holy-mouth-men. They are fascinated with their mouths and have to be or they won't gain friends or relationships with the opposite sex. This population is obsessed with their mouth and they have a habitual ritual to see these holy-mouth-men twice a year. Some of the Nacerima's are pathological when it comes to their rituals and ceremonies.

Part B:

1. The words I chose again were; Nacerima, unusual, unique, private and pathological. As an American, I feel that my five descriptive words could identify with most groups of people. We are all unusual, unique, private and pathological in some way. We are all the same species but just have different cultures based upon how we were raised and in different areas of the world. I feel like I chose good descriptive words because no matter where someone comes from they can relate in some way.

2. Based on my choices I believe that they do exhibit some ethnocentrism. For instance, the words unusual and pathological seem to be bias. From someone Else's point of view that might be true because they have never seen our type of culture, therefore they would be judgmental or not understanding of how the American culture does certain things. There are human differences in behavior, rituals, and relationships but that does not mean that we are the only ones that are right. The focus is not on just the human behavior but an experience in different cultures and to learn more about them.

3. Instead of using the word unusual, I would rather use the word unknown because it may not be unusual to most other cultures just unusual to us because we have not experienced their behaviors or rituals before. For the word, pathological, I would rather use the word habitual. When a population is so used to certain "rituals", like going to the dentist, we have grown up on that and that is what we are used to. We go to the "holy-mouth-man" because we feel it is necessary to do that. Other cultures might have other ways to clean their mouth but that is how the "Nacerimas" do it.

4. It is important that we do not judge other cultures because we are all the same species and it helps us learn about the adaptation and evolution of humans.We should study the patterns of our behavior and feelings to understand every kind of society as a whole. Thus in turn we will be able to socialize with people all over the world and experience the manifestations of other cultures. We would grow as a species if we learned not to be bias or critical of other cultures around the world. I do think it is possible for anthropologists to avoid personal cultural bias if they did fieldwork as a cultural anthropologist doing ethnography and ethnology as their study for choice. That was they could experience different cultures on front ground and learn to better understand their behaviors so that they would not be bias.