This summer, I am spending a week in Decatur, Georgia at the Global Village Project. To prepare for my trip, I have presented on a country where some of the young refugees that go to the school originated from and I also read a book about a young Hmong girl whose journey to freedom had a lot of effects on her life. Through our discussions of culture, I can understand that her culture is based on what she has learned from her family and how she had survived through such tragedy. This class has opened my eyes to the world around me and how each and every action I do originated from one thought or one tradition. Even my gender has a lot to do with how this world revolves in my mind and through the analysis of movies and books, I am able to understand that keeping an open mind is the best way to explore all of the possibilities that there are in this world. Zoya wrote a book entitled "Undaunted" to express her story and the issues that arise in her culture and through stories like hers, I am able to see how ethnocentrism expands far beyond the borders of the United States. This was a great way to explore the title Cultural Anthropology and I appreciate the opportunity to understand a new outlook on life.
Director: Clint Eastwood, Writers: Nick Schenk, Dave Johannson; Filmed: 13140 Charlevoix St, Detroit, Michigan
The cultural influence this movie had on its creator and genre: The movie is a great representation of intercultural communication and representing the barriers that are present in neighborhoods and changes that are happening around America today.
This movie was a great portrayal of ethnocentrism. Clint Eastwood is a great representation of how one cultures perspectives of another does not have an age limit. However, as the movie progresses, Walt begins to change and understand that with his neighborhood being a new population, cultural changes are starting to take place. He is more respectful of the cultural celebrations that the Hmong people have and appreciates the food and attention that he gets. Cultural changes also happen for Sue who lives next door, rather than staying in the kitchen like her mother and grandmother, Sue stands up for herself and adjust to American culture. The quote "girls go to college while boys go to jail" was not true in this movie, thanks to Walt, Toa gets the chance to break the barrier of the Hmong and continue in his education. Through cultural change and the ethnocentrism, this movie had a lot of important aspects on how the American society has been impacted by the incorporation of so many cultures existing in just one neighborhood. Walt grew over the course of the movie and his personally beliefs of keeping out of his neighbors business sure enough changed towards the end of the movie when he sacrificed his life for the good of his neighbors.
From a personal perspective, this movie was a great portrayal of change in time and how todays society has become more violent and misunderstood. The fact that this old school man who is very racist begins to know his neighbors and respect them for their beliefs and life choices is wonderful. I think of the barriers that there are today between the old school people and the 21st generation of rap music and profanity and through these, cultural changes are very evident. The ending was bittersweet, I am so glad he did not give his precious car to his obnoxious, disrespectful, and rude granddaughter, rather he gave it to the one person who would value it and appreciate all the hard work that he knew went into that car. Walt gave his life so his neighbors could sleep peacefully and know that the guys who mistreated the neighborhood for so long are gone for a very long time. This was a great ending to the journal entries and it tied in a lot of anthropological concepts that we have learned over the course of the semester.
Directors/Writers: Gary Kildea, Jerry Leach; Filmed in: Papua New Guinea
Impact of this movie on cultural genre: this is a new outlook on the transformation of sports from the original structure into a more spiritual tribal sport.
From an anthropological perspective, the game of cricket ties into potluck. In the Trobriand islands, one tribe hosts the game and provides food and gifts for the guests. The potluck is used to represent class and higher title when compared to the other tribe. Another concept that was evident in this clip was syncretism in culture change. When the "white people's game" came to the Trobriand islands, the tribes wanted to play the sport but continue in their cultural ways. They converted the form of English cricket to incorporate chants and representations of their status through potlucks and continuing in their cultural traditions.
I personally found their version of cricket to be very interesting in the way in which they have made it their own. They play the sport in their festive dressing and continue with their chants even though it is a serious game. I really appreciated the fact that there was not a small maximum to the number of players on each team, there was a better chance of having each tribe play all together. Personally, I would not enjoy wearing their outfits while I am running but then again, I probably would not be able to play with the men in the islands.
Filmmaker: John Marshall; Filmed in: South Africa, Namibia;
Cultural Influence: Represents a story of one !Kung woman's journey over the course of 27 years as she grows through the changes in her foraging band and gives light to the structure of sexuality in her culture.
This focus film was a wonderful representation of the reality from "The Gods Must Be Crazy". The first concept that was evident in the film was structured around bride service and the age in which little girls are promised to an older man. When the girls are younger like the main character in the film, the groom ask the parents for their daughter in return they will work for them. In the beginning, the young women were miserable and hated the idea of marrying these men however, N!ai over the years began to grow closer to her husband and now she is comfortable in their marriage and enjoys his company. The second concept is about culture change with a large emphasis on seditism where the white people came in to take over and forced N!ai and her people to settle. They had to settle on a little bit of turf without any choice and learned how to make do with the small source of food and housing space. Cross-cultural communication is another key concept within this short clip that we watched. In the short clip, we were able to witness a pastor to is alone by a well with some of the Ju/'hoan women and this representation of what Christianity has to offers makes an appearance and intrigues along with frightens these women who are standing by this stranger who called himself "God's son". The ending was a great representation of the anthropological perspective of sexuality and change in these women's' life.
The film was mentioned in the chapter for a reason, when compared to "The Gods Must Be Crazy", these people had to suffer without a voice for too long. The classification of someone based on whether they are healthy or not is ridiculous and I think that is an awful fact that was clearly evident in the small portion of the film that we saw. The story of the Ju/'hoan women focused on N!ai and with her cooperation, she was paid which caused a lot of issues for her because you do not share money. These issues kept growing and that backlash was unbearable and unfair. I found it interesting that N!ai fell in love with her husband over the years and their relationship is strong especially since she was married off at 7 years of age.
Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Kimberlee Acquaro; Writer: Jacoba Atlas, Jessica Congdon; Filmed: Los Angeles, California
The cultural influence of this film: Show the under estimated classification of women and how they are treated in this world and perceived. This documentary explores a different aspect of society through the mistreatment of women in America.
This film is all about how women are misrepresented in the American society. Women are portrayed as needing to be very skinny and looking like dolls almost and the sexuality of their roles in society are to be seductive. The attire that today is young women wear is seductive and cause teenage girls to be perceived as too fat or too skinny. If they are too skinny, people jump to the conclusion that they have an eating disorder. The second concept is centered on gender when women feel that they need to change themselves in order to attract the opposite sex. Women feel that they need to be feminine in order to be classified as the female sex and that reduces their confidence and the freedom to be whoever they wish to be. The anthropological perspective of this movie was centered on the female figure and how in today’s society, girls will be judged based on their figure and how they are presented to the males of this generation. Sexuality and gender were two key concepts that best describe the documentary in a small summary.
From a personal perspective, this film opened my eyes to all the different aspects of society that I have not thought of being degrading. For instance, the movies classify women as the damsel in distress and rarely, the protagonist who wins the battle. Women are used in the media as a sex object and that just makes me furious in a lot of sense because as we get older and think about having families. What worries me the most is how my children would be treated and the judgments that they will get from being who they are and liking sports rather than putting makeup on. Models are a great example of falsification in the media, the photo shopping that goes into making a cover of a magazine is ridiculous and it gives the wrong message to little children and even young adults about the way their bodies should look. I really enjoyed this movie and all that it stood for, however, I wish it would not put so much blame on men but rather the concept of media because men are encouraged to change who they are for photos or for jobs a lot more than the population would suspect.
Director: Jed Riffe, Pamela Roberts;
Writers: Anne Makepeace;
Filmed in: California
The Cultural Influence: this is a documentary unlike any other with the exploration of a lost Indian tribe in California 20 years later with one lone survivor.
Chiefdom is in power in this film with the structure of the tribe and the representation of power and succession as the years continue. In the cultural schema of things the expression of culture for the Yahi is in things and not in actions. Ishi fought to stay alive and expressed his spiritual values through his actions and the ways in which he honors the people that he has lost along the way. The one night that they went back to Ishi's home, he had a spiritual meeting with the spirits of his lost tribe and through that meeting, he was pure in a sense and he was able to continue believing that his people are free now and safe. Another key topic from the anthropological perspective is cultural adaptation, in order for Ishi to adjust to modern day society, he started to observe and explore the different aspects that Americans have such as the way citizens dress and the proper time to change and where.
The spiritual aspects of Ishi's life continued on into the hunting of food for the Yahi. Kroeber and his colleagues learned a lot about the process of making the kill holy and cleansed. Ishi taught the men that you have to go through a process in the correct way in order to make the kill acceptable to the spirits and able to eat. In order for the men to kill their prey, one of the scientists need to stop smoking and sure enough once the air was clear and the animal could not suspect human life being near, they were able to capture the animal and cleanse it and eventually eat it. The entire outlook on life reflects on the spirits and at the end of their human life, they travel down south for entrance to the other world. The communication barriers allowed for a continue cultural adaptation considering that Ishi was the last Yahi and the wild language was only spoken by his tribe.
In my personal perspective, this video was very intriguing and had a lot of different cultural aspects tied into the life of Ishi. I found it very intriguing that the hunting of Indians was legal and even profitable, the fact that one person can hunt another for profit just makes my skin crawl. Ishi had suffered so much and yet he continues to be strong and fight to survive in this new world for him. Ishi even wanted a bride and one that was shocking for most that he would want to marry Lily Lamia who was the eye candy for most men at this time. Kroeber took great care of Ishi and the way he respected him was honorable but I could not imagine asking Ishi to recall such a tragic time when he lost all of his Yahi village and culture because of competitive cultural differences. There were a lot of spiritual aspects in Ishi's culture for instance when his sister was calling him from the next life and that was very interesting with his hope that they would all move on and they did through his discussion at night with them. One thing stuck with me more than any other and I wanted to cite it, "Ishi was the teacher, scientist were the novices" when Ishi and Kroeber and a few other men went back to Ishi's village, Ishi taught them all about their methods and how they lived day by day and the scientists were the ones learning from his lifestyle.