Module Overview
Topic Overview and Objectives
This module gives you an opportunity to integrate your learning and demonstrate your achievement of the course objectives:
1. describe the different forms of family that exist in the world, particularly non-western forms of family, and including same-sex marriages/families.
2. analyze Eurocentric perspectives in thinking about how families and relatedness are defined and experienced.
3. explain the ways in which cultural and social institutions such as gender ideology, definitions of relatedness, economics, political organization, and technology shape the structures and different experiences of families, thereby developing a better understanding of family as it is embedded within culture.
4. apply anthropological analysis (holistic cross-cultural comparisons) to discover new ways to look at concepts of family.
To this end, you will engage in comparative cross-cultural analysis by comparing and contrasting a non-western culture’s kinship and family traditions and customs with those of the US.
Ethnographies to read:
Iris Lopez. Matter of Choice: Puerto Rican Women’s struggle for Reproductive Freedom. (2008). Rutgers University Press
APA Citation
Lopez, I. (20081210). Matters of Choice. [[VitalSource Bookshelf version]]. Retrieved from vbk://9780813546247
This is a 2-part assignment. Discussion post is one paper (150-250) words, and the Written assignment is the second paper (1250-1750 words. Only the Written assignment needs a running head.
Discussion Post
Please post a synopsis of the ethnography you have chosen to read and analyze. Discuss how you might approach the comparative part of the final project/book review as well. Use this discussion area as a forum to help each other with developing the final project, and to share what you have learned about other cultures from the selected ethnography, the course readings, and your observations about family and kinship in the US.
Initial posting of 150-250 words
Refer specifically to the below assigned reading.
Iris Lopez. Matter of Choice: Puerto Rican Women’s struggle for Reproductive Freedom. (2008). Rutgers University Press
APA Citation
Lopez, I. (20081210). Matters of Choice. [[VitalSource Bookshelf version]]. Retrieved from vbk://9780813546247
Written Assignment
Written Assignment: Ethnography Review Essay
NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SUMMARY OF THE BOOK but is a critical analysis of the book’s contribution to the study of anthropology. It is essential that you connect this book to the course concepts, readings, and materials.
What is an Ethnography?
An ethnography is a book written by anthropologists based on their field work. Ethnographies are not fictional novels. Anthropologist’s research particular aspects of a culture or population group through long-term field work (that is, living within that culture and closely observing the behavior, values, characteristics of that population), with the purpose of explaining something significant about the human condition in their written work. Key information and details about the author’s research questions and methods are usually found in the book’s introduction, so pay particular attention when reading the introductory chapter. Also carefully read the final chapter or conclusion. Here, the anthropologist tells you what they learned and why it is significant.
Traditionally many ethnographies follow a certain pattern in their organization. The geographic location of the culture to be studied is described, followed by a section that details the principal focus of the author’s work. The main topic of most ethnographies generally relates to theoretical issues in anthropology, and the objective of the anthropologist is to add to anthropological theory, thus contributing to the development of the discipline. Following the discussion of theoretical issues, the author typically describes how the research was conducted, including field work conditions and information (data collected). The next part of an ethnography takes the reader into the empirical data that was collected, based on extensive participant observation, interviewing, and other research methodologies. These data are typically organized into logical and interconnected categories. Following this “thick” ethnographic description, the ethnographer analyzes their data and draws conclusions that they feels are supported by the data.
Helpful Resource:
• Ethnography
This assignment has two components:
1. You should analyze the role of women and men in families in the culture you read about in your chosen ethnography. In this analysis you may include a discussion of topics such as: economic/labor role, parenthood, child-rearing, marriage/divorce practices, reproductive issues, sexuality, family/kinship structure, household composition, or other topics that may be relevant in the book you read. The set of issues you discuss may vary depending on the book/culture you selected. In your essay you should make connections between the Stone’s Kinship and Gender book (and/or other course materials) and your selected ethnography. This first section should be the majority of your essay (about 1000 words).
2. You will do a bit of comparative analysis. Given what you have learned about families in the book you selected, choose one or two topics to compare with practices in US culture. So, in this second part of the paper (approx. 2 pages or 500 words) you will be comparing US culture in general or your personal experience or perspective on US culture to the culture you read about. Try to focus on discussing some of the underlying cultural values that shape these practices in the US, not just a description of the differences/similarities between US and the other culture.
The total length of this essay should be 1250-1750 words (about 5-7 double spaced pages, 12 pt font). APA Format

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