Total word count: 550
Choose THREE of the following and answer each question in 1-2 paragraphs. Cite readings and films.
Chapter 9a: In 2004, the American Anthropological Association (AAA)—the largest association of anthropologists in the United States—issued a statement regarding same-sex marriages and what was then a contentious piece of legislation, the Defense of Marriage Act. What position did the AAA take on same-sex marriages? Did the AAA have research data to substantiate its position? Do you think that professional associations such as the AAA should make formal position statements about issues that are part of a “culture clash”? Why or why not?
Chapter 9b: Arranged marriages that are orchestrated by the families of the bride and groom are common in many cultural groups in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Although arranged marriage is not the primary form of marriage in the United States, it does exist. Anthropologists would argue that arranged marriages actually do occur more frequently when marriages that are arranged in subtle and implicit ways are considered. What are three examples of subtle, arranged marriages that occur in the United States that may not necessarily be overtly called “arranged marriages”? Why do you think these types of marriages occur? How do these types of marriage compare to companionate marriages?
Chapter 10: The concept of the American Dream emphasizes and promotes the notions of meritocracy and social mobility as central to both national identity and the experiences of U.S. citizens. These notions assume that all citizens have equal opportunity for upward social mobility regardless of current class position. What is meritocracy, and how does it relate to social mobility? Are both concepts experienced equally by U.S. citizens today regardless of class position? What are three examples of how class can affect individuals’ experiences with meritocracy and social mobility? Given what you have read in the chapter on class and inequality, do you believe the American Dream is equally attainable to all U.S. citizens? Why or why not? Do you think the American Dream will become more equally attainable in the future? Why or why not?
Chapter 11: Where and when did the Triangle Trade network occur? What were the principal commodities traded in this exchange network? Describe how commodities and people were circulated through this trade network and some of the consequences for the societies involved in the trade.