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In the Final Research Paper, you will examine your own culture
from an etic (outsider’s) perspective and another culture from an
emic (insider’s) perspective to demonstrate your understanding of
cultural relativism and examine misconceptions and ethnocentric
beliefs concerning each of these cultures. Keep the distinction
between cultural relativism and moral relativism in mind as you
write your final paper. Even if you do not personally agree with a
cultural practice, demonstrate your understanding of the practice
in its cultural context. Avoid opinionated or judgmental language
in your paper.
Cultural relativism is the idea that the beliefs and practices
of a culture should be understood within the context of that
particular culture’s background, history, and current events
surrounding it. We should not ethnocentrically impose our own
beliefs and opinions, which are products of our own
enculturation.
Cultural relativism is not the same as moral relativism,
however. As Crapo (2013) notes
We need not, for instance, come to value infanticide in order to
understand the roles it may play in peoples’ lives in a society
where it is customary. What cultural relativism requires of us is
simply that we do not confuse our own feelings about such a custom
with understanding it. To do the latter, we must investigate the
meanings the custom has for those who practice it and the functions
it may fulfill in their society. (section 1.4, “Cultural
Differences: Cultural Relativism,” para. 3)
Keep the distinction between cultural relativism and moral
relativism in mind as you write your Final Research Paper. Even if
you do not personally agree with a cultural practice, demonstrate
your understanding of the practice in its cultural context. Avoid
opinionated or judgmental language in your paper.
Your Final Research Paper will consist of two main parts, framed
by an Introduction and a Conclusion. See the Final Paper Flow Chart
for a quick overview of the assignment. See the following
instructions for information on each part of the paper.
Introduction
Begin with an introductory paragraph that has a thesis statement
at the end. The introduction should set up your topic, giving a
preview and summary of the analysis you will present in the body of
the paper. The thesis statement is the last sentence or two of the
introduction and states what the main point structuring your paper
will be.
Here is an Example of an Introduction.
Part I
Using the article by Miner (1956) and the feedback you received
from your instructor on your worksheet in Week Three, describe one
aspect of your own culture from an etic perspective. See the
appropriate Sections in the Textbook in the List of Topics, based
on your chosen topic from Week Three, for information on how to
approach your paper from an anthropological perspective. You can
describe American culture in general, as Miner does, or you can
describe an American subculture, such as a specific geographical
group (e.g., New Yorkers), a particular ethnicity (e.g., African
Americans), or an age-related category of Americans (e.g.,
millennials).
Use reputable statistics and/or scholarly research to support
any factual statements. Do not rely solely on personal experience
or opinion.
Here is an Example of Part I.
Part II
Refer to the article you chose for Part II of the worksheet
assignment in Week Three and describe an aspect of another culture
from an emic (insider’s) perspective. You do not have to do
research beyond reading your chosen article; however, if you do
choose to conduct additional research make sure to use reputable
statistics and/or scholarly sources to support any factual
statements. Do not rely upon personal experience or opinion.
Here is an Example of Part II.
Conclusion
End with a concluding paragraph that reinforces your thesis.
Summarize and tie together your main points for the reader. Provide
a brief self-reflexive analysis of what you learned while writing
this paper.
Here is an Example of Conclusion.
The Final Research Paper
Must be five to six double-spaced pages in length (excluding
title page and references page, meaning it will be seven to eight
pages total), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in
the Ashford Writing Center (see the APA Essay Checklist for
Students). Must include a title page (see title page) with the
following: Title of paper Student’s name Course name and number
Instructor’s name Date submitted Must begin with an introductory
paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. Must have
well-structured body paragraphs with clear transitions from one
topic to the next. Incorporate in-text citations (see In-Text
Citation Guide) from your scholarly sources to support your
analysis throughout the paper. Must describe an aspect of your own
culture from an etic perspective for Part I. Must describe an
aspect of another culture from an emic perspective for Part II.
Must demonstrate a perspective of cultural relativism throughout,
avoiding judgmental and opinionated language. Must end with a
conclusion that that reinforces the thesis and provides a
self-reflexive analysis. Must use at least one scholarly resource
in addition to the textbook, the Miner article, and the article
chosen from the list in Part II of the Week Three assignment. Must
document all sources in APA style in the body of the paper and on
the references page as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must
include a separate References Page that is formatted according to
APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Here is an
Example of a References Page.
As apart of my final research paper, you also need to review the
Week 3 Assignment as stated in the instructions above. Week 3
Assignment Worksheet:
Please review this assignment tutorial for help filling out this
worksheet.
1) Select one aspect of culture from the list. Once you’ve made
your selection, please delete all other options. Education
Healthcare Gender Rites of passage Religion Politics Business
2) Select a source to use for Part I of the paper. You will be
using your textbook and the article by Miner for this part of the
paper, but for this worksheet, include the source you found through
your own research. Review the tutorial on Evaluating sources and
enter your reference in the space below. Reference entry in APA
format:
3) Include the reference for Part II that corresponds to the
topic you’ve chosen. Copy and paste the reference entry from the
table (e.g., if you chose Education, you would use the article by
Jonsson for Part II).
4) Summarize the main points from each of your sources. See this
guide for help with summarizing your sources. Summary of your
source for Part I (include one to two paragraphs, totaling at least
300 words). Enter your summary in the space below.
Summary of your source for Part II (include one to two
paragraphs, totaling at least 300 words). Enter your summary in the
space below.
5) Write a working thesis statement based on your sources. See
this example. Working Thesis Statement:
Final Paper Requirements (Click links below) Introduction The
introduction should be one paragraph. Explain the scope of your
paper and set up the topics you will cover. Everything covered in
your paper should relate back to the introduction and thesis
statement. Draw from what you learned while identifying thesis
statements in the Week Two Locating Scholarly Resources assignment
to help you craft your own thesis statement. Review your
instructor’s feedback on your thesis statement from your Week Three
Summarize Your Sources for the Final Research Paper assignment.
View Accessing Feedback in the Gradebook to see how to reviewing
your instructor’s feedback. See resources from the Ashford Writing
Center on Moving from Prompt to Thesis–How to Turn a Prompt Into a
Thesis and Introductions and Conclusions. Part I This section
should be two- to two-and-a-half pages long. Use what you learned
in the “Locating Scholarly Sources” assignment from Week Two to
find your source in the Ashford University Library. Weight your
discussion evenly between Parts I and II. Do not let one discussion
overshadow the other. Demonstrate a culturally relativistic
perspective throughout this section. Do not use opinionated or
judgmental language. Use the article by Miner to guide your own
description. How would an anthropologist describe the topic you’ve
chosen? Use reliable sources to support your analysis. Review the
Evaluating Scholarly Sources tutorial from the Ashford Library.
Review the in-text citation every time you include information you
learned from one of your sources. Part II This section should be
two to two and a half pages in length. Use what you learned in the
“Locating Scholarly Sources” assignment from Week Two to find your
source in the Ashford University Library. Weight your discussion
evenly between Parts I and II. Do not let one discussion overshadow
the other. Demonstrate a culturally relativistic perspective
throughout this section. Do not use opinionated or judgmental
language. Use the article you have chosen to guide your own
description. How would an anthropologist describe the topic you
have chosen? Include an in-text citation every time you include
information you learned from one of your sources. Conclusion Review
Introductions and Conclusions. Your conclusion should be one
paragraph. The conclusion should relate back to your introduction
and thesis statement. Reiterate what you have covered in the paper.
Incorporate some of your self-reflexive analysis from the
“Self-Reflexive Journal” entry you created in Week Four.

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