N. Ance – Week 7- Final Reflections

Throughout the last 7 weeks you can see slowly how all the topics are interconnected. Meaning making and structures of difference are seen globally and vary culture to culture.

In the second lecture, systems of difference, we learned how people have used “science” to create difference between people who were different than them. We watched Race: The Power of an Illusion from PBS and saw that people have stereotypes of different races, for instance in the video a runner thought that the black runners would beat him, and that people of different skin colors were way more genetically different than them. In reality race has nothing to do with genetics, but it is a culturally defined system to categorize people and often used to put others down.

In week five, we learned of systems of exchange, which can vary greatly from culture to culture. We learned of the Kula Ring. It was a system of exchange between many islands that exchanged different items in a continuous cycle, and the value of the exchange was in the story of the item. The meaning of the item gave it value, they made meaning from the items and transferred them around. It was very interesting concept to me because the value of the item was in what the story and meaning of it was, something I had never heard of before.

In week six, we can see structures of difference with how globalization has changed our world. Culture is freely able to move anywhere in the world now with new technology to talk to anyone, anywhere in the world. So something like baseball, a classic American game, can be seen anywhere in the world and played anywhere, you just need a stick and a ball. It has indeed traveled across the world and is played in many South American countries and in Japan. However, it is slightly different in other countries. For example, in Japan a game can end in a tie, something we do not do in America. It can be seen as a cultural difference, that they allow it in Japan, because we America we are very defined on having a winner or finding the best. Dishes can also be different, a traditional dish can be from Mexico, but brought to another country and be made with that countries ingredients to better fit their tastes, another form of difference.

3 thoughts on “N. Ance – Week 7- Final Reflections

  1. Race does have a part to do with genetics because if one race continually breeds with each other, then they will continue their genetic inheritance. Although, just because you are a certain race doesn’t mean you will receive the common genetics. You made a good point about how culture can now move freely around the world due to the increase of technology. The flaw to this is that only wealthy people can afford this technology. In undeveloped countries very few have the ability to use it. This creates a negative affect because other places only see one side to the culture. They may only see the wealthy life and this blocks out the lower class where sometimes there is more of the original culture. It is great that technology has the ability to bring us all closer together, but many times it is used by such a small number of a certain community that it doesn’t actually paint the picture of their real culture.

  2. I liked how your explanation of systems of differences could be seen across many of the lectures and films. I agree with you that race isn’t really based on genetics. Even though technically the color of your skin is indeed based on your genetic background, the ideas or concepts of race however, especially ones that says that one is particularly better than the other are not based at all on your genetic makeup. I also agree with your idea of what globalization is, and how different things such as food, music, and in this case sports cross borders with some relative ease. The only problem that with this is that it might overtake some of the traditions and customs that were once there in the country, much like what happened with the film “Life in Debt” Overall, your post was very well written and your opinions are supported with facts. I am glad I have had the pleasure of not only reading it, but also in learning the material with you as a fellow classmate.

  3. I enjoyed reading your post of your reflection. The part where you talk about week six. That culture is everywhere and it’s able to move freely. That every country make it their own like in the reading ( lecture 6.1, slide 11, 12) there example was sushi and how it’s become a cultural diffusion. Now if you travel from the United States of America to other countries around the world you will see Mcdonalds and starbucks, it’s like you never left America because of the food restaurants. Also you mentioned that a traditional dish brought from Mexico to another country and that country makes it different. For example, tacos were brought to America and now there is a fast food restaurant called Taco Bell. Also the PBS race: the power of an illusion part 1, that people just look at someone by stereotyping them like there skin color. The example from the video was black people are fast runners and running against white classmates. All this is just a stereotype we have set up, even if they’re not good it. That week 2 about kula ring was something you never heard of. These were good topics that you picked.

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