J. Rojo – Week 7 – Final Reflections

Throughout this course, I learned a lot about cultural anthropology that I wouldn’t of known in the past. I had plenty of favorite weeks of material that we learned that shaped my views on certain things. I will be comparing three weeks for my final reflection. Week 2 (Systems of Difference), week 3 (Meaning Making), and week 6 (Globalization and the Interconnected World), had a lot of similarities that interconnected. These weeks connect in certain ways but also explain why there are differences based on the structure and culture of their systems.

In week 2, it focused a lot on race. In the Race and Human Diversity lecture, it talked about how people address race based on their psychical appearance first. This is greatly how people define someone for their race. However, this is greatly known across all cultures. These deal with genetic variations. I can relate to this because I can view someone based on their color of their skin and assume one race, but might be a different race. The same happens to me. I am Mexican but people tend to assume that I am Middle Eastern based on my features. Racial categorization is more relatable than known. This also connects with skin color and body shape.

During week 3, it focused a lot on language and religion. Rituals all around the world have been known to be different but in the Rituals: Sacred and Secular lecture, it mentioned how they are in ways similar. Arnold Van Gennep expressed how there are three stages for rituals. Separation expresses how someone might move something based on time.  As expressed in the lecture, holidays are known to be a separation example because every time a new season or holiday emerges, things around you change as well. Your house may be decorated differently accordingly to the holiday, or your local stores may have changed due to this as well. The next stage is limitation which expresses when something happens that is out of the ordinary and it transforms you. This could be like changing your own appearance. Lastly, there is reintegration. This is where you come back into the ordinary time and place.  It made me realize that I do relate to these stages and go through them even if I may believe in different things than others.

Lastly, week 6 relates to these other weeks based on how people continue to move on and evolve in the world. From the lecture of People on the Move, people are moving based on global connections. Employment, violence, and more are factors that make people want to immigrant to other countries. This relates to how people immigrate to the United States. Both male and female move in order to give a better life for their families.

All of these examples from the three weeks express similarities. I learned a lot from these lectures and realized that all cultures have a lot more in common even if the language or physical appearance may not be the same.


2 thoughts on “J. Rojo – Week 7 – Final Reflections

  1. I think you had a very thorough post. I think that it’s important to not assume a person’s race based solely on identity. I’m mistaken for being Middle Eastern, and Latino, and I’m actually Indian. It can be difficult to deal with racism in the sense that people may make comments about skin tone, hair, whether it’s textured or not, certain facial features such as a larger nose or lips, etc. Week 3 talked a lot about the meanings behind certain rituals and why they take place. I examined a traditional Indian wedding for my ritual, and it taught me a lot about my culture. In Week 6, we discussed the interconnectedness of the world and how people move from one part to another for a better life which is what makes our world so diverse.

  2. I really liked the tone of your post; it was quite objective and the post overall was very clear. You hit a lot of the high points that I also had in my post, like the struggles of race and how it’s so heavily dictated by physical appearance and outdated stereotypes (although stereotypes are inherently outdated, I think). It’s interesting that you brought up an example of yourself when it came to race and how you’re often perceived as a different ethnicity. Although I’m Indian, I’m largely mistaken as Middle Eastern or Arabic as well, just because I don’t fit the typical profile of a young female Indian, at least according to modern day society’s stipulations. I think it’s extremely important, especially the more we progress as a society, to shed these outmoded views of race and ethnicity. I’ve often found myself being prejudiced against while I was growing up in Dearborn, because there is a large Middle-Eastern population there, but I lived in a predominantly white part of town. Science has proven that biologically speaking, we’re all really the same, and I think that this course did a really good job of explaining that.

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