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Anthropology

Running head: SHAPESHIFTING THROUGH ANTROPOLOGY
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SHAPESHIFTING THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGY
Before this course, I did not know that race is perceived by anthropologists as a tool that
set the human population apart. Race was developed by western Europeans through their global
expansion in acquiring colonies in different continents such as Africa, Asia, Americas and the
Pacific (Guest, 2013). It was then that the Europeans created institutionalized hierarchies that
were based on races, cultures and religions. This had the implication of making members of a
particular race feel different from another race (Guest, 2013). In cases where one race felt
superior to another race, there emanated social and political strife that set one race against the
other. Among the race of the European descent, race and ethnicity was based on the civilization
capacity, intelligence differences and attractiveness that existed between members of a certain
race or ethnic group (Guest, 2013).
In the modern world, racism and ethnicity has resulted to political conquests with
outlooks that signify divisions that exist between different races, enslavement among the races
perceived to be weak, economic strife and political domination of races that seem to be
advantaged by the ideas advanced by the race and the ethnicity in which they come from (Guest,
2013). In the U.S. for example, racism and ethnicity has consistently shaped the country’s culture
and also contributed to how social, economic and political agenda are run. Notably though, there
has been calls to resist from racism because it leads to harmful effects to the race that feels
discriminated on the basis of its race (Guest, 2013).
Regarding gender and sexuality, before the course, I was not informed that sex and
gender is distinguished on two bases. Sexuality is described as the physical differences that can
be observed between a male and a female; based on the differences of their human reproduction.
On the other hand, gender refers to the expected behavior and thoughts that different cultures
place on different sexes of people (Guest, 2013). From the study done in the past, anthropologists
SHAPESHIFTING THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGY
have evaluated the performance of each gender and drawn certain conclusion from it (Guest,
2013). For example, the masculine gender is perceived to be aggressive, sport oriented, physical,
strong and unemotional. On the other hand, the feminine gender is regarded as talkative, loving,
kind, gentle and more emotional. Anthropologists suggest that if people viewed gender and
sexuality based on the performance of each gender and sexuality, that would enable a more broad
thinking of the characteristics that exists in both sexes (Dallemagne et al., 2015).
Anthropologists have explored how both genders relate and their goals in regard to
power. Findings show that both sexes and gender unite for a good course to eradicate some of the
social inequalities such as lowering down poverty levels, children mortality and combating
diseases such as HIV/AIDS. This I did not know before the course. Culturally, sexuality is seen
as the basis upon which the feminine and the masculine gender express their sexual desires and
behaviors towards each other (Dallemagne et al., 2015).
However, in the modern society, sexuality perspectives have changed. There are
different people who say that they are of separate sexual orientation. This has seen gay groups
and lesbians groups being accepted and accommodated as a facet of the wider sexuality
especially in the developed world (Dallemagne et al., 2015).
In the political organizations and economics, this course informed me of two facts. The
first lesson is that communities engage in economic activities that are in line with the resources
they are greatly endowed with and hence make the best out of those resources (Dallemagne et al.,
2015). For example, communities with rich soils specialize in farming while those enriched with
natural resources such as oil engage in export of the resource. Political organizations are formed
based on the community’s social status. In this case, people’s support of these organizations is
SHAPESHIFTING THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGY
usually based on the ideas advanced by the officials in charge and also those seeking elective
posts (Dallemagne et al., 2015).
Anthropologists define religion as the divine persuasion that people subscribe to. This
course has enabled me learn that people should embrace different religions because through
them, we find the harmony to exist together (Dallemagne et al., 2015). Also, health institutions
ensure that peoples lineage groups that are embedded in their social affiliations are replicated in
the future generations. This is done through proper medical facilities accessed by the members of
the society (Dallemagne et al., 2015).
SHAPESHIFTING THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGY
References
Kenneth J. Guest, D. and Piot, C. (2013). A journal of cultural Anthropology:
Introduction to essentials of Cultural Anthropology. Cultural Anthropology,
31(2), pp.159-161.
Dallemagne, G., del Arco, V., Montoya, A. and Pérez, M. (2015). The Value of Open
Access in Anthropology and Beyond. Anthropology in Action, 22(2).

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