Anthropology and what we can learn from the study of other cultures.

Essay by sarzlwUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2003

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During this Anthropology subject we are made aware of global problems including poverty,

racism, and environmental destruction. There is a focus on the system of capitalism and the way the

ideal and practices of capitalism, consumerism and globalisation affect the aforementioned issues. The

lectures and readings have introduced ideas and different ways of thinking to people, including myself,

who may never have come across them before or who previously felt confused when confronted with

complex concepts. In this essay I will focus on the way the information I gained during the lectures and

through the readings and class discussion impacted on my thinking on global problems and the way the

subject changed my way of thinking in general.

My feelings about ethnicity and racism have been supported by the subject materials. The

simple fact that there are greater differences amongst one group or race of people than between

separate groups proves to me that discrimination based on racial reasons has no scientific basis

(Eriksen, 1993).

I do not know a way to eradicate racism when new generations of children are taught

by their parents to carry on their racist ideals. I think the only thing that may help is trying to get these

people to understand that different racial groups to themselves are not inferior or primitive when

compared to others. I think the anthropological practice of de-centring oneself and trying not to have

ethnocentric views about other cultures helps us to understand others and appreciate any differences. I

realise the ways that racism can arise in situations where people are resisting change or want the best

for themselves and feel threatened by a whole group of other people. The Serbians and the Croatians,

for instance, maintain a tense relationship because they live in close contact and each thinks...