Courtney Frank andAlexandra HernandezBuried Cities and LostTreasures – New WorldAdams-Theis22, November 2017Exam 21) Define the following terms from cultural materialism:mode of production, the 4 major modes of production, base and superstructure.
Now, use a cultural materialist analysis to analyze a cultural change withinyour lifetime.The phrase “mode ofproduction” comes from cultural materialism, and the term refers to the variousways humans collectively produce means of subsistence to survive and enhancesocial being. The four major modes of production are the following; communism,feudalism, capitalism, and socialism. In communism, popular among small huntingand gathering tribes, food, jobs, and belongings are shared among the people.Nobody owns the land, and nobody is exploited for labor. In communistsocieties, people work together towards a common or shared goal. In feudalism,large agricultural units are owned by landlords who force peasants to pay rentthrough labor, produce or fiscal tributes. In exchange, peasants can invest insmall individual landholdings and access forests and pastures.
Capitalismrefers to the systems of organizing production and distribution in capitalistsocieties. Capitalism is characterized by; the private ownership of productionmeans, the extraction of profit and being market-based. In socialism,production is coordinated through economic planning and the distribution ofeconomic output. Social relations are characterized by the working class havingcomplete ownership of the means of production and livelihood.According to the Marxisttheory, human society is composed of the base and the superstructure. The baseconsists of the relations and the means of production, people enter both toproduce life’s necessities. Determining society’s other relationships andideas, the base shapes the superstructure. As an ideology composed ofeverything indirectly related to production, the superstructure consists of;medicine, religion, culture, politics, family, and education.
With itscomponents, the superstructure helps maintain the base of society.Since my birth in 1999,one major cultural change has been media entertainment. In the late 1990s andearly 2000s, people used cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs to listen tomusic and watch television shows and movies. In the modern era, people usestreaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and YouTube Redto access entertainment media. Media streaming services make it easier forpeople to access a large variety of entertainment media for a relatively cheapprice. Unlike VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs, television shows, movies and musicaccessed through streaming services do not take up physical space.2) Describe the threeways cultures change.
Use an original example to elucidate ONE of the wayscultures change. Remember, your job in your essay is to convince me yourexample exemplifies one of the three concepts of cultural change.Cultures change through;assimilation, syncretism, and domination. Cultural assimilation is the processby which a person’s or a group’s culture and/or language comes to resemble the cultureand/or language of another group.
Immigrants or native residents are oftenculturally dominated by another society. According to the “melting pot theory,”an ethnic minority will typically sacrifice its original culture to integrateinto society. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society becomeindistinguishable from members of other groups.
Syncretism is theprocess by which two or more independent cultural systems or elements areblended together to form a new and distinct system. Syncretism is the fusion ofdiffering systems of belief, practice, art, architecture and/or culture,syncretism is the accommodation of one belief system within another. As one ofthe most important factors in the evolution of culture, syncretism is most notablein the evolution of religion.Domination is theprocess by which a more powerful culture is promoted over and eventuallyovertakes a lesser known or less desirable culture. The dominating culture isusually more powerful economically and militarily than the dominated culture.Rulers or entire civilizations use overreaching philosophies or religiousbeliefs to focus their power and ensure conformity among their subjects. Forexample, the indigenous culture of Native Americans has been dominated by the “Anglo”culture in the United States.
Though seen as part of their own tribe’s culture,Native Americans simultaneously take part in the dominant culture of the UnitedStates.3) How is theintangible system of sex and sexuality historical? In your answer, compare andcontrast Ancient Pompeiian systems of gender and sexuality with ourcontemporary system in the United States.In chapter 6 of thebook, “Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory,” “Studyingthe Intangible,” Brian M.
Fagan compares sexuality in the past with sexualityin the modern world. The intangible system of sex and sexuality is historicalas throughout history, though norms have changed, the roles sex and sexualityplay in society have not changed.When comparing Ancient Pompeiiansystems of gender and sexuality with our contemporary system in the UnitedStates, one can identify many similarities between the two systems.
Likeancient Pompeii, in the United States, female sexuality is encouraged withinthe confines of marriage. Prostitution remains one of the few money-makingcareers available to those of lower economic classes. Additionally, people inlower economic classes were and still are sexually exploited and abused by therich and powerful.
Young women are illegally sold as sex slaves and on average,female prostitutes make more money than male prostitutes.Evidence of romanticrelationships between those of the same gender is present in the ruins ofancient Pompeii and our contemporary system of gender and sexuality in theUnited States. Scholars like Michel Foucault argue that labels for romanticrelationships between members of the same-sex did not exist previously, rathersame-sex relationships were part of the culture and the labeling of these”different” relationships is a result of human nature. As humans, we seek toidentify unique characteristics of ourselves to explain why the group of peoplewe belong to is superior to other groups.Throughout history,female sexuality has been encouraged within the confines of marriage and peoplehave engaged in sexual relations with those of the same and opposite gender.Though times have changed, prostitution and other forms of exploiting womenremain some of the highest money-making careers available for those of lower socioeconomicstatus and, on average, female prostitutes make more money than their malecounterparts.4) Describestructure, anti-structure, and the relationship between the two.
What’s therisk to social structure without the presence of anti-structure? Providean original example of this relationship (and remember to convince me yourexample is structure-anti-structure)Structure promotes theidea of human actions being guided by beliefs and symbolic concepts, andsymbolic concepts being supported by ways of thinking about the world. Astructure is a domestic and political system causally conditioned byinfrastructure. Structure verifies all institutions, relationships, roles andnorms constituting a society serve a purpose. The structure is synonymous witha hierarchy, order, authority, and different forms of organizing human society.In structure, there are limited interactions between individuals, there isheavy emphasis on individual goals and differences, people have the tendency tofocus on themselves and secular, profane and commercial experiences are common.Anti-structure is aliminal and existential revolt against structure, anti-structure is thesanctioned adoption of behaviors originally considered to radically violatesocial norms. Philosophical anthropologist Victor Turner attributes thecontribution of structural functionalism to the rights of passage and thelimitations of rituals. Collaborative interactions, shared goals, attenuateddifferences and sacred, detached and authentic experiences are common.
Anti-structure argues there are formal rituals governing people’s behaviorinside and outside of everyday life and leisure is the ritual designed to takepeople outside everyday life. The concepts of liminality and communitas areinvolved in the process of taking people outside everyday life. Liminality is atransitional stage from the every day to outside the every day. In liminality,a purer form of play exists because the stage is free of societal norms andstructures. Communitas is a temporary sense of social fellowship.The concept ofcommunitas is present in structure and anti-structure.
Turner characterizes”communitas” as an absolute inter-human relation beyond any form of structure.The drama of everyday life affects social change and without the presence ofanti-structure, the existing social structure would invite new possibilities.For example, if people from lower classes are given the opportunity to advancetheir socioeconomic status, they would not know their defined societal roles.5) Describe Gramsci’sidea of hegemony and counter-hegemony and the relationship between the twoterms. Provide an original example of how hegemony helps to maintain socialranking systems (describe the social ranking system and then analyze thatsystem using hegemony).According to Italianpolitician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci, intellectuals create hegemony andcounter-hegemony. Hegemony occurs when one state has predominant political,economic or military influence over another state.
Hegemony is a form of socialcontrol and a means of symbolic coercion, stabilizing when the majority of agroup adopts the dominant ideology. Cultural hegemony refers to dominationachieved through ideological and cultural means. Cultural hegemony is moststrongly manifested when people ruled by a dominant group come to believe theeconomic and social conditions of their society are natural and inevitable.The term”counter-hegemony” refers to attempts to critique or dismantle hegemonic power.Confrontation and/or opposition to the existing status quo and its legitimacyhas been observed in; politics, history, media, and music. Unlike hegemony, incounter-hegemony people resist influence and control over a state, choosing totake part in traditional practices instead.Social ranking, orsocial stratification, is a social hierarchy where distinctions are made amongindividuals, communities, and other units of society.
In social stratification,people are perceived as being different and superior or inferior. Typically,the higher one is ranked, the greater their power.As a form of control,hegemony promotes definitions of reality and views of the world expressed bythose in the dominant class. When successful, the promotion of definitions andviews held by those higher classes establishes their views as common senseamong all classes. In the United States, hegemony helps maintain social rankingsystems through tax laws. The wealthy have the most influence politically andeconomically as they have the resources to bribe government officials to modifyexisting and create new policies favoring those of the upper class. Extra CreditWatch the documentary”We Were Here” (Weissman and Weber 2011).
This documentary addresses the AIDScrisis of the 1970s and 1980s. Using one of your theoretical tools (structureand antistructure; cultural materialism; hegemony and counter-hegemony;structural functionalism) provide an analysis of the ways HIV/AIDS affectedchange in American culture.In the 2011 Netflixdocumentary, “We Were Here,” directors David Weissman and Bill Weber addressthe AIDS crisis of the 1970s and 1980s through the voices of four homosexualmen and a woman. The San Francisco-based story illuminates the profoundpersonal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic and the broadpolitical and social upheavals the crisis unleashed.
Prior to the AIDScrisis, people in the Castro area of San Francisco experienced sexual freedomand experimentation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic influenced hegemony in Americanculture, specifically, the crisis reclassified sexual activity between membersof the same sex as “dangerous.” Images of people affected by the disease weredispersed with warnings attached. After reading “gay disease” propaganda, onecan be led to believe voluntarily engaging in counter-hegemonic sexualrelationships (non-heterosexual) will result in consequence. As a result,members of the LGBTQ community experienced uncertainty, fear, blame, and flight.
Today, HIV/AIDS in theUnited States primarily affects racial and ethnic minorities in the LGBTQcommunity. People in the LGBTQ community continue to experience homophobia,lack of access to health care and high poverty and unemployment rates becauseof their engagement in counter-hegemonic relationships. Political, financial,and social barriers continue to keep the most effective prevention andtreatment strategies from reaching people with the highest risk of exposure,minorities and homosexuals. Works Cited Fagan / University ofCalifornia, Brian M. “Chapter 5 / Individuals and Interactions.” Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, 5th ed.
, PearsonEducation, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2011,pp. 128-148.Fagan / University ofCalifornia, Brian M. “Chapter 6 / Studying the Intangible.” Ancient Lives:An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, 5th ed.
, PearsonEducation, UpperSaddle River, NJ, 2011, pp. 149-176.Fagan / University ofCalifornia, Brian M. “Chapter 7 / Explaining the Past.” Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, 5th ed., PearsonEducation, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2011, pp. 177-202.