Throughout this course, we have learned how culture is a powerful tool that allows humans to adapt to their own unique environments. To better understand cultural diversity, comparisons between cultures are often used to explain the similarities and differences across societies. To demonstrate your understanding of the adaptive nature of culture, you will prepare a research paper that requires you to think about what people are doing, why they are doing what they do, and how these behaviors tie in with their environment.
In this paper, you will be comparing and contrasting one of the following topics in two cultures (other than your own), providing an analysis of the similarities and differences, and explaining why these differences might exist.
In your Partial Rough Draft, you selected a topic from the following list:
- Body art and ornamentation
- Child rearing practices
- Healthcare practices
- The use of music or dance as a form of political protest, or as a reflection of cultural issues, values and beliefs
- Educational practices
- Elderly care
- Body language and proxemics
- Rites of passage
- Conflict resolution
- Marriage practices
- Alternative gender roles
- An alternate topic that was approved by the instructor
For this assignment, you will expand your rough draft into a five- to seven-page research paper (excluding the title and reference pages) that contains the following components:
- A discussion of how two cultures (other than your own) approach the topic, including specific ethnographic examples. Be sure to choose two specific and contemporary (currently existing) cultures. Terms such as European, Asian, or African refer to continents, not cultures, and are not appropriate for this paper. Describe the culture briefly, including elements such as location, language, kinship, or other relevant information. This helps the reader understand the cultural context of your topic.
- A compare and contrast analysis how the two cultures approach the topic from a culturally relativistic perspective.
- A discussion on the cultural context of the topic and how it relates to symbolic systems such as religion, communication, or ritual. Here, you can use what you described in section A and discuss how it relates to your topic as it is found in the two cultures, which you discussed in section B.
Take extra care as you are writing this paper to ensure that you have given proper consideration to all of the notes that were provided to you by your instructor. You will also want to allow plenty of time to proofread the Final Research Paper and double check for formatting and the use of proper citations. If you are concerned about plagiarism, please utilize the “Plagiarism Flow Chart.”
Writing the Final Research Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be five to seven double-spaced pages in length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library.
- Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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