Topic: Midterm Test

Preparation Questions for the Term Test – Units 1-6: Be sure to incorporate material from your course notes and all your textbooks. Include examples FROM THE READINGS and video material, if applicable. Six questions from this list will comprise the term test. You will have to answer FOUR of them. Each answer must be in paragraph form and be equal in length to at least two typed double-spaced pages, font size 12. NOTE: Please do not worry about using essay style format. Just get the information down. Good grammar and spelling are expected. All answers must have references cited including textbooks and prescribed internet sites and course videos – the author’s name in the body will suffice. Any unsolicited information from the internet will result in a grade of zero for the answer.

1. ‘Because fieldworkers are members of a society as well as being researchers, it is impossible for them to be objective and value-free in conducting their research.’ Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Assess this view. Include a discussion of articles from Unit One in Spradley & McCurdy and from the Haviland text.

2. Try the Hidden bias test. How did you do?

3.Have you ever had an experience that made you aware of profound cultural differences between yourself and someone else? How did you react (e.g. discomfort, stress, fear)? How did any other parties react? How did you attempt to overcome the cultural differences? How did this experience challenge your assumptions about the world around you? Compare your discussion to Lee’s article ‘Eating Christmas in the Kalahari’ and Bohannan’s article ‘Shakespeare in the Bush’.

4. Since culture is an integrated system, to what degree do the subsistence patterns that groups follow influence other aspects of their culture, from community size and permanence of settlements to marriage customs and kinship?

5. Click on the following interactive map.

Click on Add Layer to the right. Then under Categories, click on Culture. Click on Language Diversity. At the bottom, click “on our site”. Discuss the homogeneity and heterogeneity of cultures indicated on the map, and relate these to the class lecture on High context and Low context cultures.

6. How have the demands of the world market negatively impacted ‘third world’ countries? Include discussions on Jack Weatherford’s article ‘Cocaine and the Economic Deterioration of Bolivia’ and Sonia Patten’s article ‘Malawi versus the World Bank’.

7. Jared Diamond refers to the people of New Guinea as “among the world’s most culturally diverse and adaptable people in the world”, yet they have much less than modern Americans. Diamond has developed a theory about what has caused these huge discrepancies among different countries, and he says it boils down to geographic luck. Give several examples from the film to support Diamond’s theory.


Haviland, William A., Fedorak, Shirley A., and Lee, Richard B. Cultural Anthropology Nelson Publishing 4th ed.

Spradley, James and McCurdy, David W. Conformity and Conflict Readings in Cultural Anthropology Prentice Hall 14th ed.