An anthropological perspective on the world focuses on some pertinent issues, which relate to aspects of culture in relation to various parts of the world. Through my exposure to an anthropological perspective on the world, there are several issues of concern that I have learnt. This paper focuses on what I have learnt from exposure to an anthropological perspective on the world. The paper explores examples from the class discussions and readings with the ultimate aim of presenting what an anthropological perspective of the world has taught me.
From the various readings and class discussions that I have taken part in, there are some concepts I have learnt that relate to an anthropological perspective of the world. One of the concepts that I have learnt include the concept of “The Body as Social Mirror.” Based on this approach, I have come to realize that anthropologists have taken part in studying collective identity and how it relates to the “self.” The definition of the self tends to be contingent, especially in relation to how other people can be conceptualized. Based on this concept also, anthropologists have studied both the collective and professional dualities, which relate to the “outside” and the “inside.” Further, it is worth noting that collective identity tends to be situational and contextual in nature. It is evident that personal body and social order tend to be presented in diverse ways, in different parts of the world (Weiss, 2000).
Among the Israeli culture, the handling of bodies is a representation of collective identity in the nation. There are dichotomies, which are created in relation to the various cultural and religious beliefs in the country. For example, there is a dichotomy that consists of the Jews and non-Jews, and it guides the handling of bodies. From the Jewish perspective, there tends to be some activities performed such as tissue burial, tattoo removal, as well as circumcision. There are also some dichotomies, which represent the differences between those who are soldiers and the non-soldiers. When soldiers die, their bodies are handled with a lot of respect and ceremonies have to be conducted. The Israeli culture forbids taking of body tissues from the soldiers, or even going to the skin bank of soldiers with the aim of harvesting skin. In the past, skin used to be harvested from Palestinians, as well as Israeli-Arabs (Weiss, 2000).
The other crucial aspect that I have learnt about includes rage and grief, and how the two relate to each other. Under these two concepts, the anthropological world seems to identify that anger is encouraged among those who may be facing grief. Anthropologically, it is expected that people who undergo grief should get angry and experience some periods of annoyance. In the American context, there is little emphasis on the rage that may emanate from losses, which may be devastating to an individual. The wisdom in the American cultures does not give society an opportunity to grief when they experience anger. The bereaved have an opportunity to talk about how aggrieved they feel when they lose their loved ones. Anger can be differentiated with regard to culture, as well as personal experiences regarding the issue of anger. The culture’s take on anger determines how an individual handles a situation of grief. Similarly, an individual’s perspective on anger and grief also influences how they confront situations of grief (Hastrup & Hervik, 2013).
Another concept that I have learnt from my anthropological perspective on the world includes the definition of death, especially in the field of anthropology. Anthropology provides the arena for the interpretation of ceremonies and rituals, which may be carried out upon death. Most anthropological studies equate death to rituals and relate it to the ceremonial activities, which may be conducted when a person dies. Anthropologists consider funeral ceremonies as rituals, which have to be conducted when a person dies. Death rituals are routine, and they have to be conducted when a person dies. Anthropologists value rituals since such ceremonies depict the respect accorded to a person, even in their death. Death leaves people in agony, and it may take some time for them to accept the loss of a loved one. Based on the anthropological argument, death is even more painful when a person dies at a young age. This is because most societies believe that a person should die after he or she has achieved some goals, targets, and dreams in life. In this regard, therefore, the death of infants and the youth is more agonizing than the death of old persons (Kondo, 2002).
From an anthropological perspective of the world, I have also gained knowledge about urbanization, as well as concepts that relate to urbanization such as neo-liberalism. There is a focus on the neo-liberal restricting that has taken place for the past one decade. There is also a focus on the urban governance evident in the urban centers of Istanbul. As a result of the urbanization, urban centers face the need for security since there are social ills associated with urban development. Ethnic tensions also arise due to an influx of people in cities and towns. Poverty is created through urbanization since there tends to be high populations of people in cities and towns. Some social groups are segregated and isolated from the rest of the world. Politics have an impact on the life of people in towns since political conditions shape the living standards in towns (Candan & Kolluoglu, 2008).
The other concept that I have learnt from my anthropological perspective of the modern world include Struggles over the Modern. Modernism has led to constant changes in the modern world. Through modernism, there has been the rise of new apartments that have changed people’s lives. As a result of modernism, relationships have been redefined within households, and work and residential places have been separated. Modernization has contributed to the rise of new structures, which have given people an opportunity to own homes. I have also learnt that the state provides housing, especially for those who cannot afford to pay rent or purchase their own houses. For example, this is the case in Istanbul where modernism has become a common phenomenon and people have embraced urbanization (Candan & Kolluoglu, 2008).
Another concept that is worth noting from the anthropological perspective of the world includes the housing unit, and how it relates to people’s daily life. In this regard, marriage arrangements have an impact on family reproduction as both a social and physical unit. In most cultures, marriage is only consummated when a couple has their own house. Couples have to live in an apartment, which they either own or rent, provided they live in a separate house from parents or relatives. For example, most cultures prefer that newly married persons live in a house separate from other persons. Most cultures believe that sharing an apartment or even a compound with in-laws threatens the marriage between the newly-wed couple. As such, the couple ought to rent an apartment away from in-laws (Zeybek, 2011).
In most parts of the world, newly married women take pride in having an apartment that is well furnished whereby they can take their friends around the house and show them the furniture. Since brides play the role of home-making, they should be given an opportunity to enter a new house, which they will furnish and decorate it as they wish. The other crucial anthropological concept includes distance and prejudice. Anthropologically, distance refers to the space that occurs historically between works of art. Anthropologists also consider distance to be related to emotional and cognitive differences, which may exist between people.
Anthropologists also contend that prejudice cannot be separated from aspects such as distance. In this regard, a person's assumptions depend on how he or she interprets some social phenomenon. Presupposition and free can be regarded as complex concepts, which cannot be easily understood (McKenzie, 1994). Another crucial thing to note is that anthropological research proves to be challenging in many situations. Anthropological researchers ought to learn various languages so that they can conduct an in-depth analysis of diverse phenomenon from various sources. For example, an American should be knowledgeable about Japanese language in order to conduct research effectively among the Japanese.
In conclusion, there are some aspects of life that I have learnt from my anthropological perspective of the world. One of the most notable aspects that I have learnt is that grief is part of life; grief may be accompanied by negative feelings, emotions, as well as instances of agony and rage. Anthropologically, it is expected that people who undergo grief should get angry and experience some periods of annoyance. Another concept that I have learnt is “The Body as Social Mirror.” Based on this approach, I have come to realize that anthropologists have taken part in studying collective identity and its relation to the “self.” The other concept that is worth noting from the anthropological perspective of the world includes the housing unit, and how it relates to people’s daily life. In this regard, marriage arrangements have an impact on family reproduction as both a social and physical unit.