religion and family relations

religion and family relations

ANTH 260 – Anthropology Department.

 

You have a choice: you will answer either one or both questions.  If you choose to answer both, each answer should be 4-pages long.  If you choose to answer one question only, it should be 8-pages long.

 

 

  1. RELIGION

 

Chapter 11 of the textbook (by Karl Heider) looks at religion and at several theories offered by anthropology to explain religion.  You will watch Altar of Fire, by Robert Gardner, which we watched and studied in class on week 11, and apply all the relevant theories to this film.

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To do so, you will clearly define and explain each theory you will use in your own terms; and then choose at least one scene in the film that can be analyzed through this theory.  For instance, if you choose the “anxiety theory of magic”, you should define and explain it, and then say what behavior/events/practice captured by Robert Gardner can be explained by this particular theory. You will most certainly need to identify at least one scene, possibly two, for each theory. That is, you must “recognize” the theories on the screen.

 

Altar of Fire is available at:

http://search.alexanderstreet.com.ezproxy.lib.umb.edu/view/work/764089

(you will need to use your name and Healey Library access code)

 

In order to complete your understanding of Hinduism, you may also want to watch the documentary Hinduism, available here:

http://search.alexanderstreet.com.ezproxy.lib.umb.edu/view/work/2232948

(you will, again, need to enter your name and library code)

 

You will use the following concepts: religion; community; spirituality; taboo; human mediators.  For each, you will have to provide a definition (in your own terms) before using it in context.

 

  1. FAMILY RELATIONS

 

You will watch the film Summer Pasture, about a nomadic Tibetan people in eastern Tibet.  It tells the story of Lobo and his wife Yama herding yaks, raising children, and maintaining community relations in a cold and remote land.

 

Summer Pasture is available here:

http://umb.kanopystreaming.com.ezproxy.lib.umb.edu/node/121633

 

 

About Summer Pasture:

Synopsys.

Filmed in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet, Summer Pasture offers an intimate glimpse into the life of a young nomad couple and their infant daughter. Locho and his wife Yama live in Dzachukha, eastern Tibet – nicknamed ‘5-most’ by the Chinese for being the highest, coldest, poorest, largest, and most remote county in Sichuan Province.They depend on their herd of yaks for survival, much as their ancestors have for generations. In recent years however, Dzachukha has undergone rapid development, and Locho and Yama are finding their traditional way of life increasingly more difficult to maintain.Summer Pasture evolves as a patient exploration of Locho and Yama’s personalities, relationship, and the changes taking place around them. Over its course we witness their travails with illness, infidelity, and the dissolution of their community. In the face of mounting challenges, Locho and Yama ultimately reveal the personal sacrifice they will make to ensure their daughter’s future.With rare access to a highly insular community, Summer Pasture is at once a deeply personal account of a vanishing way of life and a universal story of family survival.Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards Winner, Grand Prix Nanook, Jean Rouch International Film Festival, France, 2011 Winner, Jury Award for Visual Achievement, San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival, 2011 Winner, Silver Apricot, Yerevan International Film Festival, Armenia, 2011 Winner, John Schlesinger Award, Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival, Palm Springs, CA, 2011 Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Trento Film Festival, Italy, 2011 Special Jury Commendation, RAI Award, RAI Int’l Festival of Ethnographic Film, England, 2011 Nominee, “Truer Than Fiction,” Film Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles, CA, 2011 Winner, Best Feature, BANFF Mountian Film Festival, Canada, 2010 Nominee, “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You,” IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards, 2010 Honorable Mention, Inspiration Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC, 2010 Winner, Grand Prix, Autrans International Mountain Film Festival, France, 2011 Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, Nepal, 2011 Winner, Mountain Life Award, Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival, Germany, 2011 Winner, Mountain Life Award, Cervino Cinemountain Film Festival, Italy, 2011

 

Clip 1: Summer Pasture

Filmed in the high grasslands of eastern Tibet, Summer Pasture offers an intimate glimpse into the life of a young nomad couple and their infant daughter. Locho and his wife Yama live in Dzachukha, eastern Tibet – nicknamed ‘5-most’ by the Chinese for being the highest, coldest, poorest, largest, and most remote county in Sichuan Province.

They depend on their herd of yaks for survival, much as their ancestors have for generations. In recent years however, Dzachukha has undergone rapid development, and Locho and Yama are finding their traditional way of life increasingly more difficult to maintain.

Summer Pasture evolves as a patient exploration of Locho and Yama’s personalities, relationship, and the changes taking place around them. Over its course we witness their travails with illness, infidelity, and the dissolution of their community. In the face of mounting challenges, Locho and Yama ultimately reveal the personal sacrifice they will make to ensure their daughter’s future.

With rare access to a highly insular community, Summer Pasture is at once a deeply personal account of a vanishing way of life and a universal story of family survival.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards Winner, Grand Prix Nanook, Jean Rouch International Film Festival, France, 2011 Winner, Jury Award for Visual Achievement, San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival, 2011 Winner, Silver Apricot, Yerevan International Film Festival, Armenia, 2011 Winner, John Schlesinger Award, Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival, Palm Springs, CA, 2011 Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Trento Film Festival, Italy, 2011 Special Jury Commendation, RAI Award, RAI Int’l Festival of Ethnographic Film, England, 2011 Nominee, “Truer Than Fiction,” Film Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles, CA, 2011 Winner, Best Feature, BANFF Mountian Film Festival, Canada, 2010 Nominee, “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You,” IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards, 2010 Honorable Mention, Inspiration Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC, 2010 Winner, Grand Prix, Autrans International Mountain Film Festival, France, 2011 Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, Nepal, 2011 Winner, Mountain Life Award, Tegernsee International Mountain Film Festival, Germany, 2011 Winner, Mountain Life Award, Cervino Cinemountain Film Festival, Italy, 2011

 

You will use Chapter 8 of the textbook to analyze and comment on this film.  You will choose key theories and concepts on marriage, family and kinship that can explain specific scenes in the film.  (You have to do exactly the same exercise as in the first question, but with a different film and a different chapter.)  Again, you will clearly define and explain each theory or major concept you will use in your own terms; and then choose at least one scene in the film that can be analyzed through this theory.  For instance, if you choose to talk about polygamy, you should first define and explain it, and then say what behavior/events/practice captured by Summer Pasture can be best explained by this particular concept. You will most certainly need to identify at least one scene, possibly two, for each theory or major concept. That is, you must “recognize” the theories on the screen.

 

You will use the following concepts: kinship; motherhood; marriage; community; endogamy.  For each, you will have to provide a definition (in your own terms) and using it in context.

 

Guidelines:

 

You should always answer questions as scholars.  That means that you must be as scientific, logical, methodical, explicit, didactic, and exhaustive as possible.  That means that you must also: avoid general, vague statementsl avoid moral judgments and moralizing statements (no substitute to critical thinking); avoid emotional statements; avoid colloquial expressions; stay on target and avoid digressions (always keep the question(s) in mind).

 

You must demonstrate critical viewing, critical reading, and critical thinking.  If you assert something, you must back it up with evidences.  You cannot write a merely descriptive, factual paper.  Again, your answer should be supported by arguments and clear, specific references (including page number). Your own arguments should be illustrated by relevant scenes from the films (do not make the descriptions too long).  The memos distributed in class contain the names of all main characters.

 

Quotes should be between brackets, and include the author’s name and page number.  Same thing if you write about/synthesize an idea or an argument from any text (mention the name of the author, place year of publication and the page number).

 

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