You may have noticed the last couple of posts happen to be rather innocuously and generically titled "Library Unit X: Cultural Anthropology. As I was going through and finishing these short papers, it occurred to me that the assignment as given, produces short papers that are not unlike blog posts - in fact they are a lot like blog posts. Or at least they are like blog posts that I would produce if I didn't say fuck with some regularity...
The assignment was to read seven articles and write a two page paper about each, summarizing the article, tying it to something we discussed in class and providing our response to it. It was not meant to be formal, instead being more about how each article made us feel - what we gleaned from it, how it changed our perspective or if it did. As it occurred to me that I was writing papers that would make decent blog posts, it also occurred to me that I am exceedingly busy and unable to write much. So I have a total of seven of these papers and wanted to throw this post in there to make sure that there was something to reference them, that has a less generic title - especially before I post the next one, which happens to delve into a rather more important issue.
I didn't make the next one the first one I posted, because I wanted to have a moment to draw some attention to it and the fact that this anthropology class has done rather a lot to further alter my attitude about certain aspects of primitive cultures and the West. I have long held the understanding that primitive does not equal savage and uncivilized. But that attitude has evolved considerably over the course of this cultural anthropology class. Because I am learning that one, these primitives are in many ways far more "civilized" than those of us in the West and two, I am not nearly as "enlightened" and close to free of bigotry as I thought I was. This is not to say that I didn't accept that I had some underlying bigoted undertones - it is a rare person in the West who doesn't. But I thought I was pretty good about that sort of thing.
In the next post, which will probably go up later this morning or sometime this afternoon, I will delve into the systemic bigotry of Western society. In the paper, I was not terribly clear and wanted to clear it up here, just as I intend to clear it with my instructor. When I describe the arrogant culturalist tendencies of Westerners - I am absolutely not trying to exclude myself from that picture. Because even though this class has sent me a little bit further in the right direction, I am a product of my culture and all that entails - the good, the bad and the exceedingly arrogant.