Anthropological Looking Glass

Topics: Writing, Anthropology, Stereotypes Pages: 2 (771 words) Published: November 20, 2006
In the essay, "The Anthropological looking Glass" by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, the author enters an Irish village, dubbing it "Ballybran", and conducts analysis and investigation among the people in the village and writes a book on what she sees. The way she wrote the book however was for not just fellow anthropologists to read, but the village people as well. They do not take kindly to the way she presented them because of many truths she reveals to them and each other and could have also lead to a few stereotypes. The perception that Scheper-Hughes gives of their village could in a way had become a stereotype in itself for readers outside the village in other countries of what they could think is a typical Irish village all because of a simple miscommunication. In the essay by Amy Tan "The Language of Discretion", she writes up many points time and time again how a stereotype can give one culture and/or people an image hard to erase. A stereotype is an oversimplified opinion or image that one will give or form about another. For an example, the New York Times magazine article she mentions in her essay states a few things about the Chinese including, ‘"One compromises, one doesn't hazard a loss of face by an overemphatic response'" (662). Although her essay is directed at how Americans and Chinese have different stereotypes for each other, many of what she brings up could be directed to Scheper-Hughes and her experience in the Ballybran village. One assumption that was easily made was by the villager. When Sheper-Hughes entered to the village, she introduced herself as an anthropologist. Immediately, some of the people of Ballybran were weary of her because they figured she was like the last anthropologist that had visited, who apparently had taken the time to measure their skulls. One other factor that could bring cause for a stereotype would be the cultural invisibility. The cultural invisible power exists not just outside the village of Ballybran, but also...
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