Final Exam Essay
Throughout this course I have gained specific knowledge through reading two different books and short stories out of another, I had the chance to understand an anthropologist’s point of view. Three ways that cultural anthropologists provide a unique and informative perspective on the social issues they study are: Looking at the circumstances through a participant perspective (avoiding ethnocentrism), historical context, and concept of culture.
In both Veiled Sentiments and In Search of Respect the authors actually experienced living in the culture of both places and developed relationships with the people they met. They were able to develop a point of view that no one would be able to without actually experiencing what these people experience. It gave us as readers a real look at what goes on in these cultures and we were provided with details that would only be picked up by actually being there. I think this makes the books more interesting and easier to learn from. Lila Abu-Lughod lived with the Bedouins in western Egypt for about 2 years and she wrote about the Bedouins identity in relationships, their code of honor and romantic relationships. The Bedouin culture demands that they keep their feelings quite, so the author was able to experience their feelings through poems. The author had access to the secrets the Bedouin women were keeping because they were not allowed to reveal them, it would be harder to experience how these women feel and share their feelings without actually being there and seeing the emotions of these women revealed. The author was very affectionate and didn’t judge and was able to be accepted by the Bedouins. The historical context that the author provides in the book helps us to understand how everything got to how it was. We are then able to find reason and even sympathy in some cases for these people and be more understanding as to the way they live. The Bedouins went from living a nomadic lifestyle where animals...
Cited: 1. Abu-Lughod, Lila. Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California, 1986. Print.
2. Bourgois, Philippe I. In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995. Print.
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