Essay 3: Changing Culture
In chapter 9 of Assault on Paradise Kottak discusses the different political changes that Arembepe went through as well as how it affected the villager’s everyday life, and how it could possibly change the way Arembepeiros live in the future and effect their future generations. Throughout the chapter Kottak discusses many things, but he hits on about 4 main topics, Welfare and Education, Public Health, Marriage and the State, and the sex Ratio and Female status. In the beginning of the Chapter Kottak describes that the Arembepian government lowered the age that people needed to be to be eligible for government pensions. They lowered the age from 65 to 60. This may seem like a small change but it actually can have a large effect on the government’s ability to pay for it. When looked at in comparison to the United States’ social security, one could see that 5 years could add a large amount of people taking away from the “pot” essentially. This could cause serious problems in the United States, so this is surprising to see this type of change in such a small and not so wealthy ethnic group. This is an example of Arembepe becoming a larger, more contributing society, or it even becoming a state of its own. The second political change that Arembepe went through was a national census. This was something that was very big for Arembepe; this pretty much solidified it as a state. Kottak explained that “the head of statistical services for the municipality told [him] about the plans for the national census. Scheduled to begin in September 1980.” (Kottak 130) In the early 1960s Arembepe was just a small tribe it seemed like, they had come so far. They now had town centers, one-way and two-way streets, supermarkets, a commercial center, several pharmacies, doctors’ offices, labs, and even other medical services! This was a completely different place than it had been just a few decades earlier. Another political change that occurred was that people...
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