Courtney output. Social relations are characterized by the

Courtney Frank and Alexandra HernandezBuried Cities and Lost Treasures – New WorldAdams-Theis22, November 2017Exam 21) Define the following terms from cultural materialism: mode of production, the 4 major modes of production, base and superstructure. Now, use a cultural materialist analysis to analyze a cultural change within your lifetime.The phrase “mode of production” comes from cultural materialism, and the term refers to the various ways humans collectively produce means of subsistence to survive and enhance social being. The four major modes of production are the following; communism, feudalism, capitalism, and socialism. In communism, popular among small hunting and gathering tribes, food, jobs, and belongings are shared among the people. Nobody owns the land, and nobody is exploited for labor. In communist societies, people work together towards a common or shared goal. In feudalism, large agricultural units are owned by landlords who force peasants to pay rent through labor, produce or fiscal tributes. In exchange, peasants can invest in small individual landholdings and access forests and pastures. Capitalism refers to the systems of organizing production and distribution in capitalist societies. Capitalism is characterized by; the private ownership of production means, the extraction of profit and being market-based. In socialism, production is coordinated through economic planning and the distribution of economic output. Social relations are characterized by the working class having complete ownership of the means of production and livelihood.According to the Marxist theory, human society is composed of the base and the superstructure. The base consists of the relations and the means of production, people enter both to produce life’s necessities. Determining society’s other relationships and ideas, the base shapes the superstructure. As an ideology composed of everything indirectly related to production, the superstructure consists of; medicine, religion, culture, politics, family, and education. With its components, the superstructure helps maintain the base of society.Since my birth in 1999, one major cultural change has been media entertainment. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, people used cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs to listen to music and watch television shows and movies. In the modern era, people use streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and YouTube Red to access entertainment media. Media streaming services make it easier for people to access a large variety of entertainment media for a relatively cheap price. Unlike VHS tapes, CDs and DVDs, television shows, movies and music accessed through streaming services do not take up physical space.2) Describe the three ways cultures change. Use an original example to elucidate ONE of the ways cultures change. Remember, your job in your essay is to convince me your example exemplifies one of the three concepts of cultural change.Cultures change through; assimilation, syncretism, and domination. Cultural assimilation is the process by which a person’s or a group’s culture and/or language comes to resemble the culture and/or language of another group. Immigrants or native residents are often culturally dominated by another society. According to the “melting pot theory,” an ethnic minority will typically sacrifice its original culture to integrate into society. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from members of other groups.Syncretism is the process by which two or more independent cultural systems or elements are blended together to form a new and distinct system. Syncretism is the fusion of differing systems of belief, practice, art, architecture and/or culture, syncretism is the accommodation of one belief system within another. As one of the most important factors in the evolution of culture, syncretism is most notable in the evolution of religion.Domination is the process by which a more powerful culture is promoted over and eventually overtakes a lesser known or less desirable culture. The dominating culture is usually more powerful economically and militarily than the dominated culture. Rulers or entire civilizations use overreaching philosophies or religious beliefs to focus their power and ensure conformity among their subjects. For example, the indigenous culture of Native Americans has been dominated by the “Anglo” culture in the United States. Though seen as part of their own tribe’s culture, Native Americans simultaneously take part in the dominant culture of the United States.3) How is the intangible system of sex and sexuality historical? In your answer, compare and contrast Ancient Pompeiian systems of gender and sexuality with our contemporary system in the United States.In chapter 6 of the book, “Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory,” “Studying the Intangible,” Brian M. Fagan compares sexuality in the past with sexuality in the modern world. The intangible system of sex and sexuality is historical as throughout history, though norms have changed, the roles sex and sexuality play in society have not changed.When comparing Ancient Pompeiian systems of gender and sexuality with our contemporary system in the United States, one can identify many similarities between the two systems. Like ancient Pompeii, in the United States, female sexuality is encouraged within the confines of marriage. Prostitution remains one of the few money-making careers available to those of lower economic classes. Additionally, people in lower economic classes were and still are sexually exploited and abused by the rich and powerful. Young women are illegally sold as sex slaves and on average, female prostitutes make more money than male prostitutes.Evidence of romantic relationships between those of the same gender is present in the ruins of ancient Pompeii and our contemporary system of gender and sexuality in the United States. Scholars like Michel Foucault argue that labels for romantic relationships between members of the same-sex did not exist previously, rather same-sex relationships were part of the culture and the labeling of these “different” relationships is a result of human nature. As humans, we seek to identify unique characteristics of ourselves to explain why the group of people we belong to is superior to other groups.Throughout history, female sexuality has been encouraged within the confines of marriage and people have engaged in sexual relations with those of the same and opposite gender. Though times have changed, prostitution and other forms of exploiting women remain some of the highest money-making careers available for those of lower socioeconomic status and, on average, female prostitutes make more money than their male counterparts.4) Describe structure, anti-structure, and the relationship between the two. What’s the risk to social structure without the presence of anti-structure?  Provide an original example of this relationship (and remember to convince me your example is structure-anti-structure)Structure promotes the idea of human actions being guided by beliefs and symbolic concepts, and symbolic concepts being supported by ways of thinking about the world. A structure is a domestic and political system causally conditioned by infrastructure. Structure verifies all institutions, relationships, roles and norms constituting a society serve a purpose. The structure is synonymous with a hierarchy, order, authority, and different forms of organizing human society. In structure, there are limited interactions between individuals, there is heavy emphasis on individual goals and differences, people have the tendency to focus on themselves and secular, profane and commercial experiences are common.Anti-structure is a liminal and existential revolt against structure, anti-structure is the sanctioned adoption of behaviors originally considered to radically violate social norms. Philosophical anthropologist Victor Turner attributes the contribution of structural functionalism to the rights of passage and the limitations of rituals. Collaborative interactions, shared goals, attenuated differences and sacred, detached and authentic experiences are common. Anti-structure argues there are formal rituals governing people’s behavior inside and outside of everyday life and leisure is the ritual designed to take people outside everyday life. The concepts of liminality and communitas are involved in the process of taking people outside everyday life. Liminality is a transitional stage from the every day to outside the every day. In liminality, a purer form of play exists because the stage is free of societal norms and structures. Communitas is a temporary sense of social fellowship.The concept of communitas is present in structure and anti-structure. Turner characterizes “communitas” as an absolute inter-human relation beyond any form of structure. The drama of everyday life affects social change and without the presence of anti-structure, the existing social structure would invite new possibilities. For example, if people from lower classes are given the opportunity to advance their socioeconomic status, they would not know their defined societal roles.5) Describe Gramsci’s idea of hegemony and counter-hegemony and the relationship between the two terms. Provide an original example of how hegemony helps to maintain social ranking systems (describe the social ranking system and then analyze that system using hegemony).According to Italian politician and philosopher Antonio Gramsci, intellectuals create hegemony and counter-hegemony. Hegemony occurs when one state has predominant political, economic or military influence over another state. Hegemony is a form of social control and a means of symbolic coercion, stabilizing when the majority of a group adopts the dominant ideology. Cultural hegemony refers to domination achieved through ideological and cultural means. Cultural hegemony is most strongly manifested when people ruled by a dominant group come to believe the economic and social conditions of their society are natural and inevitable.The term “counter-hegemony” refers to attempts to critique or dismantle hegemonic power. Confrontation and/or opposition to the existing status quo and its legitimacy has been observed in; politics, history, media, and music. Unlike hegemony, in counter-hegemony people resist influence and control over a state, choosing to take part in traditional practices instead.Social ranking, or social stratification, is a social hierarchy where distinctions are made among individuals, communities, and other units of society. In social stratification, people are perceived as being different and superior or inferior. Typically, the higher one is ranked, the greater their power.As a form of control, hegemony promotes definitions of reality and views of the world expressed by those in the dominant class. When successful, the promotion of definitions and views held by those higher classes establishes their views as common sense among all classes. In the United States, hegemony helps maintain social ranking systems through tax laws. The wealthy have the most influence politically and economically as they have the resources to bribe government officials to modify existing and create new policies favoring those of the upper class.Extra CreditWatch the documentary “We Were Here” (Weissman and Weber 2011). This documentary addresses the AIDS crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. Using one of your theoretical tools (structure and antistructure; cultural materialism; hegemony and counter-hegemony; structural functionalism) provide an analysis of the ways HIV/AIDS affected change in American culture.In the 2011 Netflix documentary, “We Were Here,” directors David Weissman and Bill Weber address the AIDS crisis of the 1970s and 1980s through the voices of four homosexual men and a woman. The San Francisco-based story illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic and the broad political and social upheavals the crisis unleashed.Prior to the AIDS crisis, people in the Castro area of San Francisco experienced sexual freedom and experimentation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic influenced hegemony in American culture, specifically, the crisis reclassified sexual activity between members of the same sex as “dangerous.” Images of people affected by the disease were dispersed with warnings attached. After reading “gay disease” propaganda, one can be led to believe voluntarily engaging in counter-hegemonic sexual relationships (non-heterosexual) will result in consequence. As a result, members of the LGBTQ community experienced uncertainty, fear, blame, and flight.Today, HIV/AIDS in the United States primarily affects racial and ethnic minorities in the LGBTQ community. People in the LGBTQ community continue to experience homophobia, lack of access to health care and high poverty and unemployment rates because of their engagement in counter-hegemonic relationships. Political, financial, and social barriers continue to keep the most effective prevention and treatment strategies from reaching people with the highest risk of exposure, minorities and homosexuals.


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