Sample Anthropology Discussion Questions.

Homework Question on Discussion Questions

Discussion Board 1:

(a) Have you ever observed people using “baby talk” when communicating with an infant?

(b) How do people in your cultural environment interact with a pre-verbal child?

(c) Which way of interacting with a pre-verbal child seems better to you, the one displayed by Katie’s mother or the one used by Bage’s mother (both described in Ahearn, chapter 3)? Make sure to address all parts of the prompt in your post.

Discussion Board 2:

I was the only child and perhaps because of that I learned how to read very early. At first, I learned reading upside-down by watching my father read his newspaper in the evening and asking him about the headlines!

In Chapter 7, Ahearn presents to us the research of Shirley Brice Heath on the socialization to literacy of preschoolers in three communities.

(a) How did you learn to read and write?

(b) Was your experience similar to that of the children from Maintown? From Roadville? From Trackton?

(c) Do you think the way literacy events and practices took place at your home helped you or hindered you when you started school? Make sure to address all the components of the prompt in your post 🙂

Discussion Board 3:

In chapters 1 and 2, Ahearn summarizes six examples of research in linguistic anthropology. If you were to do research in linguistic anthropology:

(a) What topic would you like to research?

(b) What interests you about the topic?

(c) How would you go about researching it?

You may consider posting on this forum toward the end of the session when your understanding of linguistic anthropology will be more comprehensive.

Discussion Board 4:

As you know from reading about Jane Hill’s research on “Mock Spanish,” Hill argues that “Mock Spanish” usage (Ahearn, Chapter 10) ends up racializing Spanish speakers, regardless of whether it has been the intention of the person using “Mock Spanish” or not. Rather, argues Hill, the usage is racist because it feeds into racializing ideologies and social institutions that support them. Do you agree with Hill? Explain and justify your position.

Can you think about facetious usages of languages other than Spanish in the States (or elsewhere)? Are they also racist?

Discussion Board 5:

Have you ever written or received a hand-written love letter? Do you think it is a dying genre that will be entirely replaced by electronic media or is there still a place in today’s world for love letters and letter-writing?

Discussion Board 6:

In his book, Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes, Everett describes a way of life, worldview, language and culture that are dramatically different from our own:

(a) What are some of the most interesting things that you learned about the Pirahã from Everett’s book?

(b) Why do you find them interesting?

(c) Do you think that Pirahã language and culture allows us to see ourselves from a different perspective? How so?

 Homework Answer on Discussion Questions.

Discussion board one

Baby talk is a common practice by many mothers or caretakers. It is lovely and exciting to see them interact with babies as if it is a learned dialect understood by them only. This form of communication provides a basis for bonding with the infants. Most people in cultural environment interact with babies using a high pitched tonal varying cooing. This kind of communication has been observed to interest children and allows them to bond more strongly with their caretakers and their parents. They use this form of communication as they excite the children through soft touch. To me, Katie’s mother way of interacting with children seems less appropriate compared to Bage’s mother.

Homework Help

Discussion board two

I learned how to read with the help of my kindergarten teacher. She could show me the sounds and help me join the different sound to make full words. This was an adventurous moment in my life as I could read anything I came across and those who cared to listen would not afford but laugh. Learning how to write was the most difficult task ever. Mum could hold my hands telling me to write letter ‘W’ only for me to write a funny looking ‘M’. I would say that my personal experience was similar to that of children in Maintown. The literacy events at my home helped me a lot when I started school. The fact that my mother helped me learn how to write placed me ahead of other students. This also helped in putting me ahead of my classmates.