Throughout this course, we have learned how culture is a powerful tool that allows humans to adapt to their own unique environments. To better understand cultural diversity, comparisons between cultures are often used to explain the similarities and differences across societies. To demonstrate your understanding of the adaptive nature of culture, you will prepare a research paper that requires you to think about what people are doing, why they are doing what they do, and how these behaviors tie in with their environment.
In this paper, you will be comparing and contrasting one of the following topics in two cultures (other than your own), providing an analysis of the similarities and differences, and explaining why these differences might exist.
In your Partial Rough Draft, you selected a topic from the following list:
Body art and ornamentation
Child rearing practices
The use of music or dance as a form of political protest, or as a reflection of cultural issues, values and beliefs
Body language and proxemics
Rites of passage
Alternative gender roles
An alternate topic that was approved by the instructor
In Week Three, you conducted your research and completed a Partial Rough Draft of the Final Research Paper. The library research guide helped you choose a topic, two cultures, and library recourses containing information to be used in the paper. You have also received feedback from your instructor on this draft. It is important at this stage that you carefully take the time to review the feedback that was provided. If, based on this feedback, you feel the need to conduct any additional research, now is the time to visit the Ashford University Library and locate additional scholarly sources. For this assignment, you will expand your rough draft into a five- to seven-page research paper (excluding the title and reference pages) that contains the following components:
A discussion of how two cultures (other than your own) approach the topic, including specific ethnographic examples. Be sure to choose two specific and contemporary (currently existing) cultures. Terms such as European, Asian, or African refer to continents, not cultures, and are not appropriate for this paper. Describe the culture briefly, including elements such as location, language, kinship, or other relevant information. This helps the reader understand the cultural context of your topic.
A compare and contrast analysis how the two cultures approach the topic from a culturally relativistic perspective.
A discussion on the cultural context of the topic and how it relates to symbolic systems such as religion, communication, or ritual. Here, you can use what you described in section A and discuss how it relates to your topic as it is found in the two cultures, which you discussed in section B.
Take extra care as you are writing this paper to ensure that you have given proper consideration to all of the notes that were provided to you by your instructor. You will also want to allow plenty of time to proofread the Final Research Paper and double check for formatting and the use of proper citations. If you are concerned about plagiarism, please utilize the Plagiarism Flow Chart.
The paper must be five to seven pages in length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
Writing the Final Research Paper
The Final Paper:
Must be five to seven double-spaced pages in length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Must include a title page with the following:
Title of paper
Course name and number
Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library.
Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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