Most Cultural Anthropologists attempt to use a scientific approach when studying culture. That is, they formulate and test hypotheses regarding how and why certain cultural practices develop. The book provides the example of the practice of polyandry. Another way to think of this is to ask the question “why does polyandry make sense or what is its function” in a particular society.
First describe Goldstein’s hypothesis of polyandry in Tibet. (Remember–rephrase, don’t copy) Then formulate a hypothesis about why most marriages in the U.S. are monogamous (that is, we only have one spouse at a time.)
Considering information from both the video and the culture sketch, what do you think is the primary reason the Roma have faced persecution throughout their history? Explain why you think this factor is most important.
Instructions: All students are to respond to this Discussion Question–either directly or by reacting to another student’s response, elaborating on that response or (politely) disagreeing and explaining the basis for your differing view.
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