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Mead and Samoa

Mead and Samoa





DUE TO THE Collect-it Box BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MAY 20.

Write 1500-2000 words on one of the following questions:

A. Authors of various sorts attract and retain readers partly by connecting to the emotions of their readers, and also partly by discussing issues that readers care about. Both Veiled Sentiments and Poetics are about places you will probably never go and people you will probably never meet, and that you may never read about again. How do the authors use their writing to make stories and descriptions of the people relevant to issues you care about or connect these people's experiences to your emotions? Use specific examples. And if they totally fail to interest you or touch your emotions, you might best write on one of the other topics.

B. Having read the three ethnographic monographs that we have now read in detail, along with all the ancillary readings and critiques, you are ready to return to one of our original questions: Is ethnography fact or fiction? Consider two aspects of this question:
  • To what degree are the three books we have read fact or fiction, paying particular attention to the contrast between The Poetics of Military Occupation and the other two books.
  • Given that the three books are factual or fictional in different ways and to different extents, what are the ethical implications for the ethnographer? What obligation does the ethnographer have to tell the truth, and what constitutes the truth?
C. The Poetics of Military Occupation is much less direct in its reporting of facts than is Veiled Sentiments. Does that make it more or less informative? More or less entertaining? More or less challenging challenging? More or less frustrating? More or less trustworthy? More or less likely to get assigned by anthropology professors? Why?

General guidelines for essays

Essays that are submitted late on the due date will be graded down one notch (e.g. A- to B+ or B to B-); essays that come in after the due date will be graded down two notches (e.g. A to B+ or B+ to B-). Essays will be returned with extensive comments within ten days from the announced due date and time, which is plenty of time for you to take the grader's comments into account when writing your next essay.

Essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words in length, not counting bibliographic references. You may use any style (footnotes, endnotes, or embedded author and date) for references, as long as it is clear where you have gotten your information. Quotations should always be referenced, as should any information that is taken explicitly from a given source.