Cultural Anthropology Reading Responses
Resistance and Resilience: The Sojourner Syndrome and the Social Context of Reproduction in Central Harlem
As I read the sojourner story in the introduction of the paper, I could not help but sympathize with the frail girl that had been sold into an oppressive system of slavery the led to sexual abuse for a period of thirty years (Mullings 79). Reflecting upon the inhumanity accorded to lady Sojourner, I lacked the ability to comprehend the nature of the eighteenth century society that allowed such repressive practices. In fact, with the present justice systems which have worked towards the creation of communal equity as opposed to the past society, from a subjective viewpoint it literally evidences the scientific theory of evolutionism where humans have continually advanced overtime. My celebration for the current form of liberalized society was however momentary as the squalid reality of Harlem with regard to slum housing and unemployment rates was highlighted. Although it was initially hard to draw the association between the Sojourner case and Harlem, I realized that the present society is also bulking to slavery practices but enforced by poor economies (Mullings 81-84). Various efforts like the millennium development goals have been implemented towards the eradication of poverty in a bid to enhance the communal as well as individual wellbeing but they have been least successful. I believe that unless governments and we as the populace adapt an intensive abhorrence towards such economic disparity and find permanent solutions to bridge the affluent and the needy, then we bear no difference with the pro-slave period.
The Global Traffic in Human Organs
I have had friends who have undergone kidney transplants accorded to both known and unknown donors that have had their identities protected for private reasons. With the success of such transplants and the aversion of death, I have been grateful to such individuals and the medical community for the excellent work accorded towards life preservation. This testimony has a high level of congruence with other cases, echoed by various individuals within the contemporary society with the spared life of a beloved father, spouse, relative, friend or teacher. The most significant denominator in a majority of such cases is ignorance and geocentricism with most individuals never caring to verify the credibility of the details given towards organ donor cases, as long as the perceived danger is averted. Interacting with the article was quite disturbing and horrifying especially with the massive unwarranted killings to young children and helpless persons towards the preservation of another individual’s life (Scheper-Hughes 201). With the market nature of human organs as controlled by demand and supply forces, it is only a matter of time before the utility accorded to such is affected in the negative mandating a level of differentiation to expand consumer preferences. With this line of thought, I could not help but speculate on what would become of the society at such a period when commercialization of human organs will be highly acceptable such that a variety is accorded for the consumer to select from. Although the idea appears as crazy, this is has been the undisputed manner in which markets have grown and so I felt that a high probability looms with regard to organ peddling, as time will reveal.
Is the Female Husband a Man? Woman/Woman Marriage among the Nandi of Kenya
Gay practices have been a subject of contention both within the traditional and contemporary societies of the world with the biggest rationale behind the practice being the morality function. With the twenty first century, the gay community has gained an enhanced level of acceptance as the society through the law and human rights factions that have lobbied towards the creation of equity within the society. I have observed that societal principles and ideals have had a significant level of impact with regard to cultural practice and therefore the presence of diversity among various communities. This has been the trend with all manner of institutions like family (divorce, number of children, and marriage) or employment practices like gambling and prostitution. The conception and expansion of feminism was supported by the view of female oppression within chauvinistic societies that accorded such practices as the evidence for ideal behavior. The two identified opposing factors in both cases would be the society in opposition to individual choices. Woman to woman marriage among the Nandi is viewed as an acceptable practice within the Nandi ethnic group because society has embraced the act as a solution to the problem of barrenness (Oboler 71). The only restriction accorded to the practice is sexual association between the two females. Female to female marriages have persisted within the African community despite the stigma that was associated with nature of the marriage by other individuals. I therefore felt that even with societal arrangements, the individual factor plays a superior role in terms of morality.
The conflict social approach as introduced within the twentieth century has proven to be true at least to the Puerto Ricans and Latinos inhabiting the East Harlem region (Davila 5). The theory speculated that the presence of conflicts leading is very significant to the enhancement of an individual’s identity within a personal and a communal function. The urban spillage experienced in the regions is attributed to the racial clashes between the two notable communities leading to property, business, market and housing acquisitions that define a given groups and consequently the identity factor. I believe that unity acts as a superior factor within a society in terms of preservation, yet without the conflict aspect, change cannot be accorded. Conflicts can be employed within the community in a constructive manner as evidenced by debates in noteworthy places like the House of Representatives and the Congress. The various interests in the identified institutions are reflective of the divergences in standpoints and perspectives with regard to various issues yet a form of constructive conflict is used to realize the optimal solution to the problem. Through this, the Democrats and Liberalists are able to communicate their ideas and create a form of identity without any form of coercion. It was quite interesting to analyze the society from this perspective.
Davila Dreams of Place and Housing Struggle
From what the writer portrays about the Latino community, this minority group can be considered as going through various hardships that are primarily economic in nature. Indeed, I think that any individual born in this place and time has a hope of some sort of economic empowerment, but this is obviously limited because of their ethnic background. The main struggles that they obviously go through, in addition to basic survival, are that of housing and schooling. Therefore, with this level of importance I identified with the conflicts that have been noted within the East Harlem regions with the affected individuals’ eager to acquire a residential place (Davila 48). Although a few milestones have been marked by the institution of modern houses within the region, the Latino community has unrelentingly opposed the efforts accorded to affordability purposes. I believe that the Latinos are justified for their actions as the house developers have disregarded the customer-centric approach in trade that fashions a product in accordance to the consumers needs. It is quite illogical for the supplier to attach high prices to a product to levels that customers lack the resources for purchase.
Davila, Arlene, M. Barrio dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the neoliberal city. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2004. Print.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. “The Global Traffic in Human organs.” Current Anthropology 41.2 (2000): 191-212. Print.
Mullings, Leith. Resistance and Resilience: The Sojourner Syndrome and the Social Context of Reproduction in Central Harlem. Willey-Blackwell. 7 Jan. 2008. Web. 14 April 2011.
Oboler, Regine, Smith. Is the Female Husband a Man? Woman/Woman Marriage among the Nandi of Kenya. University of Pittsburgh. 20 Oct. 2010. Web. 14 April 2011.