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Being an Anthropologist - Assignment Example

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In today’s borderless world, culture is a major factor that defines our identity. If we all are typical primates having similar characteristics, culture provides a criteria against which human race can be segregated into different social groups and studied in detail. For the purpose of this assignment, the selected location was Metro Cash & Carry Italia in Pordenone…
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Being an Anthropologist
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Download file to see previous pages For the purpose of this assignment, the selected location was Metro Cash & Carry Italia in Pordenone. In order to keep the research more specific, I spent more time in a particular section of the store where customers were selecting meat, pasta and cheese. A detailed analysis of customers visiting store on Friday afternoon indicated that concepts like race, ethnicity, physical features, kinship, food taboos govern the way different social and cultural groups behave. A critical analysis of the situation studied helped in understanding the definition of culture. According to Hansen, Scheffer, Rathje and Schulz (2009), culture is an element that provides uniformity in a specific social system. While earlier concept of this uniformity was only limited to ethnicity and race, there are other cultural traits that introduce uniformity in a particular demographic segment. Hence, culture is expected to develop coherence in a group of people. While analyzing the location where this observation took place, it was noticed that the departmental store did not reflect a typical architecture of other Italian buildings. Instead, it was customized considering the nature of business and types of customers expected to visit this place as it was humongous and quite capacious allowing hundreds of customers to shop simultaneously. Since it was Friday afternoon, there were not many customers in the store due to which my observations remained limited to fewer customers. The store was at moderate temperature however one could easily identify the smell of cartons used for storage of different items. This smell varied when one moves from one section to another i.e. smell in poultry section was different than that in cheese. Further analysis indicated that most of the buyers were from Italian ancestry with visible relevance to lower and middle social classes. I did observe some Asian and Muslim customers. It was hard to identify if they were from China, Korea, Japan or any other country from Asia. However, their attire and age indicated that some of them were teenagers probably students whereas rest were middle age Muslim women covering their heads. An interesting factor was presence of more Italian people in the sections of pasta and cheese. They were easy to recognize due to dark colored hair and olive complexion. It was observed that these customers appeared to have more melanin in their skin as compared to most of the Asian customers. However, few Asian customers who were either from India or Pakistan appeared to be having a darker skin tone as compared to Italian customers. According to Haviland, Prins, Walrath, and McBride, 2012), presence of melanin is affected by several factors such as inheritance, high altitudes and solar radiation exposure. These factors affect the skin tone of people from different ancestry. Such traits help in understanding the concept of race related to different geographical location and their related adaptations. Since communication was not performed with these customers therefore my observations were only limited to cultural and biological aspects whereas linguistics was not included. A critical analysis of these customers and their cultural profile helped in understanding that despite having common biological ancestry, they are segregated into different social groups due to their different cultures (Orzech, 2005). Although humans are typical primates, there are various elements that make them more unique to other forms of primates. However, shorter upper limbs, feet used for walking instead of grasping, erected pelvis and spinal cords are some characteristics that makes humans different than non-human primates (Palomer College, 2012). Another ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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