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Culture refers to the way a people of different social groups based on race, tribe, and religious belief perceive the world around them and subsequently interact with that world. It also refers to how they believe what they believe and why they believe it as well as their…
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Details: Due Anthropology: Culture Culture refers to the way a people of different social groups basedon race, tribe, and religious belief perceive the world around them and subsequently interact with that world. It also refers to how they believe what they believe and why they believe it as well as their interpersonal interactions.
(a) The specific cultural practices of both Brazil and Lesotho cultures
There are various cultural practices described in the two cases. In the case of Lesotho as summarized by James Ferguson in his highly informative assessment of the political structure of that nation, though touted by the government as compulsory, education of young children in Lesotho is not enforced as the government lacks enough money to carry out its stated policies (Ferguson, p.226). Having announced free primary education in 1998, the government allocated a quarter of its budget to financing this venture and yet this was not enough to see it into completion. A continually escalating national debt and structural reliance on its richer neighbors, specifically, South Africa, are factors that have seen Lesotho engulfed in the present quagmire.
In the Brazilian case as expounded upon by Nancy Scheper Hughes in her revealing testimonial of the excesses of shanty life, mothers seem to embrace almost fatalistic attitudes based on retrogressive cultural practices (Hughes, p.364). People seem to believe that evil spirits cause diseases (Hughes, p.366). Mothers refer to these illnesses as though they are caused by factors beyond their capacity to control and expect to be at the mercy of curable diseases. This is an example of one of the common ways that culture can be harmful to those who practice it. She also documents how mothers and older women claim that there exist fourteen to twenty one various types of child and infant illnesses, with systems ranging from a ‘hanging head and sickly pallor to a reluctance to suckle (Hughes, p.368). These ill-informed people can actually affect psychological systems of precociousness in a young or prospective mother who is encumbered with the fear that her child will be a victim of at least one of these diseases.
(b) Specific economic conditions that affect and influence the attitudes of the cultures
In the Brazilian case, the poverty of these wretched mothers obviously contributes to their fatalistic view of life as far as their children are concerned. Unable to provide not only for their needs but also for their young, they adopt an unusual resignation to the harsh realities of shanty life and search for ways within themselves to accept inevitable death as normality. The church and its teachings as concerns the next life fits snuggly into this confusion as mothers constantly employ the mysterious ways of the Deity in taking and giving life. It is not a coincidence that in the poverty-stricken areas in the world, right across the racial divide, religion is embraced with a fanaticism that is not witnessed among the more economically astute segment of the population.
Considering Lesotho’s case, the disorganized nature of the civilian organizations within the country’s culture necessitates the confusion that is witnessed in pursuance of providing a steady political atmosphere. Corporate irresponsibility, Ferguson asserts in his anthropological study of Lesotho is bypassed, and the populace is encouraged to identify itself as the main cause of poverty and lacks that they suffer daily at the hands of the bureaucratic government (Ferguson, p.227). In public meetings, the top brass tends to address irrelevant issues that simply do not exist, such as security concerns, other than directly confronting the inadequacies of the reigning hierarchy and hashing out ways to promote improvements. This culture of denial has roots in traditional African society where rulers were not confronted because they were perceived as unapproachable.
Their mistakes attributed instead to the evil eye, fate, evil spirits, and even the wretched population that they ruled. Adopting a view of cultural relativism as far as these two cultures are concerned would be a step backwards.
c) Roles the definition of culture should play in development interventions
In Lesotho’s case, Ferguson claims that it would prevent the citizenry from asserting their right to have a responsible and productive government based on the culturally supported mores of the dignity of rulers as a whole and their being above the law (Ferguson, p.225). In Brazil, it would be a disadvantage as the government should be able to confront retrogressive practices of various cultures and tribes within its jurisdiction especially to curb the deaths in its young population.
In this study, development should be customized to the distinctive edifying characteristics of rural areas as well as to emphasize their territorial basics, which is a way of optimizing local property. Whether to draw attention to architectural legacy or preservation efforts, such moves augment with local culture while still bringing in economic benefits.

Works Cited
Ferguson, James. The Anti Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticisation and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
Scheper- Hughues, Nancy. Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992. Read More
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