Ik people, the ethnic community from Uganda, have presented an interesting issue for examination since their tribe was discovered. Being hunting and gathering community, Ik people were moving around the Kidepo valley and mountains of Uganda, living in small temporary villages surrounded by outer walls.
Colin Turnbull, a famous British-American anthropologist, was studying various African tribes for many years. In one of his books, The Mountain People, Turnbull describes the Ik people in the period of close examination. Turnbull stayed with this tribe for several years and studied the Ik people’s customs, traditions, culture, and other key aspects of their life. The book was published in 1972. And it became very successful yet rather controversial. The moral aspect of The Mountain People remains a questionable issue nowadays. Turnbull studied the Ik people in very acute period for them. The area of Kidepo valley became a national park, thus the tribe had no place to hunt and feed their families. The Iks suffered soundly from famine, and Turnbull was participating in tribe life in this very period influencing significantly its moral values. Continue reading
In his article, The Singer Solution to World Poverty, Peter Singer, one of the most controversial and provocative philosophers of the modern time, offers ideas on Americans’ moral obligations and ethics on the issue of world poverty and hunger. The statements Singer makes are what most would call at least “unconventional”, if not “disturbingly provocative”. In the very introduction to his paper, Peter Singer talks about the values of issues like common goods in comparison to human life and health. The author presents the arguments that selling children for organs is basically the same as to buy luxuries and unnecessary things instead of helping those who are in need. In other words, both actions are morally equivalent and there are no ethical distinctions between them. Using the “Central Station” movie as an illustration to support his ideas, Singer figuratively slaps the reader across the cheek for lack of activity in charitable organizations. Reading the article clearly stimulates inner discomfort, which is in its core the feeling of guilt Singer provokes so skillfully. Continue reading
The problem of effective sex education is one of the major problems of the contemporary educational system and contemporary society at large. In fact, it is really important to educate students in order to minimize possible risks they may face in their sexual life, especially in the result of the ineffective sex education. In this regard, the views on sex education vary dramatically. On the one hand, there are supporters of the wide implementation of special educational programs where students could learn basics of their sexual life with the emphasis on the safety of sexual relationships, especially among teens, and the necessity of contraception. On the other hand, there are supporters of abstinence-only sex education, which, in contrast, stand on the ground that education should promote the idea of abstinence as the best preventive measure of possible problems teens may face in their sexual life. However, in actuality, the effectiveness of the latter approach seems to be quite arguable because of the significant changes in the contemporary socio-cultural life. Continue reading
To make the picture of my academic record complete, I would like to explain the background of my college studies in the US. Arriving in a new country with a strikingly different culture, I felt extremely homesick during the first semester. I remember feeling dismayed and lost in the world where I hardly knew anyone. I also had to apply a lot of effort in order to adjust psychologically and culturally, to learn to understand people and make new friends. This distraction was reflected in my academic progress since in the first semester my GPA was only 2.8. Continue reading
I’m interested in obtaining the Master of Science in Systems Architecture and Engineering from USC for two major reasons. Firstly, in order to further advance in my career, I need to acquire the knowledge and skills offered by this course. I believe that the ability to make decisions in the modern technical environment is of great value to a specialist.
I strongly deem that my expertise is sufficient enough to fully absorb to contents of the course. I have 9 years of relevant professional experience in diverse environments. I have been employed in the capacity Network Engineer/Tech Support for Ericsson, System Engineer for Zarlink Semiconductor, and Software Engineer for Oberman, Tivoli, Miller & Pickert and Northrop Grumman. Presently, I’m working for the Boeing Company in the position of Embedded Software Engineer. As my duties include reconfiguration, maintenance, and development of the army common operating system, I felt the need to deepen my knowledge of systems architecture and engineering. Better and broader knowledge in this field would have enabled me to fulfill my obligations at work more effectively and perform my daily activities more quickly and skillfully. Continue reading
Traditionally, history was a very important science though at first glance it seems as if there is no practical use and necessity to study history. Peter N. Sterns in his article “Why Study History?” discusses this problem and attempts to convince a reader that history is of paramount importance and it is worthy to study.
In order to support his viewpoint he presents his reasons which explain to readers why history should be studied. In fact the author has a large view on history and its role in human life. On analyzing the problem, Peter N. Sterns reveals the fact that the study of history is important for the human society at large, and for each individual in particular. In other words, the study of history influences an individual and the community he lives in.
Obviously, the author is quite reasonable that makes his article persuasive. In this respect, it should be said that one of the main reasons is the fact that history provides a possibility to study the past that, in its turn, helps better understand people and societies that lived in previous epochs. In such a way, the contemporary people could better understand their origin and their present culture, traditions, socio-economic situation, etc. Moreover, the study of history and the past of human society could help find the identity that is particularly important in the contemporary world overwhelmed by the process of globalization, when the problem of the loss of national identity is particularly significant. Thus, history helps people identify themselves in the world community. Continue reading
We are all descended either from immigrants to America or from Native Americans. The sources of immigration were and still are so diverse that every person living in America has to a greater or smaller degree a cultural background that is different from the mainstream American culture. This statement might seem to be conflicting, but it is not. I would define mainstream or popular culture as the product of growth and interaction of mass media industries.
My Cultural Background
I personally come from a Russian background. My great-grandparents were born in Pinsk, Byelorussia and immigrated to Texas in the United States in 1916 just before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. They have assimilated well in their new fatherland and they didn’t even bother to teach Russian to my grandmother and their other children. Although I have Byelorussian origin, I still consider my cultural background to be Russian, and it is. My grandparents converted to Catholicism, but they still observe some of the Russian traditions, especially national cuisine. Continue reading
The contemporary society seems to be totally different from the societies of the past. This may be observed in different rites which used to be traditional even for the most advanced societies, including European and American. In this respect rites of passage seem to be particularly noteworthy, especially in relation to girls which were treated in a different way in the past than they are now.
The readings and lecture for this week reveal numerous facts that indicate at the rites of passage for both girls and boys and it is noteworthy that for the latter these rites were basically closely related to the body changes. To put it more precisely, the maturing of girls was associated with the start of menstruation. In fact the first menstruation symbolized a dramatic change in girls’ social position and attitudes of the surrounding people in relation to them. At the same time, nowadays it is hardly possible to imagine what those poor girls in the past had to come through in such an important period of their life. Continue reading
Entertainment has played important role in human life since ancient times. Numerous forms of entertainment appeared every century, and its amount is nowadays enormous. All entertainment forms worth interest, however circus seems most attractive to me. In the current paper I will research the history of circus, the reason of its popularity, and conditions of its development.
Circus as a form of entertainment has very long and vivid history. Circus played significant role in leisure experience of ancient ages, hence to my mind this form of entertainment should be carefully researched by theatre historians of our time. Originally circus was born in Ancient Rome (8th century BC – 4th century) as a public exhibition where chariot races, acrobat shows, battles, and other amusements were exhibited. It represented an open stadium with round arena, with rows of seats around it. Among performers who were involved in circus shows were exotic animals’ trainers, horse riders, acrobats, athletes, magicians, and many more participants. Continue reading
The are some basic concepts that people use on a regular basis, and which to a large degree make our interaction with the world and with others meaningful. The notion of truthfulness definitely belongs to the list of such important conceptions, and can even be considered superior to many other ones as without our assurance that our beliefs are truthful we can hardly claim that we have knowledge of something, which in its turn would clearly render us quite helpless in our everyday life. Considering the significance that truth as such has in our life, let us take a look at one instance when there seems to be a conflict over what is truthful. This instance is represented by the ubiquitous attempts to interpret and reconcile literal truth, which constitutes the methodological basis of the modern science, and spiritual truth, which underlies religious and emotional experiences of people. Continue reading