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Anthropology Assignment: Discussion On Key Variables


Prepare an anthropology assignment answering as per the questions provided in the brackets below.


Key Variables

  1. Defintion, (Write a definition explaining the key variable)
    As per the research on anthropology assignment, a key variable may be identified as a variable that can be utilized for linking the records with respect to commonness between two sets of data. Hence, a key variable may be of a formal identifier or a quasi-identifier type. Direct measurement or manipulation of these key variables is essential for a research study to be valid.
  2. Academic & Professional Benefits Of Usage, (Specify the benefits of usage)
    • Greater likelihood of getting employed
    • Better chances of stable employment and overall employment opportunities
    • Earning high salaries
    • Likely coverage under health insurance
    • Lesser dependence on social assistance
    • Opening up of greater opportunities related to knowledge, strategies and skill areas
    • Enhancement of competence to a particular area of expertise
    • Better exposure to information, education thereby boosting the confidence and morale
  3. Aspects/Markers Of Ethnicity-.(Give the definition and examples for the following)
    1. Language-culture complex (There are some ethnic groups, they all speak the same language and they have similar cultures, but they may have some differences within them) Define it and give an example.

      Language-culture complex may be described as a cluster of traits in an ethnic group that are interrelated owing to their articulation of the same language and similar culture, yet they express some differences amongst them. All these cultural traits are combined to form larger levels of cultural patterns. For example, Spanish is the language spoken by the Spaniards, however they speak in various dialects such as the Castilian and Andalusian even in Spain and thereby representing cultural diversity amongst the people.

    2. Phenotype. (Sometime people are defined rightly or wrongly by others by the way looks. They may look like some other groups that people are familiar with, they may or may not be the group that people think they are, and sometime they don’t look like the group that they identify with, that’s another think we need to look at) Define it and give an example.

      Phenotype represents the observable features in case of an organism that is a product of the interaction of its corresponding genotype with that of the environment. For example, the Japanese and the Chinese although geographically separated from each other as races have a common descent from the Mongoloid race and each of them possess characteristics of small eyes.

    3. Nationality. (Define it and give an example)
      Nationality refers to the state of belonging to a specific nation either by virtue of birth or through the process of naturalization. An example of nationality may be cited as Indian to an individual who is born in India.
    4. Race. (Define it and give an example)
      The physical differences, which groups and cultures take into consideration to be socially significant, are defined as race. Caucasian or white is a race that encompass people who have their origins either in Europe, Middle East or North Africa.
    5. Religion/Belief System. (Some people are identified primarily by their religion or elite system, some are identified primarily by their race or identity, some by their language) Define it and give the example.
      Religion refers to the adherence with respect to certain indoctrinated beliefs and rituals that in turn implies having faith in a spiritual entity combined with study of inherited ancestral traditions coupled with wisdom and knowledge in the bid to understand human life. On the other hand, belief system is based on the notions related to the existence and non-existence of certain conceptual entities. For example, in Christian religion, many are of the belief that one should wear cross as a symbol of their faith.
  4. TYPES/MARKERS OF CLASS (Think, what might be something that makes you think that certain neighborhood’s situation, events, program are this or that class). Give5 five examples as bellow of one word each.
    1. Upper class such as corporate leaders
    2. Upper middle class such as postgraduate degree holders who work in business firms
    3. Lower middle class such as bachelor degree holders who fill up administrative support positions
    4. Working class such as those engaged in custodial service
    5. Poor such as the sharecroppers
  5. TERMS – look up each: (Give the definition of the following 9 key variable terms)
    1. Affiliation
      It refers to the act of associating oneself with either a person or an organization
    2. Class
      It refers to a social stratification in which people are grouped into hierarchical social categories based on common attributes, traits, characteristics and qualities.
    3. Caste
      It is a form of social stratification that constitutes endogamy as well as vertical descent of a way of life that in turn encompasses an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy in addition to certain customary social interaction also exclusion in accordance with cultural notions of purity and pollution.
    4. Cohort
      It refers to a congregation of people who possess a shared characteristic.
    5. Era
      It comprises of a lengthy and distinct period in history.
    6. Environment
      It refers to the surroundings in which an organism thrives and may constitute the natural world as a whole or the specific geographical area that in turn is affected by anthropogenic activities.
    7. Ethnicity
      It refers to belonging to a particular state of a social group that in turn is characterized by having a national or cultural tradition that is common.
    8. Generation
      It refers to a collective of people who are born and living around the same time.
    9. Gender
      It refers to the range of characteristics related to and differentiating between masculinity and femininity as well as with reference to social and cultural differences instead of merely biological ones.
  6. QUESTIONS:, (Answer the following questions)
    1. How are caste and class similar and dissimilar?
      Both caste and class may be designated as varieties of social stratifications. On one hand, the status ascribed to one by birth or achieved through acquired status may be termed as caste. On the contrary, class refers to achievement of a social position by means of factors that include many such as income, wealth, occupation and education. They are similar in ways that people belonging to the upper stratum of both these societal structures always have the tendency to maintain their positions and retain their powers. However, the social mobility is greater in case of the classes due to its openness feature. Thus, flexibility in movement between classes is possible through the social avenues, while it is more rigid in case of the caste system where a person who is born into a particular caste has the least possible chance of walking up the social ladder. Thus, he or she will forever bear the title of that caste. Moreover, there is an inherent tendency amongst the classes to exercise their individual power and at times rule over the people who belong to lower classes. The situation is quite opposite in case of a caste system whereby the persons tend to fight for their rights and continue their agitation for the sake of acquiring better status in life. They in a united manner carry on with the agitation so that they may be able to acquire the benefits from such agitation paving the way towards a better life altogether. In many instances, caste is a mean of oppression and ostracizing people just because of their birth origin. However, people across several classes do not necessarily face such banishment on the pretext of their birth origin. Therefore, they are freer to exercise and enjoy their privileges irrespective of their class positioning. Thus, in more than one ways caste and class are both similar as well as dissimilar.
    2. How do ethnicity and class overlap/interrelate in the USA and 1 other place?
      Class by its general connotation refers to the all-pervasive and very powerful social structure that holds a very strong influence over others. Factors such as wealth, income and educational level dictate the class in which a person is positioned. However, ethnicity is linked to and defined in terms of the nationality, religion or racial background of a person. Class and ethnicity is found to overlap/interrelate in the USA whereby it is evident that an individual belonging to a particular ethnicity is positioned at a specific class in the social ladder. The distinction is more obvious in the lower working class section than among the upper middle class section. For instance, mostly the White Americans occupy the highest section of the society compared to the Black or Afro Americans (Belkhir and Barnett 168). Thus, they enjoy more privileges and social benefits in USA and lead a more comforting life than an Afro American would do. Moreover, these German American ethnic groups are the most populous ethnicity in USA as per 2016 census record (U.S. population: ethnic groups in America 2016 and 2060 | Statista, 2020).

      Like USA, Australia is another country where this kind of overlapping between ethnicity and class may be seen. This may be understood in the light of the participation of the women in sports hailing from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia. Looking onto the documentations for series of national participation studies it has been revealed that women from minority ethnic background accounted for significantly lower rates of participation in sports and physical activity events when compared to the Anglo-Australian women. These observations are often tied to the experiences that in turn may be analyzed in the historical context often attributed to the migration policies, development and growth of sports in addition to women’s social relations since the settlement of Whites in Australia (Taylor 256). Thus, the ethnic minorities or indigenous communities comprise of Aboriginal peoples, Torres Strait Islanders and South Sea Islanders constituting the 2.8% of the total population in Australia according to the census of 2016 (Australia - Minority Rights Group, 2020).

    3. Describe and analyze 2 current news stories/cases in terms of the key variables (at least 3 of).
      In recent time while the entire globe is grappling to come into terms with a virus that has lead to a pandemic and brought everything to a standstill, two distinct incidents that took place in two geographically separated locations caused a major stirring worldwide. The first case that may be discussed in this context is that of the death of George Floyd, an Afro American belonging to a working-class community who was killed at the hands of the police at Minneapolis in USA, which in turn lead to a major protest movement bearing the name of Black Lives Matter. Class, caste and ethnicity played important roles in this particular case as the protest was rekindled to rage against the police atrocities in USA where the black Americans are the victims of such practices at various levels owing to their skin color and socio-political standings. The movement advocated non-violent civil disobedience to wage protest against the brutality of the police as well as every racially motivated violence against black people.

      Another case that may be discussed is that in the context of gender is that of the latest viral challenge #ChallengeAccepted that was trending on social media. Women continued to post black and white images of themselves in solidarity and as a mark of protest against the growing cases of atrocities against women. The online movement gained its momentum and originated from Turkey that exposed the high femicide rate and growing cases of gender violence in the country. Women resorted to social media to raise their voices and garner the attention of the world against the perpetrators who were involved in gender violence.

Belkhir, Jean Ait, and Bernice McNair Barnett. "Race, gender and class intersectionality." Race, Gender & Class (2001): 157-174.

"Australia - Minority Rights Group". anthropology assignment Minority Rights Group, 2020, Accessed 7 Sept 2020.

"U.S. Population: Ethnic Groups In America 2016 And 2060 | Statista". Statista, 2020, Accessed 7 Sept 2020.

Taylor, Tracy. Women, sport and ethnicity: Exploring experiences of difference in netball. University of New South Wales, (2000): 249-277.


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