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Doing Ethnology: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Project

Choose two different groups of people written about in articles from Spradley and McCurdy's Conformity and Conflict (12th edition). Find additional information about the groups you choose using the UMUC online library or in-person library research to find articles in scholarly journals or books. You may NOT cite websites or encyclopedias (including Wikipedia) as sources. You should ONLY consult them to find authors who have published in scholarly journals on your topic or to begin to understand your topic.

Compare the groups' beliefs and practices (ideas and behaviors) regarding at least one domain of culture. Kinship systems, marital customs, political organization, economy, main modes of subsistence, magico-religious beliefs and practices, social change, residence patterns, family structure and organization, modes of social control, health- or illness-related beliefs and behaviors, effects of modernization or globalization, and many others are possible topics.

Discuss what you learned from your comparison that may be universal among all human populations, true of only some populations, or peculiar only to one or the other of the groups you studied.


What do I have to do? English is my second language. Can you explain to me clearly?

First paragraph:
1. Choose two different groups of people discussed in the book.
2. Find more information about these two groups. You must use the UMUC online library or research at the UMUC library. Do not use other online sources.

Second paragraph:
3. Compare the two groups' beliefs and practices in at least one topic. You can choose any of the topics listed in this paragraph. For instance, kinship means families -- so you could compare what makes up a family in each of these cultures. Is it just mother, father, and children? Does it include aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.?

Third paragraph
4. Which ideas and practices of your two groups are common to everyone? For instance, all cultures consider a mother and her children a family. Do the cultures you've studied believe a family is much more than that?

If you post the names of the two groups you want to study and the beliefs and practices you're writing about, we'll be glad to help you understand more about your assignment.

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