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Social Sciences
Article Critique
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Ritual Craft Specialists in Middle Range Societies (Article Critique Sample)

Dear Writer, The sentences generally have to be short, simple and straight foreword.The flowing points must be considered in the paper. 1) Full citation of the piece being critiqued. Place the citation at the top of the page. 2) Identify the main goal or goals of the paper. What are the broad questions or specific hypotheses being asked? Are they theoretical, methodological, cultural historical or a combination of the above? 3) Identify the main assumptions and/or definitions used. These may be unstated rather than stated, but try to figure out what is behind the propositions presented. Does the author betray any particular bias or theoretical school (with its own assumptions) that is important to understand the direction of the argument? 4) Discuss the reasoning, argumentation or rational used in the discussion. Does it make sense and is it supported by evidence? If so, what is it? This can address the relationship between method and data if it's a scientifically oriented article. If it is a theoretical piece than you should identify the rationale, philosophy or reasoning used. 5) Identify the main conclusions or opinions reached by the author 6) Finally, what is your evaluation of the article? This is where you demonstrate your own thinking and insight about the author's views. Look for the good and the bad. This is an important component of the critique. source..

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(02 December 2010)
Ritual Craft Specialists in Middle Range Societies
Katherine A. Spielmann in the article “Ritual Craft Specialists in Middle Range Societies” takes a look at the prehistoric middle range societies where specialists produced items of social identity that were used for rituals. The author discusses ethnographic case studies that make the reader understand social identities of specialists that are involved with rituals.
She focuses on the specialists and their economic activities that are based on the rituals and which have been identified as the "ritual mode of production". The question of the paper are based on cultural history and are also methodological since the author bases the arguments on the previous prehistoric case studies such as the Mimbres and Ohio Hopewell that focused on the range of ritual craft production scale. There is provision of data from the Iroquois and Northwest Coast tribes that have been found to deal with the ritual items production; the data is also backed by archaeological evidence that give the article a real touch.
The recruitment of the crafts persons is clearly discussed where those who had interest and skill were identified at a young age and trained. This made the trade of the craft be perfected by the young and skilled whereas the specialists were identified from the few craft persons. Gender has also been identified as a factor in the ritual craft trade in the middle range society where more men were involved and only few women used to make ceremonial baskets. The trade as an economic activity is addressed though not anyone would be allowed to be involved in the production of the ritual crafts but rather only the skilled. Indeed quotes “A few skilled ritual crafts persons per generation would seem to be the norm in some middle range societies, with skill rather than a particular social identity being the defining criterion”.
The main assumption was the link of the items to ritual power the crafts produced may have been produced for other purposes than rituals but the author connects them to the rituals of the societies. The discussion is very incisive since it looks in to the prehistoric case studies extensively. The author argues that the production was small scale and involved a lot of innovation and creativity.  Analyzes the societies critically in respect to the specialist where only few engaged in production of ritual productions as this was their area of specialization. She links the items produced to powerful spiritual and religious icons that were only used during ceremonies.
The author concludes that the skill of craftsmanship was passed from generation to generation and the crafts specialists were of three kinds in the middle range society. The skill was the major criteria that would qualify one to produce ritual products in the middle range societ...
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