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Role of Anthropology Best Suited for Human Rights (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
ANT 199 Final Essay Question Nearly all of the texts we have read for this course have laid out roles for anthropology--or anthropologists--to play when it comes to the issue of human rights. Some have done this explicitly (like Messer), others implicitly by providing a model through their own anthropological practice (like Scheper-Hughes, or Tate). For your final essay, I want you to write an essay that answers the question: What role do you think anthropology (or anthropologists) is best suited to fill when it comes to human rights? You will need to draw upon the work of at least two authors/texts when answering this question. No extra rewards will accrue those students who use more than two, but points will be taken away for those using less than two. There are many possible answers to this question. You might say that, through their work, anthropologists are well-suited to play an activist role in contexts of human rights violations. Or you might say that anthropology is best in focusing on research in contexts of human rights practice, because they can point out the strengths, as well as the pitfalls and shortcomings of that practice for human rights advocates and activists. You might even say that anthropology should approach the subject of human rights with a skeptical eye, for anthropologists can see that “human rights” is a culturally specific way of understanding and acting in the world that may not match up with the visions of justice and wellbeing of other culturally specific ways of being in the world. Or you might come up with another response. I am not looking for a specific answer; there is no right or wrong answer, only those that are well substantiated and argued and those that are not. No matter how you answer this question, however, you will have to come up with a definition of what anthropology is, or what anthropology (or the anthropologist) does, by drawing upon the examples offered in this course. The length is between 3-4 pages, one inch margins, 12 pt. Times New Roman font (between 1000-1300 words). You need to bring a hard copy with your name and student number on it to class (March 27) and submit an electronic copy of your paper as a .word or .pdf document to turnitin.com by the time class begins (10:00am). Instructions on how to use turnitin.com will follow shortly. There will be time in class to discuss this assignment. Two tips on writing a good essay: (A) The first paragraph of the essay should contain at least two things: (1) it should contain the main point/argument of the essay. In this case, that is a statement which clearly states your answer to the question. (2) It should contain a brief roadmap of what the paper will actually do, i.e. how it will accomplish the goal of the paper, which is to persuade the reader (me) to agree with your answer. It is often the case that what your main point/argument is, and how you accomplish that point or argument, shifts a bit in the actual writing of the paper. Therefore it is VERY important when you are done writing the essay to go back to the introductory paragraph or two and make sure that what you say that you are going to do is what you actually do. It is very common that we write the first paragraph at least twice: once, when we begin writing the essay, and then we re-write when we are finished writing the essay. And while I expect all work to be done on these essays to be your own, it can be very helpful to leave yourself a little time before it is due to have someone else read it in order to see if they understand what you wrote. If you find they did not, then you have a chance to change it. (B) Individual paragraphs. This is an important rule of thumb that can be used as a diagnostic which you can perform on your own writing to see if you are organizing it clearly: all paragraphs exist to make one point, and only one point. If a paragraph contains two points, split it into two paragraphs. Of course, you can only make a point if the point is on the page, not in your head. Moreover, all information in a paragraph should relate to that point. If you find that there is information in a paragraph that does not relate to that point (no matter how interesting it is), cut it out, or include it in a second paragraph that makes a separate point. Dear Class, After some conversations with your fellow classmates, I have decided to offer some additional clarification/final thoughts for your take home essays. The first has to do with the sentence in the instructions in which I stated that students would have to come up with a definition of what anthropology is, or what anthropology does, as part of their essay. Let me clarify: I do NOT require nor particularly want students to include in their essay a definition of what anthropology is or what anthropologists do. What I DID mean with this is that regardless of whether you answer that anthropologists are best suited to an activist role, an advocacy role, or a more traditional academic/researcher role, you will need to communicate what you think an anthropologist/anthropology brings to this role that for example, a lawyer, or a community organizer, a priest, or a political scientist do not. What I do NOT want is a a formal definition along the lines of "Anthropology is..." or "Anthropologists are those who..." The second additional thought is more an extension of what I wrote in the original instructions regarding the format of a good academic essay. That first paragraph should not only include an explicit answer to the question (something like "When it comes to human rights, anthropologists/anthropology is best suited to..."); your answer to that question also needs to include a statement of WHY you think that is the best role. That is the main point/argument around which the rest of the essay is organized. The rest of the first paragraph should be to tell the reader (me) how you will go about elaborating or backing up your answer using authors from the course; the rest of the essay will be to do what you tell us you will do in the first paragraph. I will submit the readings seperately. source..
Content:

Role of Anthropology Best Suited for Human Rights
Name: Inder Kaur
ANT199H
Prof. Andrew Gilbert
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Through their work, anthropologists are well suited to play an activist’s role in contexts of human rights violations. There is a special relationship existing between anthropologists and human rights as stated in The Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights which examines the involvement of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and Anthropology Professions in Human rights (Merry 2003).As a profession, Anthropology is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the rights of people so that they can fully come to a realization of their humanity and capacity for culture. AAA participates with its ethical responsibilities when a culture or society depraves a person the opportunity to be in touch with his or her culture. Its working definition is paramount on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), elimination of all forms of women discrimination, formation of covenants on civil, political, social, cultural rights and the conventions on mass killings and torture. Human rights keeps on changing as the human conditions keep on evolving. Therefore, it is the duty of an anthropologist to enlarge peoples understanding of human rights using the anthropological research and knowledge. Consequently, it is the kind where the conceptions of human rights are framed to best suit anthropological ideas and principals. Anthropology cuts across the forms of human unity and human diversity from an academic level and anthropologists seek to adapt this knowledge to solve human related There may be a special relationship existing between anthropologists and human rights. Consequentlyproblems. Consequently, it is the place where the conceptions of human rights are framed to best suit anthropological ideas and principals. Therefore, Aanthropology cuts across the forms of human unity and human diversity at an academic level and anthropologists seek to adapt this knowledge to solve human related problems. Anthropology is suitable in focusing on research in contexts of human rights practice, because they can point out the strengths as well as the pitfalls and shortcomings of that practice for human rights advocates and activists.
Anthropology should approach the subject of human rights with a sceptical eye for because anthropologists can see that human rights is a culturally specific way of understanding and acting in the world that may not match up with the visions of justice and wellbeing of other culturally specific ways of being in the world. Anthropologists play a great role in contributing to human rights. For example, after failing to obtain national human right framework to demand freedom of association and expression, freedom from violence and demand for social and economic justice, individuals opt to using the international human rights which are widely distributed by anthropologists. Hence,...
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