Assignment Overview:

Cultural anthropology encourages us to think about how culture is a uniquely shared feature across the human experience. We are invited to see cultures and societies different from our own through a lens that highlights our similarities. We may begin to even see our own culture, that which we don’t question and think of as “normal”, through a more objective viewpoint.

For your final assignment, you will use the concepts in our class to look at your own cultural ideologies, practices, and patterns through the lens of anthropology. You will produce a five paragraph informative essay (750-100 words) that looks at THREE forms of social organization in our culture. You will need to correctly identify the pattern and dynamics in each form of social organization, implementing key terms and ethnographic description. For each form of social organization, you will use ONE fieldwork method conducted in your home to support your claim.

Select three of the following forms of social organization:


Social Stratification and Identity Gender/Sex/Sexuality

Kinship and Marriage


750-1000 words, double-spaced, 12 point font.

Creative title at the top of the first page.

Citations and work cited page. (No need to do outside research but you should use your text and other materials to support your claims.)

APA format.

Five fully developed paragraphs.

Proper identification of the forms of social organization in our society.

Key terms and concepts applied consistently and in proper context.


Here is an outline of what your paper COULD look like. DO NOT COPY MY EXAMPLE. I want to see you thinking CREATIVELY, so copying my example won’t quite get you there.

I. Introduction

Attention-catching opening (describe a scene, use an interesting fact, GET YOUR READER’S ATTENTION!), overview of culture, social organization and related concepts;

Thesis Statement: This paper describes three forms of social organization in Western societies: industrialized subsistence, binary gender roles and norms, and monotheistic religious beliefs based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between (dates) in (location.)

II. Body Paragraph 1: Subsistence

Key terms: Industrialism

Fieldwork method: Photography (photos of packaged food items purchased from a grocery store.)

III. Body Paragraph 2: Gender Identity

Key terms: Gender binary, cultural construction, gender roles

Fieldwork method: Participant observation (observe gender norms and roles of family members during a specified time at home.)

IV. Body Paragraph 3: Social Stratification and Identity – Race/Ethnicity

Terms used: cultural construction, Race, stratification

Fieldwork method: Interview. Ask a family member about their race,

V. Conclusion

Restate thesis in some detail, tie things back to the intro, and provide final thoughts.