The indigenous Shuar group in Ecuador Traditional medical or herbal remedies of a particular cultural group. The Hijra of India and Southern Asia, a socially recognized third gender The historic and/or modern Caste system of India Why cows are sacred in India Native American potlatches along the Northwestern Coast Foodways of a traditional culture Archaeology: Evidence for origin of a new technology, such as stone tools (Oldowan, Acheulean or Mousterian), bronze, iron, or pottery. It can also be something more specific, such as the bow and arrow, atl-atl, or the Mayan calendar, depending on your interest.
Ethnological (Cultural) Anthropology To consider a facet of human belief or behavior in cross-cultural perspective, such as creation myths of different cultures, the status of women, homosexuality, human sacrifice, cannibalism, or rituals associated with marriage or death. Contrasting views of the same culture, such as Margaret Mead and Derek Freedman in Samoa or Napoleon Chagnon and Kenneth Goode among the Yanomamö The Human Terrain System of the United State Military Cargo cults in the South Pacific Tsantsa (shrunken heads)
The domestication of a specific plant or animal. Theories on the peopling of the Americas. The archaeology of a specific culture or localized ethnicity. This can be a particular prehistoric culture, such as the Algonkians in eastern North Carolina and Virginia, or a specific culture from the historic period, or such as enslaved African-Americans in the antebellum South. An overview of long term archaeological research at a particular site. This should include how the on-going excavations and series of discoveries shaped the way we understand a past culture. Examples of unique methods, such as the use of plaster for casts at Pompeii and Cerén. Linguistic Anthropology The history or descent family of a particular language or language group A type of non-verbal communication in different cultures, such as gestures or facial expressions Communication and language studies with different primates, such as Koko the Gorilla or any number of different chimpanzees (e.g., Nim Chimp, Sherman, Austin, Washoe). This topic could be focused on different methods of instruction (such as the use of a plastic symbol keyboard or American Sign Language [ASL]) or the results of the studies. Biological (Physical) Anthropology: A facet of human genetics. Specific examples include blood types, hereditary disorders, albinism, skin color, or sickle-cell anemia. A history of using racial measurements to determine immigration into the United States Primate behavior: Different aspects of the behavior of one species or a comparative study in one aspect of behavior of several species. The discovery of, or controversy over, a specific species of Fossil apes or Hominid not discussed in class, such as Homo floresiensis. An aspect of forensic anthropology, such as reconstructing a face on a human skull or determining an individual’s age, sex or race based on their bone measurement and morphology. Examples of other topics selected by former students include cultural practices of the Japanese geisha, barbershops as social centers in African-American communities, evolution of African-American hairstyles, the social and economic change in NASCAR fandom from the Winston era to the Nextell era, a history of discriminatory practices of testing for sickle cell anemia, cultural attitudes in the preparation of pork barbeque across North Carolina, and religious practices of worship in Scientology, Kabbalah, and Voodoo (Vodun). If you do choose a topic not listed here, remember that it has to relate to some aspect of Anthropology and must be approved by me! Your final paper as submitted will also be run through SafeAssign to check for plaguarism. Based on my research experience, here are a few basic tips for good research papers: Research Tip # 1: If you are searching for a topic or beginning your research, general periodicals such as National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover, Natural History and Archaeology are good places to start. Sources from articles in these periodicals will most likely lead you to more technical or specialized publications. Research Tip # 2: While the World Wide Web is a useful research tool, do not base your report solely only what you find on the internet. Use information found on websites with caution, and only as a guide to printed sources. If you do use a website as a source, be sure to check to see when the page or information was last updated. Research Tip #3: It takes an average of between two to five years for current research to make it into print media. Be sure to check and see if there is any current research not covered in journals or books. A good place to start is the American Anthropological Association news page ( https://www.anthropology-news.org/ ). Research Tip # 4: If you are having trouble locating sufficient source material on your topic, please let me know as soon as possible, not the week before it is due! It may be that your topic is too narrow and may need to be expanded.
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