ABOUT SOMEONE'S LIFE

Cultural Anthropology, Fall, 2012
Provide a short introduction to your paper. Tell us who you are interviewing (using a pseudonym), how you met
this person, a brief statement about the way in which your paper is about a “life in cultural context, ”and
finally why this is an interesting story to tell.
Two paragraphs about how you conducted the interview, collected your data, organized your documentation, and
analyzed your data. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this methodology? How did you insure that you
have accurate data? Compare your method with those of other anthropologists.
Summary of your data: Provide a chronicle of the life story as told to you by your informant. Do not merely
provide a list of answers provided to you, but organize the data according to relevant themes: family,
ethnicity, religion, childhood socialization, important events, etc. This section will be the evidence from
which you can make conclusions about the cultural influences on your subject’s life.
Analysis and Conclusion: In this section, you will make a more general thesis statement about how culture
affects the formation of identity. What have you learned about the cultural influences on this person’s life
and what have you learned about how this person contributed to the social environment in which he or she lived?
Accordingly, you will rely on the data summary in section 4 as supportive evidence for your conclusions and
analysis. This section is a typical thesis driven essay, showing your ability to apply an idea to a particular
situation (that is, a theory of the self to the life history of your subject). Conclude your paper with a
statement of what you learned about anthropology by writing this case study and what you believe is the major
contribution of anthropology to the study of people.
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