Create your own culture

Create your own culture

For this assignment, you will create your own culture, designing a history and environment, as well as political, economic, social, and belief systems. Your culture will experience a dramatic change (introduction of a new technology, incorporation into a broader economy, environmental change, introduction of a new belief system, etc.). Your essay should detail how this change will affect your culture.

The first half of the essay should describe your culture before the “event,” and the remaining half should discuss how the change altered the political, economic, social, and belief systems of your culture.

The essay is about social change. The aim of the project is to enable you to combine creative thinking while demonstrating your knowledge of anthropological concepts. Your culture may live on Cloud 9 or in the sewer pipes under the city. It must, however, “make sense.” By making sense, I mean for example that your culture cannot have great cities and subsist by hunting and gathering (unless you provide some mechanism that allows for that possibility).

Throughout this essay, not only must your culture make logical sense, but you must apply and display understanding of anthropological concepts you have learned throughout the course. On the following page is a list of anthropological terms that have been discussed in class or in the readings this quarter. You must incorporate at least 10 of these into your essay. Be sure to clearly demonstrate that you know what the term means. Also, be sure to underline your terms.

Correct example: the pastoralists on Creatania engage in unicorn herding as a way of life. One aspect of their social system is patrilineal descent which means that only males inherit unicorns from their parents. Unicorns are important to marriage arrangements because they are used for bridewealth. The groom and his family present them as gifts to the bride and her family before or during marriage.

Incorrect example: the pastoralists on Creatania practice patrilineal descent and bridewealth. (Although this sentence uses the underlined terms correctly, it is unacceptable because it does not demonstrate knowledge of the terms.)

Note: The culture you create should be entirely fictional (do not describe an actual or historical culture), and entirely your own creation (do not base your culture off of an existing work of fiction – novel, video game, movie, etc.).


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