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2 pages

Please answer the following questions:

When you answer these questions make sure you use the contents in the textbook as your examples and/or references. And use inline citations properly (MLA format).

It is acceptable to break up your initial answers into multiple posts, 
but those multiple posts only count as one for participation (it is your first post answer). 

I noted in the overview that Alfred N. Whitehead once observed how major advances in civilization are processes that “all but wreck the society” where they occur.

Question 1: 

· How did the invention of typography wreck society in the 14th–15th Centuries? Explain with 2-3 examples. 

· What other modern technological advances since the printing presshas had a similar affect on society? What was it? 

· Compare and contrast the modern advancement to how the printing press wrecked society in the 14-15th centuries. Please include 2-3 different ways it has wrecked society.




Based on the Content lecture and your own ideas, discuss how learning about cultural relativism can help us reduce our ethnocentrism.

1 page


What is Anthropology? What is Culture?

What is Science?

There are 
sciences, such as the 
natural sciences (biology, biological anthropology. chemistry, physics,

astronomy, meteorology) and the 
social sciences  (sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology, human

geography, political science, economics). But what is science, itself?

In high school, science is taught as a method of investigation with the following steps:

1. Form a hypothesis (a testable question about the observable world)

2. Set up a controlled experiment in a laboratory.

3.Test the hypothesis by running the experiment.

4. Draw conclusions from the results.

5. Modify and re-run the experiment if necessary. 

At the college level, however, it is important to know the following are the actual steps in the process.

1. Observe the world and ponder it, producing questions.

2. Formulate the questions as testable hypotheses 

3. Develop a methodology for controlled testing of the hypothesis, whether the testing will be in a

    laboratory or out in nature, whether quantitative or qualitative data are collected. The methodology

    should be critiqued to guarantee that the experiment’s  measurements, sample sizes, reporting,

    etc., are in accordance with standards. Trial experiments may be done to correct problems before

    a full-scale experiment.

 4. The experiment is conducted, provided that conditions (such as permissions, financing, personnel,

     technology, and  weather, etc.) permit.

5. Data from the experiment should be analyzed by the defined methods.

6. A report must be written and submitted for review by peers or other recognized experts in the field.

7. If accepted with corrections, the report should be published for others in the field to read.

What is also important to know is the fact that science is conducted by scientists who are human beings

biases, meaning a prejudice for or against a particular point of view. Bias may be the result of the

historical context or even the personality of the reviewer. Science is a human endeavor.

There are five features of science, all of which must be part of a particular research in order for it to be


Empiricism – Data must be derived from observation, either directly through the senses or with the

    assistance of  instruments.  

Testability –   There must be conditions under which the hypothesis is rejected.  

Uniformitarianism – Given the same conditions, experiments or natural occurrences will produce the

    same results. 

Reproducibility-   Experimental results must be confirmed by other scientists who have no bias for or

    against the hypothesis..

Parsimony – the simplest explanation for the facts is accepted as true.

theory, in science, is not just an untested hypothesis. It is a set of laws or law-like generalizations based

on facts.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology consists of four fields of study, as follows:

Physical (Biological) Anthropology – is a natural science including the study of nonhuman primates, their 


   behavior and evolution; human evolution, human variation, human skeletal anatomy and forensics; population 


Archeology – is the study of past cultures, both prehistoric (before written records) and historic (with written records),

   focusing on material culture (artifacts and other remains).

Cultural Anthropology – is the study of living cultures: ecology and subsistence adaptations; economics, politics, and

    kinship systems; religion and art. An 
ethnography is a report about a particular culture’s lifeways. 
Ethnology compares

    different cultures. There are many subfields within cultural anthropology, such as urban anthropology, or ethnographic


Linguistics – is the study of language and languages. There are many subfields in linguistics, including anthropological linguistics (“language and culture”) and sociolinguistics (use of language in different social contexts)

What is Culture?

Culture was defined by the 19th century anthropologist E.B. Tylor as follows:

“Culture is that 
complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and

any other capabilities 
acquired by man” (humans) ”
as a member of society.” 

This means that one’s culture is learned in one’s society and its parts of integrated into a

working system.

Culture was also defined as the ”
superorganic” by A.L. Kroeber. This means that it is above

and beyond the biology of the human; it is not inborn, but learned.

Leslie White described culture as a 
three-layer cake, with the following layers:

                                       Ideology (Belief Systems)

                                               Social Structure

                                          Subsistence Patterns

Subsistence patterns (food and shelter) influence 
social structure (economics, politics, and kinship systems), which, in turn,

ideology (religious or political belief systems). There is even influence from the higher layers (such as ideology)

down to the lower layers, such as rules about kinship relations or dietary rules. Human culture is, therefore, an integrated


G.P. Murdock wrote about 
cultural universals, that is, what all humans share. This is because humans all have the same

needs for subsistence, for political and kinship systems, for belief systems. As such, human cultures share such diverse traits

as rites of passage (ceremonies at different stages of life) and dancing and joking.  Despite cultural universals, humans 

ethnocentrism (belief in the superiority of one’s own culture) and culture shock (a negative emotional reaction)

when encountering another culture’s lifeways. Anthropology teaches us to reduce our ethnocentrism by understanding that

cultures should be judged in terms of their own specific adaptive needs in their particular environments. This is known as

cultural relativism.

cultures change over time due to 
demographic (populational), and 
historical changes. Humans experienced great

environmental change at the end of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) epoch, inventing new tools for new subsistence patterns,

leading to new economic and political practices. Changes in demographics (population size and structure) have occurred

for millennia, altering cultural adaptations from food collection to food production and to urban state societies. Historical

changes such as continuing technological advances and political actions are also responsible for cultural change.

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