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How Humans Adapt to Survive Different Environment, Both Social and Physical

Essay by   •  May 9, 2018  •  Case Study  •  2,252 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,229 Views

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Devon Mertzel


  1. Cultural Ecology/Substance Systems

How humans adapt to survive different environment, both social and physical.  

People who live in colder climates have lighter skin and people in hotter climates have darker skin. This is because of the skin pigments over time people who live closer to the equator developed a higher amount of melanocytes in their pigments.

  1. Social Ritual

A ritual is a gathering of people to either have a ceremony or celebration in honor of tradition and/or religion.

Super Bowl Parties are a tradition here in United States of America.

  1. Biological essentialism (think biological differentiation- lecture)

This explains that we are born a specific way for a reason, and how we are is because of our genetics. We act a certain way because it is pre-determined and we don’t make our own choices.

Stereotypes are a good example: All Mexicans are illegal immigrants. This is very untrue because there are plenty who are born citizens, got green cards, or visas.

  1. Culture

The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

Example of culture can be the holidays you celebrate. Catholic people celebrate Christmas, Jewish people celebrate Chanukah and Muslim people celebrate Eid Mubarak.  

  1. Ethnographic Research

This is the study and investigation of a culture by analyzing the members of the culture.  

Example of culture can be scrapbooks or any writing pieces from a member of that culture.

  1. Acculturation/socialization

Socialization is the process by which the individual learns of the norms and values of the society in which he/she is raised. Acculturation is the process of learning the norms and values of a society different from the one in which the person was raised.

United States of America is an acculturated society because we have every religion, nationality and color skin person here. We are a true melting pot because you can always find somewhere to fit in.

  1. Cultural Relativism

This is the principle of regarding the beliefs, values and practices of a culture from the viewpoint of that culture itself.

In the U.S. a typical breakfast might be pancakes and eggs with bacon. In New York especially kids in school are famous for a bacon egg and cheese on a roll. These are examples of cultural relativism in this country.

  1. Culture Shock

This is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

My mom visited a country where they didn’t have toilet paper. She was not going to let water from an Asian toilet clean her off so she used napkins. She said it was the worst experience of culture shock she experienced.

  1. Naïve Realism

This is the idea that gives us a sense of awareness of what objects really are.

Optical Illusions are a good example because you can see more than one image inside of a single image.

  1. It is understood that a person’s culture works to shape and produce his or her perspective and worldview. Give an example from the course readings that show how culture can determine one’s relationship with the environment. Include examples of how precisely culture, or the rituals and beliefs of a people, affect a people’s relationship with their surroundings/environment.

“Forest Development the Indian Way” shows the differences between the practices of our old culture and new culture. Environments were taken care of way before we decided to take every natural resource from our environment. There are rituals and beliefs against such a way of life, but that won’t stop the rest of the world. We were born with no electronics, no energy sources and no equipment. We have invented power sources, weapons, and simple personal preference items such as cars. Cars burn fossil fuels and emit gas into our atmosphere destroying our ozone layer. This is negatively affecting the climate and ruining our environment and nature.

The original settlers, the Guarani were hunters and gatherers. They used natural ways to gather food, make homes and survive. They didn’t rely on any factory-made products to chop trees down or kill animals for their fur. If they hunted they maintained what they hunted and made sure the whole animal served a purpose. They would have man-made homes not machine built. Their small population and resourceful techniques helped sustain the life of the tropical forest.

  1. Continuing the theme from question #1: the inverse (opposite) can also be true. That is, the environment can also work to shape particular social relationships or cultural connections between people and their environment. Give an example of how environmental conditions can work to shape cultural practices and individual Identity.

The Guarani are a prime example of a society who uses teamwork in their practices. Being a hunter or a gatherer isn’t easy work, especially coming from my perspective where if I want food it’s already at the store ready to cook, or already prepared.  Hunters and gatherers needed to work together just to survive. If you are hunting for an animal so the family can eat, you can’t fight with your partner who is gathering fruits, vegetables and home supplies. You have food they have a home and goodies. That’s like peanut butter without jelly or vice versa.

Having such a culture where you are dependent on each other kept the Guarani to strive in their environment. They had to practice being a team to get where they are and maintain a society. The Mayans were a society that didn’t survive for unknown reasons, but my guess is lack of teamwork and they died out when a natural disaster happened. Their individual identity can get reshaped because you have to be careful with what you do because now it will affect everyone not just you.

  1. Social rituals are at the heart of the creation and propagation of cultural assumptions/ideas (norms). In short, rituals work to construct and reinforce reality. We have learned, for instance, that our “conceptual framework” gives us our worldview, or our sense of who we are, and of our place in this world. Give an example of at least one social ritual or tradition that has this calculated effect. Describe the symbolic meaning (s) that is transmitted through the ritualistic behavior you select.  

Christmas is a holiday celebrated by billions of people. It is the birth of Jesus Christ and a time to give gifts for life. Time is spent with families gifts are given to the good and coal is given to the bad. Gifts are given from the heart and are meant to show a year’s thankfulness. In all reality kids love gifts and parents love to see their kids happy, so why not celebrate it on your son of God’s birthday? In the catholic religion we are all sons of God, but Jesus is also the son of God which is confusing because we are not the brother of Jesus Christ.



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