CONGRATS! finished anth 213!

June 4, 2009

This has been a really cool and i hope that you all do well in exams and have good holidays ! x sianara!


ok im a convert, so shoot me!

June 4, 2009

i was a little reluctant to try and read Philippe Ariès article “death denied”, but after some encouragement from feelow members of this course i gave myself some time and read it. and to be honest i really liked it. it is so true for our society at large that we do not acknowledge death the way we used to and how it has been changed as our society has changed. like how hospitals and funeral homes have taken the roles as care givers for the dying as the family members and friends become more busy in our society. what i do wonder is would we be able to handle it, if we had to look after a terminally ill person we cared about and loved, even though we could nearly stand to be around them when their dying? and theres a lot of taboo about death, doctors are “treating” a patient rather then looking after them until the enevitable. families dont want to except that their loved one is dying.  death is not a release anymoreand  it has become our curse. also the discuusion on the coffins or cremation was quite interesting and how people interpreted their uses, like the coffin nearly kept the dead on earth while cremation was more final, and the body was gone. also how cremation has become easier for our society, we dont need to go to a cemetary because you can have you dead ancestors in your home where it may seem more appropriate. also death is nearly a surprise these days and there is a more flexible structure on how to deal with death than further back in the 19th century, maybe becuse we are finding more cures and using better technology, maybe we have become naive and thought we can beat death? and for the grisely bit i thought it quite interesting embalming cam in the american civil war  to preserve the bodies of fallen soldiers, i dont think there are many places in the world now that dont try to preserve the body by embalming…again sorry for the rant and hope you guys have good holidays ! ciao !

Andre Hazzes funeral and death in maori culture

May 26, 2009

i think the main point in the lecture this morning was to establish there was both a private and public shpere to the death of Andre Hazzes because of his fame and his connection to the people of holland. his funeral arrangments also seemed to help people overcome the shock of his death by making the rites of his death and disposal very personalised. it was interesting to see how the funeral was to some extent very unconventional, but it was accepted to be like that because of his character. such as the beer and the hats annd the ceremonies at the football stadium. as i said before the idea that his habitus related to so many people in the working classes made his death and disposal very important not just to his immediate friends and family, but also his fans and the rest of holland as a nation. like the total media coverage of all his death and disposal ceremonies and the presence of the police (representing the state) escorting his coffin to the footbal stadium. although his funeral could been seen as unconventional there were specific locations that the ceremonies toke place at and had certain sacred importance to the individual like the house of blues i n orlando and the football stadium.

from the readings on maori funerals it was interesting to see how these contradicted the very public/state presence at Andre Hazzes funeral. and to a point these maori ceremonies had a lot more structure and rules. and made them unconnected to the pakeha part of new zealand. the maori funeral rites are older and less influenced by their contemporary environment. i also found it quite interesting that there was a huge emphasis on cleaniness in the maori rites as people would often wash their hands and were very strict on what they could and could not do during the ceremony. it also related back to traditional maori society where women were profane and dirty maybe and the men were clean and transcendent to an extent. also the ceremony was very communal and very tied to significant places of maori cultural importance, like the marai.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding!!!

May 21, 2009

and habitus of course.

i thought i would go over the lecture this morning while it was still fresh. we can see that habitus is very evident in this film like how things are supposed to be esspecially for the greek family and how it has been engrained into tulas life. like the family involvement in the wedding its a value in their society to be very involved in everyones bussiness esspecially when it comes to weddings.

there is also the expectations of both families of what they believe is their social capital. like the husbands parents thinking that maybe they have a higher standing in society over the greek family. they expect the couple to have the wedding at their country club where they have a authoritative status- yet they wont get it! it is a very strained seen where the parents seem to have power over the couple and tula becomes very uncomfortable about her greek background, its painful for her to show them the book, but she is determined to have a greek wedding for her family.

also tulas consistent self reflection is quite interesting as she trie to be different from her family but also wants to be part of them. she may be struggling with her connection to what she wants and what they want. its interesting to see how her roles change to suit everyone else. with her fiances family she tries to sort of work with them over the wedding  (the parthenon is optional), but also she has her duties as a daughter. i guess you can say its a mix of social authoritative power and tula trying to be a dutiful daugther when she and her father are discussing the guest list. he say “who knows how much longer i am going to be alive?” and that kind of shows an authoritative, man a the head of the family stance he is taking. itll be great to hear anything extra anyone else would like to add 😀 have a good weekend guys!

Wedding rituals in Cypres

May 11, 2009

i thoguht the aritcle or ethnography on the wedding rituals in cypres was quite interesting for its role as a political ritual as well as a rite of pasage for the couple. the male masculinity dominance is very apparent, esspecially as the women will not even dance in front of the men, but rather sit and watch or serve food. the fathers led the bride and groom to the wedding ceremony where the rest of the family (including the mothers) had to stay further behind and follow. this demonstrated to me that there is a heirarchical domination of power in these rituals and that by being the leaders in the processions the fathers ledgitimise the position as say the head of the family. and how these celebrations are public and demonstrate the authority the fathers had over their families so they could be repected in society. although women also seemed to have their own sphere in the ceremony, like the washing of the rice and dressing the bride. also i thought it was interesting how the society would wish the couple to have a first male son. which i guess could uphold a communal value of male leadership maybe. for strengh or people saw a male figure as holding these values more than a female maybe? its intetresting to read that people would want so much for these weddings, by even getting loans to pay for their etravagance and you can wonder whether its all for their children or as said in the article that it is for the parents need to be equal or even better thann other parents.

Need help with Anzac day assignment

May 5, 2009

so what i am thinking of focusing on is how the ceremony is very controlled by the government or the speaker. but there are a few things i am not sure how to relate to Anzac day. such as the breach, crisis, redressive action and reintegration. does this relate to just the events of Anzac day or does this relate to the continuous cycle of anzac day each year? is the crisis that we will not remember the men who died in world wars and the redressive action the ceremony held by the government? and then the reintegration the social cohesion of people coming together to moarn/celebrate Anzac day? also with the invention of tradition, is this relating to the government of australia and new zealand organising these rituals for a political purpose as well as for the families and the communities who lost loved ones in the war?? it will be great if anyone has any ideas. cheers!

Invention of Tradition in Poland

May 1, 2009

just going over the notes for this week, it was interesting to find how the may day celebrations in Poland have been transformed over the years. Refering to the lecture on monday about Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger’s theories on how rituals or traditions can be changed to establish a certain group with power over another I can see how the communist party completely changed the May day celebrations to make people believe they were in power. when before it was traditionally it was a day for workers to demonstrate against the government or system that governed them and was slowly changed to become a national holiday orcastrated by the communist party which also emphasised a lot of national values and patriotic symbolism (like the parades and the red and white flags and the hailing of stalin and lenin). the May day celebrations also celebrated religious ceremonies and was already a holiday so it may have been easy for the communist party to use and to get support. one thing i thought was quite interesting was that in the parades the army members would walk amoung the crowd, to make sure they were included into the crowd and to give the ideal that everyone was equal in the communist society- even though you could be marked as an enermy of the state if you did not comply- and i guess the more people that became involved and participated the ritual of may day political celebrations continued and gained strength.

the funnny thing i think about is that slowly it became a day of protest against the communist system, and how the church helped them do this by having demonstrations and celebrating St. josephs day (the day of workers). and how more people could identify with catholicism and anti-communism, and because their demonstrations were forced to be random and to be quite forcefull this made many people feel that they wanted change, compared to the very planned and solemn ceremonies held by the communist party in power.

the power of political rituals

April 7, 2009

i was reading the article about the youth organisations and rites of pasage in the soviet union and i think for me it highlighted some of the points of a political ritual. or at least what they can represent and how they are designed to make society as a whole support the government or leaders. for example, in the ceremonies there was a lot of soviet uninion regalia and the initiads had pledge alligence to their community and swear that they would uphold the ideals and values that the soviet union believed were “russian ways”. i thought of the i dea that these rituals grab the attention of people around them and make them listen, which is in a lot of the ceremonies where fanfares would call “listen all!” as a command to the people to listen to the speaker. the children or young adults would pledge alligence to the motherland, to lenin, to their communities and to the soviet union cause. also i can kind of see how people would be unified for thezse causes, thses ceremonies (being rites of pasage) are really important in bringing young people to a new levels of society and have a lot of emotional significance for all involved. to be part of society you honour the past and the people before you and you promise to honour their sacrifices by working hard for the community. i guess to some extenct this can also be applied to anzac day, by honouring the sacrifices that young men made so that a world war wont happen again. but i also wonder how relevant anzac day has become to all parts of new zealand society. whether we can celebrate the lives of the people who have past on before us, regardless of whether they were soldiers inb the wars, or that it is a specific holiday where only a certsin group of new zealanders can really celebrate it and identify it as celebrating the ones who were lost during the war and have never been found.

german olympics 1936

April 2, 2009

one thing i thought was interesting about this article is that it incorporated two different rituals at once. the ritual of unification of the world and the rituals of the opening of they olympics and also that it was a performance of the strength of hitler and german regime at that time. there was the flaming touch through all the countries by all the runners, but then the last runner was a berlinner who looked like the idealised german, was reffered to as a god gaining victory. maybe subtly showing germanys strength to the rest of the world. also how areas or germany had displayed german mythic motifs and had made a point of getting as many people as possible to see these exhibitions. and the repeated hail hitler throughtout the ceremonies. and the swastikas everywhere. and the german people and country looking after tourists really well and being very hospitable. which i guess is showing the world at that time of germanys strength and unity under hitler. another  interesting thing was the different salutes and flag dipping to hitler and the officials, america, britain and france doing different salutes to hitler rather than the italians. and the americans refusing to dip their flag to hitler. also i think at the ceremony they made out hitler as a fatherly, caring figure with ‘his children

ritual performances and politics

April 2, 2009

just to go over the lecture this morning. so hopefully it sticks a little bit more in my head!

victor turner sees the rituals of life as a movements or processes rather than completely structured events. there is a desire to gain order and structure but it is never quite obtained. there is an established process for rituals in social life, but there is also alot of ambiguity or unknown in them. victor turner says that social life or culture is permenantly in a mode of transformation (is always changing) and the outcome of rituals performed are unknown and not predetermined. people are actors and are acting out a social rituals portraying values and underlying issues  to an audience.

the four stages  of this are breach, crisis, redressive action and reintegration/ schism.

  1. breach is when there is a break in normal social relationships or bonds.
  2. crisis is a stage of liminality (or transformation),
  3. redressive action is also a liminal stage and is a process of resolution, which can be in an informal or formal form, which can be a be a public performance. the redressive action is seen as an inversion or the betwixt and between where events can be replicated to show underlying issues and values within a society.
  4. there are two possible outcomes: reintegration where a group is brought back to normal social life, but they are transformed or there is schism where the group is changed into an entirely new form. i hope this is making sense and works. does anyone have some good examples for  a breach and a crisis>? it might a bit to explain it a bit better.

there are three qualities of a performance

  • they engage peoples senses, by sounds, clapping etc, so that they get pulled into the event or cause emotionally. as group actions are multi-sensory experience where all your senses are intensely engaged that you become emotionally involved or move by the experience you cannot rationally explain why.
  • another quality is their framing the force people to look and pay attention, they are different from normal life so people take notice and it is done by other people (or portrayed by actors so to speak) so it is performed to an audience.
  • the last quality is their symbolism. the symbols used creates and portrays desired values to a society by a political party so that the people believe that they share these same values. for example the hitler rallies which had swastikas and german motifs and the crowds of people showed  a unified germany and a powerful germany under the control of hitler… i think!

and also that the campaigns for politicians is the greatest struggle and possibly the more important ritual. how politicains connect with the people in their socities and how they convince people that their values are congruent to everyone in society.

large mass group rituals are also the most effective way to make more people engage in the political values . shows group unity and strength and it is a shared experience which makes it a powerful tool for political campaigns. people need to be convinced that the political cause is genuine and will help them in their everyday lives.

we are governed by laws and if we break them we get punished, but we also have to agree and believe they work for us as well as the governing power over us.