Anthro writing assignment 4

Anthro writing assignment 4 - Allison Mickel December 6...

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Allison Mickel December 6, 2007 ANTH 202: Cultural Anthropology Writing Assignment #4: Violent Conflict and its Cultural Roots In Richard Deats’s 1999 article, The Culture of Violence , he suggests that personal or small-scale instances of violence in America stem from the U.S. government’s contradictory policy on violence. Through the haze of a militarized foreign policy, America’s leaders call for internal peace and a feeling of brotherhood among all American citizens. Deats cites this contradiction as a central one that American culture attempts to explain and resolve; however, this attempt creates tension that often sublimates in instances such as the one at Columbine, or, more recently, Virginia Tech. As examples, Deats cites our stance on international intervention. Peacekeeping forces are a joke; in a country that spends 420.7 billion dollars on our military endeavors, it is impossible to imagine resolving conflicts like those in the Yugoslav states through talks and peer mediation (Robbins 305). Peace-education programs blame our exorbitant military spending for a decline in quality of life (Robbins 304). It makes sense to the anthropologist that our treatment of other countries would create a paradigm for our treatment of each other, as culture is often formed top-down (imposed by the authority on the masses) and culture is a main informant of our behavior. But what makes the United States so trigger-happy? On a large scale, why are we always ready to reload? Anthropologist Bernard Mishkin studied the Kiowa Indians and saw their culture’s orientation towards violence as their way of establishing social hierarchy (Robbins 250). Certainly this extends to the United States. In the international sphere, at least in our minds, part of being a major world power is becoming involved in those conflicts where we feel we can make a difference.
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