The attached document has full project information. The book used is Monique and the Mango Rains. The goal is to demonstrate a clear understanding of how biology and culture interact to inform the experiences of health and illness in Mali and beyond through well-written, thesis-driven prose. Convey to the reader your understanding of the course material and its significance. Regardless of your chosen prompt, you should provide specific examples from the book and it is strongly recommended that you include at least a brief discussion of the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. Keeping the above goal in mind, choose one of the following options to guide your writing: 1.) Living immersed in another culture helps you to recognize and reflect on your own culture. In Monique and the Mango Rains, Kris Holloway recounts her experiences living and working in Mali. Use the book to reflect on how culture impacts the experience of health, illness, and healing. What did Holloway learn about health, illness, and healing? As one way of looking cross-culturally, compare and contrast your personal experiences of health, illness, and/or healing with individuals described in the book. 2.) Medical anthropology often focuses on having a cross-cultural perspective to understanding health, illness, and healing. One cross-cultural universal is childbirth; every culture has to determine how to incorporate childbirth into society. How is childbirth experienced in Mali? (You may want to consider the description of childbirth from chapter 1.) What are the drawbacks and the benefits to giving birth in Mali? Compare and contrast childbirth in Mali with childbirth in the United States. How is childbirth culturally constructed? Why does this matter? 3.) Cross-culturally, societies structure relations between, and among, men and women. Throughout Monique and the Mango Rains, gender relations in Nampossela, Mali are explored. How are the lives of men and women in this area of Mali impacted by gender? How do gender norms impact the experience of health, healing, childbirth, and/or illness? Do gender norms impact the experience of health, healing, childbirth, and/or illness in a culture that you participate in? Explain. You may want to make comparisons with Schooled on Fat. 4.) Toward the end of Monique and the Mango Rains, Holloway thinks about her upcoming departure from Nampossela. When she returns to the US, her life will change. Yet, some aspects of life in Mali she finds very appealing. While Holloway is in Mali as a Peace Corps volunteer, some of her experiences are similar to those of an anthropologist. Compare and contrast Holloway’s experiences with what you know of anthropological fieldwork. What are the strengths and challenges of fieldwork? What challenges do “cultural outsiders” grapple with? Are any of these challenges experienced differently for those positioned as Peace Corps volunteers vs. anthropologists conducting research? What are some of the attractions and difficulties of being a Peace Corp volunteer OR being an anthropologist? As you craft your response, you may want to consider the following: How do you think Holloway’s presence in the village affected Monique and/or the villagers? How was Holloway’s life changed by having known Monique and/or the villagers? 5.) One common theme in anthropology is that of continuity and change. Cultures change over time, while maintaining aspects of older practices, beliefs, and behaviors. Choose a practice related to health and/or healing (examples include: female circumcision – background material available in UAMA #43, or the use of traditional healers – background material available in UAMA #42) discussed in Monique and the Mango Rains that demonstrates this theme. How is the culture and the practice being perpetuated over time at the same time that it is changing? Why does this matter? 6.) Self-identified – Think back on the key terms and ideas throughout the semester. What have been some of the key ideas, terms, or themes of interest to you? How does Monique and the Mango Rains demonstrate or expand upon these key ideas, terms, or themes? Strong self-identified topics clearly integrate information across sources using in-text citations. Example: Compare and contrast heteronormativity documented in Monique and the Mango Rains with that described in Schooled on Fat. A solid conclusion would discuss the significance of this comparison.
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