How are the “advertising missionaries” challenging the mental maps of reality for their audience in rural Papua New Guinea?
If this is an example of enculturation, to what are the people of Papua New Guinea being enculturated into? Do you see this as part of a global “homogenizing effect?”
How is “power” involved in this dynamic? Would you describe it as hegemonic? Why or why not?
How might the introduction of the products promoted by the troupe of actors affect Aluago? Do you see this as positive or negative? Why? do those depicted in the selection exhibit the “culture of consumption?” How do norms, values, beliefs, practices, and institutions work together to produce this response?
Do you shop to survive, or shop to belong? Think about how you’ve spent your money this week. How much of it was on necessities, and how much was on products and services that made you feel part of a trend or something bigger than yourself?
How often do you spend money to feel better? What is the relationship between your spending habits and your mood? of Boas’s key contributions to anthropology is the idea of cultural relativism, to see each culture on its own merits. Do you see any evidence of this perspective in the selection? What do you think may have inspired that perspective?
Fieldwork is often very personal, even if conducted in a context entirely foreign to one’s experience. How do you think Boas’s personal life influenced his ideas and his work as an anthropologist?
Boas is well-known for his four-field approach to anthropology. How do you think his background influenced that approach? How do you think it might impact how he conducted fieldwork? long did it take for the MacDougalls to begin filming? Why did they wait so long? How important are personal relationships in doing ethnographic research?
How did the Turkana respond when the MacDougalls asked what they should film if they want to depict how the Turkana live?
At one point, a Turkana woman turns the camera on the anthropologist. How important is the exchange of ideas to ethnographic research? How do you think that exchange might affect the MacDougalls’s perception of their own culture? important is the language you speak to your identity?
There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, and, on average, one of them disappears every ten days. What does that mean for the future of language diversity? What about the future of cultural diversity?
How is the revival of a language also the revival of a culture and a way of life? What else might be gained, for all of us, whenever a language is revived?