IGNOU BANC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BANC 133


BANC 133 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BANC 133 Solved Free Assignment January 2023

Assignment – A

a. Discuss the British and American Schools of Anthropology with reference to their key research areas.

Ans. Anthropology is a diverse and complex field that seeks to understand human behavior, culture, and society. Two of the most significant schools of thought in anthropology are the British and American schools.

Both schools have played a critical role in the development of anthropology as a discipline, and their research areas have helped shape the field in distinct ways.

The British School of Anthropology emerged in the early 20th century and was characterized by a focus on the study of social structures and kinship. Its origins can be traced to the works of anthropologists such as A.R.

Radcliffe-Brown, who emphasized the importance of social organization in understanding human behavior. The British school also emphasized the use of fieldwork, participant observation, and ethnographic research methods.

One of the key research areas of the British school was the study of kinship and social organization. Radcliffe-Brown’s work on the social structure of the Australian Aborigines demonstrated the importance of kinship relations in shaping social organization.

He argued that kinship relations served as a fundamental organizing principle of society, and that social structure was maintained through a complex system of exchange and reciprocity.

Another important research area of the British school was the study of religion and ritual.

Anthropologists such as E.E. Evans-Pritchard conducted extensive fieldwork among African societies and demonstrated the importance of ritual in shaping social relationships and belief systems.

Evans-Pritchard’s work on the Azande people of Sudan showed how belief in witchcraft served as a means of explaining misfortune and maintaining social order.

The American School of Anthropology emerged in the early 20th century, and was characterized by a focus on cultural anthropology and the study of non-Western societies.

Its origins can be traced to the works of anthropologists such as Franz Boas, who emphasized the importance of cultural relativism and the need to understand different cultural practices in their own terms.

One of the key research areas of the American school was the study of culture and cultural variation.

Boas and his students conducted extensive fieldwork among Native American societies and demonstrated the importance of understanding cultural practices in their historical and social context.

Boas argued that cultural practices were shaped by historical processes and that understanding these processes was essential to understanding cultural variation.

Another important research area of the American school was the study of language and communication.

Anthropologists such as Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf demonstrated the importance of language in shaping cultural practices and worldviews.

Sapir argued that language was not only a means of communication, but also a means of shaping thought and perception.

Whorf extended this argument by demonstrating how linguistic differences could lead to differences in perception and cultural practices.

Both the British and American schools of anthropology have made significant contributions to the field, and their research areas have helped shape the discipline in different ways.

The British school has emphasized the importance of social structure and kinship, while the American school has emphasized cultural relativism and the importance of historical and social context.

Both schools have also emphasized the importance of fieldwork and ethnographic research methods, and have sought to understand human behavior and culture in all its complexity.

b. Define marriage. Discuss marriage as a social institution and the changing dynamics in the present.

Ans. Marriage is a social and legal institution that involves the union of two individuals in a committed relationship.

While the definition of marriage varies across cultures and historical periods, it typically involves a public declaration of commitment, legal recognition, and the sharing of resources and responsibilities.

Marriage is a social institution that serves a variety of functions. It provides a framework for regulating sexual behavior, creating families, and reproducing society.

It also provides emotional and economic support for individuals and serves as a means of maintaining social order and stability.

Marriage has been a cornerstone of society for centuries, but its dynamics have changed significantly in recent decades. Traditional gender roles and expectations have shifted, leading to new forms of marriage and alternative family structures.

The rise of technology and globalization has also made it easier for individuals to connect with potential partners from different backgrounds and cultures.

One significant change in the dynamics of marriage is the rise of same-sex marriage. In many parts of the world, same-sex couples can now legally marry, challenging traditional notions of gender roles and expanding the definition of marriage.

This has also led to changes in adoption and family law, as same-sex couples seek to start families and have legal recognition for their relationships.

Another change in the dynamics of marriage is the rise of cohabitation. Many couples are choosing to live together before or instead of getting married, leading to new forms of relationships and family structures.

Cohabitation can also challenge traditional gender roles, as couples often share household responsibilities and decision-making.

The changing dynamics of marriage have also impacted the institution’s economic and social functions. In the past, marriage was often a means of securing economic stability, as individuals would marry for financial security and stability.

Today, however, individuals are more likely to prioritize personal fulfillment and emotional satisfaction in their relationships.

The changing dynamics of marriage have also impacted family structures. Traditional nuclear families with a married couple and their children are no longer the only accepted family structure.

Assignment – B

a. Diffusionism

Ans. Diffusionism is an anthropological theory that explains cultural change by suggesting that cultural traits, innovations, and ideas are spread from one culture to another through contact and interaction.

According to this theory, cultural elements diffuse from their places of origin to other societies through trade, migration, conquest, and other forms of interaction.

The diffusionist theory emerged in the late 19th century when anthropologists and archaeologists began to notice similarities between cultures separated by vast distances.

The diffusionists argued that these similarities were the result of cultural borrowing, rather than independent invention.

In other words, they believed that cultural traits were not created anew in each society, but rather were transmitted from one society to another.

There are two main types of diffusionism: direct diffusionism and indirect diffusionism. Direct diffusionism suggests that cultural traits are transferred directly from one culture to another, either through migration or trade.

Indirect diffusionism, on the other hand, suggests that cultural traits diffuse through intermediate cultures.

For example, if culture A borrows a trait from culture B, and culture C later borrows the same trait from culture A, then indirect diffusion has taken place.

Critics of diffusionism argue that it oversimplifies the complexity of cultural change and assumes that cultural traits are static and unchanging.

They point out that cultural traits often change when they are borrowed, and that cultures often modify and adapt the traits they borrow to fit their own unique circumstances.

Additionally, critics argue that diffusionism often ignores the agency of the receiving culture, assuming that it simply accepts and adopts new cultural traits without any resistance or modification.

Despite its criticisms, diffusionism has had a significant impact on the study of anthropology and archaeology. It has helped to explain the spread of cultural elements such as agricultural practices, language, and religious beliefs.

Moreover, it has influenced the development of other theories of cultural change, such as cultural evolutionism and cultural ecology.

b. Discuss fieldwork traditions in anthropology its history and growth.

Ans. Fieldwork is a crucial component of anthropology, providing researchers with firsthand experience of the culture they are studying.

The tradition of fieldwork in anthropology dates back to the late 19th century, when anthropologists began to travel to distant lands to study the cultures of non-Western societies.

Over time, the fieldwork tradition has evolved and diversified, leading to the emergence of new subfields and approaches within anthropology.

Early anthropologists, such as Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski, emphasized the importance of participant observation in fieldwork. This involved living with the people being studied, learning their language, and participating in their daily activities.

This approach was influenced by the idea that culture could only be understood from the perspective of those who lived it, and that the role of the anthropologist was to observe and document cultural practices rather than impose their own preconceptions.

During the mid-20th century, fieldwork in anthropology became more institutionalized, with the establishment of formal training programs and the standardization of research methods.

This led to the development of new subfields within anthropology, such as medical anthropology, economic anthropology, and political anthropology, each with their own specialized methods and theories.

In the 1960s and 1970s, anthropologists began to engage more critically with their own positionality and the impact of their research on the communities they studied.

This led to the emergence of more reflexive and ethical approaches to fieldwork, such as feminist anthropology, which emphasized the importance of considering gender relations and power dynamics in research, and collaborative anthropology, which involved working with members of the community being studied as partners in the research process.

More recently, advances in technology have enabled new forms of fieldwork, such as digital anthropology, which uses digital technologies to study online communities and social media platforms.

c. Auto ethnography

Ans. Autoethnography is a research method that involves using personal experiences to explore and analyze cultural practices and beliefs.

It is a form of qualitative research that combines the researcher’s subjective experiences with critical analysis and interpretation.

Autoethnography allows researchers to examine their own cultural experiences and identity as a way to gain a deeper understanding of the social and cultural contexts that shape their lives.

It involves the researcher reflecting on their own experiences, emotions, and thoughts as a way of exploring broader cultural and societal issues.

Autoethnography is often used in fields such as anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies, but it can be applied to any area of study where personal experiences are relevant.

It is a powerful tool for exploring the ways in which cultural practices and beliefs are shaped by personal experiences, and for gaining insight into the complexities of human identity and social interactions.

Autoethnography is a deeply personal and reflective form of research that requires researchers to be willing to explore their own experiences with vulnerability and honesty.

This process of self-examination can be both challenging and rewarding, as it can help researchers gain a deeper understanding of themselves as well as the broader cultural and social contexts that shape their lives.

Autoethnography is a deeply personal and reflective form of research that requires researchers to be willing to explore their own experiences with vulnerability and honesty.

This process of self-examination can be both challenging and rewarding, as it can help researchers gain a deeper understanding of themselves as well as the broader cultural and social contexts that shape their lives.

One of the key strengths of autoethnography is that it allows researchers to bring their own unique perspective and voice to the research process.

By drawing on their own experiences, researchers can offer a more nuanced and complex understanding of cultural phenomena, one that is grounded in the lived experiences of individuals rather than abstract theories or generalizations.

This approach to research can lead to more empathetic and inclusive analyses of cultural practices, as it encourages researchers to consider multiple perspectives and to prioritize the voices and experiences of marginalized groups.

Assignment – C

a. Neo-evolutionism

Ans. Neo-evolutionism is a theoretical approach to anthropology that emerged in the mid-20th century as a response to the limitations of classical evolutionism.

Neo-evolutionism focuses on the study of cultural evolution, or the process by which societies develop and change over time.

Unlike classical evolutionism, which emphasized the idea of unilinear cultural evolution (the belief that all societies evolve along a single, linear path towards civilization), neo-evolutionism recognizes the complexity and diversity of human cultures and acknowledges the existence of multiple paths of cultural development.

One of the key contributions of neo-evolutionism was the development of multilinear cultural evolution, which suggests that different societies can develop along different paths of cultural evolution.

Neo-evolutionists argue that societies develop in response to specific environmental, social, and technological conditions, and that cultural change is not necessarily linear or predictable.

This approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of cultural change and development, and emphasizes the importance of studying cultural practices and beliefs within their specific historical and environmental contexts.

b. Feminist approach in anthropology

Ans. A feminist approach in anthropology is a theoretical perspective that focuses on the study of gender and power relations in human societies.

Feminist anthropologists aim to challenge and deconstruct gender-based inequalities and to recognize the role that gender plays in shaping social, cultural, and political systems.

Feminist anthropologists emphasize the importance of studying women’s experiences and perspectives, and often seek to give voice to women who have been marginalized or silenced by dominant cultural narratives.

They also seek to understand how gender intersects with other forms of social inequality, such as race, class, and sexuality.

One of the key contributions of feminist anthropology has been to challenge the notion that gender is a natural or biological category.

Feminist anthropologists argue that gender is a social construct, shaped by cultural beliefs and practices, and that it varies across different societies and historical periods.

Feminist anthropologists also critique traditional anthropological methods for their reliance on male-centered perspectives and for their exclusion of women’s experiences and perspectives.

They advocate for more participatory and collaborative research methods that prioritize the voices and agency of women and other marginalized groups.

Overall, the feminist approach in anthropology has been instrumental in promoting greater gender equality and social justice within the field of anthropology and beyond.

c. Genealogy

Ans. Genealogy is a method of research that involves tracing and analyzing the relationships between individuals and groups over time.

It is commonly used in fields such as anthropology, history, sociology, and cultural studies to explore the historical and social contexts that shape human identity and culture.

Genealogy is a highly interdisciplinary method that draws on a range of theoretical frameworks and research techniques. It often involves archival research, oral histories, and the analysis of historical texts and documents.

Genealogical research can also involve the use of genealogical software and digital tools to map out family trees and other forms of social and cultural networks.

One of the key strengths of genealogy is that it allows researchers to explore the complex relationships between individuals and groups, and to trace the historical and social processes that have shaped these relationships over time.

By tracing family histories, for example, genealogists can gain insight into the ways in which social, economic, and political factors have influenced family structures and dynamics.

Genealogy is also a powerful tool for uncovering hidden or marginalized histories, and for challenging dominant cultural narratives.

By exploring the experiences and perspectives of individuals and groups that have been excluded from mainstream historical accounts, genealogists can shed light on the diverse and complex ways in which human identities and cultures have been constructed and contested over time.

Another important aspect of genealogy is the way it can help individuals and communities to understand and connect with their own histories and identities.

By tracing family histories or cultural lineages, individuals can gain a greater sense of their place within larger historical and social contexts.

This can be particularly important for marginalized or diasporic communities who may have lost touch with their cultural heritage due to colonization, migration, or other forms of displacement.

Despite its many strengths, genealogy is not without its limitations and challenges. One of the main challenges of genealogical research is the issue of incomplete or biased historical records.

Many historical documents, such as birth and death certificates or census records, were created by and for dominant social groups and may not reflect the experiences and perspectives of marginalized groups.

d. Cultural relativism

Ans. Cultural relativism is a theoretical approach to anthropology that emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural practices and beliefs within their specific cultural and historical contexts.

This approach is grounded in the recognition that different societies have different cultural norms, values, and traditions, and that these differences should be respected and understood on their own terms.

One of the key strengths of cultural relativism is its emphasis on the diversity and complexity of human cultures.

Cultural relativists argue that no culture is inherently superior or inferior to any other, and that cultural practices and beliefs should not be judged according to the standards of one’s own culture.

Instead, cultural relativists encourage researchers to approach cultural phenomena with an open mind and to seek to understand them within their specific cultural contexts.

Another important aspect of cultural relativism is its emphasis on the importance of cultural humility and reflexivity.

Cultural relativists recognize that their own cultural biases and assumptions may influence their perceptions of other cultures, and they strive to be aware of and critically examine their own cultural perspectives.

This self-reflexivity is an important aspect of the anthropological method, and it allows researchers to better understand and appreciate the diversity and complexity of human cultures.

Cultural relativism also has important implications for cross-cultural communication and understanding.

By recognizing and respecting cultural differences, cultural relativists argue that individuals and societies can work together to build more inclusive and equitable global communities.

Cultural relativism emphasizes the importance of cultural sensitivity and respect, and encourages individuals to approach intercultural interactions with a willingness to learn and understand.


e. Data analysis

Ans. Data analysis is a critical component of the research process in many fields, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, and others.

It involves the systematic and structured examination of data in order to identify patterns, relationships, and trends that can help to answer research questions or test hypotheses.

There are a variety of different methods and techniques that researchers use to analyze data, depending on the nature of the research questions and the type of data being collected.

Some of the most commonly used methods include statistical analysis, content analysis, grounded theory, and discourse analysis.

One of the key goals of data analysis is to identify patterns and relationships in the data that can help to answer research questions or support hypotheses.

Statistical analysis is one common method for identifying these patterns, and involves using mathematical techniques to analyze quantitative data.

For example, researchers might use regression analysis to examine the relationship between two or more variables, or factor analysis to identify underlying factors or dimensions within a larger data set.

Content analysis, on the other hand, is a method for analyzing qualitative data, such as texts or images, and involves identifying patterns or themes within the data.

Content analysis can be used to analyze a wide range of materials, including interviews, surveys, news articles, and social media posts.

Researchers might use content analysis to identify patterns in the language or narratives used by participants, or to identify themes or topics that emerge across a large data set.

Grounded theory is another method for analyzing qualitative data, and involves developing a theory or model based on the data itself.

This approach involves identifying patterns or themes within the data, and using those patterns to develop a theory or model that explains those patterns.

Grounded theory is often used in exploratory research, where the goal is to develop new theories or ideas based on the data.

Discourse analysis is another method for analyzing qualitative data, and focuses on the ways in which language is used to construct meaning and shape social relationships.

Discourse analysis involves analyzing the language and rhetoric used by participants in order to understand how they construct their identities, beliefs, and relationships with others.

f. Interview schedule

Ans. An interview schedule is a structured set of questions and prompts that an interviewer uses to conduct an interview with a participant. It is a crucial tool used in qualitative research to collect data from study participants.

The interview schedule is usually developed based on the research objectives and questions.

The schedule can be used in various types of research, such as exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory studies.

In this answer, I will discuss the components of an interview schedule and the steps involved in developing an effective interview schedule.

Components of an Interview Schedule

Introduction: The introduction should include a brief explanation of the research and its purpose. The interviewer should also introduce themselves and explain the interview process to the participant.

Background Information: The interviewer should ask questions to gather demographic information about the participant, such as age, gender, education level, and occupation.

Research Questions: The research questions should be clear and concise, and they should be open-ended to encourage the participant to provide detailed responses. The interviewer should also probe for more information if necessary.

Probes: Probes are follow-up questions that the interviewer can use to elicit more information from the participant. Probes can be used to clarify responses or to gather additional information.

Closing: The interviewer should thank the participant for their time and ask if they have any questions or concerns.


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