Ethnographic Video/Documentary Exercise

Please watch the ethnographic film in its entirety. Then complete a write-up based on it. 

• The write-up should begin with a description of the individual(s) and/or population (e.g., who they are, where they live) featured in it. It should then address the topical focus of the film (e.g., what was the film about, giving specific examples). 

• Next, discuss the focus of the film from two standpoints: 1) first, in what ways might biological evolutionary concepts (e.g., natural selection, kin selection, sexual selection, evolutionary perspectives on diet) and cultural traditions help illuminate some facets of human behavior shown in the film? 

o Natural selection describes inherited biological traits that promote survival. 

o Sexual selection describes inherited biological traits that promote mate attraction and reproductive success. 

o Kin selection describes inherited biological traits that bias our preferences towards close kin (offspring, siblings, etc.) 

o Often cultural traditions, which may at first glance look arbitrary, serve a deeper biological functional role (helps survival, promotes reproductive success, favors kin, etc.). Explain what patterns observed in the ethnography may be best understood from a bio-cultural perspective


2) Further, contrast the focus of the film either with changing practices within the cultural group itself (i.e., social change) or with some other society, including your own (i.e., cultural comparisons). • Ensure that your manuscript is grammatically correct, or points will be taken off. 

(To access video) 

Institution: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley