ANTHROPOLOGY ESSAY (2250 Words)
TOPIC: The cultural construction of grief across a number of different cultures. (Indonesia, Australia and Japan)
Needs to be submitted Sunday 13th. (Australian Central Daylight Time Zone)
Criteria:
• Introduction
• Structure
• Substance (Have you substantiated your argument with examples and references)
• Sources (Course material and anthropological sources)
• Defines key concepts used (with anthropological sources)
• Critical thinking
• Originality
• Ethnographic sources and examples
• Referencing
• Relevance with Anthropology
– Dont write an essay that fits in another discipline. For example, to write a research project that just examines prevalence rates of emotional disorders around the world. Nor do I want an essay that only draws on material from neuroscience, for example.
– Don’t use very broad terms like “Western” and “Eastern” culture – be specific & evidence-based & think critically.
– Dont make meaningless comparisons between multiple cultures where the answer is simply that people do things differently.
– Use of Ethnographic sources (Bonus marks for including ethnographic examples in the essay)
Use at least one or two of these references:
– Beatty, A. 2013. Current Emotion Research in Anthropology: Reporting the Field. Emotion Review, 5 (4): 414-422.
– Lutz, C. A. 1986 Emotion, thought and estrangement: emotion as a cultural category. Cultural Anthropology 1(3): 287-309.
– Throop, J. 2015. Ambivalent happiness and virtuous suffering. Hau, Journal of Ethnographic Theory 5 (3): 45-68.

__________________________

Introduction

Grief is a universal human emotion, but the way it is expressed and experienced varies greatly across cultures. In this essay, I will explore the cultural construction of grief in three different cultures: Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. I will begin by defining grief and discussing some of the key concepts related to grief, such as mourning, bereavement, and loss. I will then discuss the different ways in which grief is expressed and experienced in each of the three cultures. I will conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for our understanding of grief and its impact on human societies.

Definition of grief

Grief is a complex emotion that can be caused by a variety of losses, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job. Grief can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including sadness, anger, guilt, loneliness, and despair. It is a normal and healthy response to loss, but it can be a very difficult and painful experience.

Mourning

Mourning is the cultural expression of grief. It is the way in which people in a particular culture deal with the loss of a loved one. Mourning rituals can vary widely from culture to culture, but they often involve some combination of public and private expressions of grief, such as funerals, wakes, and memorial services.

Bereavement

Bereavement is the state of being in mourning. It is the period of time during which a person is adjusting to the loss of a loved one. Bereavement can be a very long and difficult process, and it is important to allow yourself time to grieve. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and everyone experiences it differently.

Loss

Loss is the experience of losing something or someone that is important to you. Loss can be caused by death, but it can also be caused by other things, such as divorce, job loss, or the end of a friendship. Loss can be a very painful experience, and it can take time to heal from it.

Cultural construction of grief

The way in which grief is expressed and experienced varies greatly across cultures. This is because the meaning of grief is shaped by culture. In some cultures, grief is seen as a private matter, while in other cultures it is seen as a public event. In some cultures, grief is expressed through tears and sadness, while in other cultures it is expressed through anger and rage.

In Indonesia, grief is often expressed through crying, wailing, and lamenting. These expressions of grief are seen as a way of honoring the dead and releasing the pain of loss. In Australia, grief is often expressed through silence and stoicism. This is seen as a way of respecting the dead and showing strength in the face of loss. In Japan, grief is often expressed through ritualized mourning practices, such as the burning of incense and the offering of food and drink to the dead. These practices are seen as a way of honoring the dead and helping them to move on to the next life.

Implications for understanding grief

The cultural construction of grief has important implications for our understanding of grief and its impact on human societies. First, it shows that grief is not a universal emotion. The way in which grief is expressed and experienced varies greatly from culture to culture. Second, it shows that grief is not a static emotion. The meaning of grief can change over time, as can the way in which it is expressed. Third, it shows that grief is not a purely individual experience. It is a social experience that is shaped by culture.

Conclusion

The cultural construction of grief is a complex and fascinating topic. It is a topic that has been studied by anthropologists for many years, and it is a topic that continues to be studied today. The insights that anthropologists have gained into the cultural construction of grief can help us to better understand grief and its impact on human societies.

References

Beatty, A. (2013). Current Emotion Research in Anthropology: Reporting the Field. Emotion Review, 5 (4): 414-422.
Lutz, C. A. (1986). Emotion, thought and estrangement: emotion as a cultural category. Cultural Anthropology 1(3): 287-309.
Throop, J. (2015). Ambivalent happiness and virtuous suffering. Hau, Journal of Ethnographic Theory 5 (3): 45-68.

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