Cultural Anthropology: Exploring Societies and Cultures - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1852 Words
Date:  2023-05-23


Anthropology is one of the broad areas of study of societies and cultures, and how such has developed over time. It mainly deals with four fields that are in terms of biological, cultural, linguistic, and archaeology (Porter, 2014). The main area of anthropology that is going to be studied in this particular paper will relate to cultural anthropology, which aims at learning and knowing about cultural and social activities that human beings undertake all over the world.

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The main focus in this particular field is about the social organization, the economic activities, political organization, and religious beliefs that a given group of people thinking in (Vayda & Rappaport, 1968). Basing on this information, it is, therefore, a clear indication that human beings in their social environment are involved in various activities to enhance their daily living. We are living in a world where there has been a significant change in the cultural and social practices due to the results of the increasing level of technology (Gregory, 1989). Also, there has been a significant population increase, which has led to the need to feed such a population in a social environment.

There has been an increase in industrial activities all over the world, and this has mainly occurred in developed countries such as Japan and China. The increased industrial activities have led to both positive and negative impacts, both on the economy and social organization of the developed countries such as Japan and China. Asia has been one of the continents that have been characterized by the rapid industrial revolution, which implies that it is faced with various environmental challenges (Litzinger, 2006). The central countries in the regions are Japan and China, which are one of the highly industrialized countries in the world. The paper is, therefore, going to explore two different aspects that are the Industrial pollutions in Japan and the water scarcity of China. The main concern is, therefore, going to analyze the brief historical context of such two environmental challenges and how it is expected to change shortly.

Industrial Pollutions in Japan

Historical Context

Japan is one of the developed countries that developed the industrial revolution in the earliest years. The increased mass production among the factories became a common social issue that affected the country, and the most common problem that emerged from the increased industrial activities was revealed in air pollution. The factories developed in the early 1870s, and the central city that had such actions carried out was Osaka, which emerged as the major industrial city in Japan (Shoji et al., 1992). The development of industries in Osaka, therefore, led to the mixed reactions among the key stakeholders and the citizens who requested that the sectors in the region be shut down.

They were mainly farmers and fishermen, who depended on crop and fishing as the main economic activity. The main reason they came up to resist such is that air and water pollution affected the yields of plants and the water bodies, which affected their activities (Kudo & Miyahara, 1991). The rapid economic growth was as a result of increased industrial activities, which had implications on the environment. The rapid economic growth only led to air pollution, which led to increased deaths.

Effects of Industrial Pollution on the Environment in Japan

Industrial pollution is known to have a profound impact on the environment in Japan. Industrial emissions, when released to the environment, cause serious health problems that affect the quality of life of people in Japan. The damages are in the form of human beings, where in Japan the pollution negatively impacted on the quality of living of people. Also, it had profound effects on agricultural production in the whole country.

The emission of industrial waste to air causes pollution, which led to possible acid rain across the entire country. This affected the yield of production, where most farmers were unable to produce what they intended from their farming (Shoji et al., 1992). The reduction in the yield of production additionally impacted on the living standards of people. This is because those who depended on crop farming as the primary source of income are greatly affected. Also, the effect on crops affects the health of the individual, where it can lead to food supply shortages. Hunger, therefore, can lead to increased government expenditure in the provision of such essential services.

The other issue that has been prevalent in the environment in Japan is about waste management. The increased industrial activities have led to increased disposal of wastes. From such actions, there has been a significant increase in the amounts of toxic substances in the atmosphere (Shoji et al., 1992). There has been a substantial change in the lifestyle in Japan, which has increased the disposal levels, hence bringing in various environmental challenges as a result of the illegal dumping of waste in the country.

Such disposal has gone out of control in Japan, where there has lacked enough space, meaning that the rate at which such dispositions are being made are exceeding the holding capacity of the available space. Such has other profound effects, such as the possible global warming effects. Japan, like any other country as a result of the industrial activities, is experiencing globally. The increased industrial emissions increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which affects the ozone layer. Therefore, the reaction with the ozone causes its depletion, which increases the amount of solar energy hence affecting the quality of human life. Also, this has impacts on food production, as extreme temperatures and acid rain have effects on the growth of crops.

Future Changes

Such environmental effects have given rise to the government and related organizations to make sure that in the future, there are changes that must take place. The changes are focused on making sure that the effects of industrial pollutions are minimized at higher levels in Japan. To ensure that the country attains such changes, Japan has established various environmental policies that are expected to yield future changes in the country. Multiple measures have been to encounter ecological pollution.

The first kind of action taken relates to vehicle emission countermeasures, where the central government and the local governments have partnered to ensure vehicle emission standards (Ui, 1992). Japan has enacted laws and regulations to counter the effect. The increased industrial activities in vehicle production in recent years emitted a lot of pollutants in the atmosphere. The significant rules were targeted to the automobile manufacturing plants to take advantage of new technologies so that they can improve on the quality of the vehicles that are manufactured.

The standards relating to the cars are profoundly increasing internationally, which means that the production of cars that do not emit a lot of pollution, using new technologies in the manufacturing process, is being taken on-trend. Such have positive implications, such that in the future, a lot of positive changes are expected. There have been efforts made in recent years in Japan and most of the developed countries that have established standards for carbon dioxide emissions that must be followed. The shots tend to produce more positive impacts in the future, hence wholly eliminating the issue of air pollution.

The other countermeasure that has been taken relates to the illegal dumping of industrial waste. In Japan, the central air pollution areas are concentrated in the major cities where the manufacturing industries are located. Recently, there have been challenges in addressing the issue of illegal dumping, which has been a common headache to the national government. In Japan, only a small percentage of land that is about 30% of it is used for economic activities while the rest 70% is covered by mountains and vegetation (Shoji et al., 1992). The shortage of treatment facilities can negatively impact on the environment in the future if no measures are incorporated to counter the situation. The government, therefore, set aside the related funds that are directed towards restoring the illegal dumping sites. This is to ensure that there are enough dumping sites to control the exposure waste to the environment. The Japanese government has established the Soil Countermeasures Act to help in the treatment of contaminated soil. These efforts will result in positive future changes, such that the reduction in illegal dumping will promote safety in the environment.

Water Scarcity of China

Historical Context

China is one of the countries in Asia that is experiencing the current social, economic development, but, on the other hand, has to experience increasingly severe scarcity of water. It has, therefore, raised the issue of water security in China for the past years. This includes five main aspects, which are as a result of the socio-economic assessment, water usage patterns in China, and how it manages wastewater pollution. The increased industrial activity is a significant contribution to the scarcity of water in China. In the year 1999, one of the environmentalists raised a red flag about the issue of increased water pollution and lack in China (Jiang, 2009). It was as a result of the increased manufacturing activities that required water for the events in the country, while at the same time eliminating waste in the main water basins in China, making the availability of clean water for use to be very scarce.

Challenges as a Result of Water Scarcity in China

Currently, the problem of water scarcity in China has posed significant challenges in the whole country and almost every sector in the economy. Such has affected various activities in one way or the other. The first profound challenge is the climatic change, where water scarcity and security have significantly impacted. China has been one of the Asian countries that have been affected by warming over the past 50 years (Jiang, 2009). The problem of water scarcity also has reduced the annual precipitation per year over a long period.

Also, various regions in China that are characterized by frequent droughts have been receiving less rainfall in high rainy seasons such as autumn and summer (Jiang, 2009). The trend, therefore, has directly impacted on the water holding surfaces such that they lowered their capacity. The continued scarcity of water, therefore, has changed the patterns of rainfall, which can be said to have caused the climate change. Water scarcity has, therefore, increased the drought periods in China, which has affected the environment significantly. The drying up of the land can be said to increase soil erosion and even affecting various other activities that depend on water. In China, there are increased industrial activities, which imply that it entirely depends on the environment and water to carry out the activities.

Water scarcity in China has also caused challenges in the social, economic development of the country. China is one of the countries whose population is drastically increasing day and night, and its industrialization nature has caused an increased water demand. In various cases, such has stretched the water resources, which are already scarce and limited. The increasing population in China means that the availability of water is an issue that will continue to worsen over time. Most of China's population is moving to urban areas, which is increasing the economic activities, implying that there is an implication on the w...

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