Paper on Culture, Ethnicity, and Judith Butler: A Reflection

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  603 Words
Date:  2023-10-27


Social-cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology that deals with the study of human societies and cultural practices. Therefore, this branch analyzes, interprets, and describes the similarities and differences between communities and culture. However, cultures encompass patterned systems and intertwined systems, and thus, if one part of the system changes, all the other parts of the culture also change. This paper is a reflection based on culture, Ethnicity, and Judith Butler's notions of gender.

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What is culture, and how Does it Affect Us?

The lecture notes define culture as the complex whole, which entails belief, morals, art, knowledge customs, and other capabilities and behaviors acquired by a person by being a member of a particular society. Also, people learn culture when they grow up in a society that exposes them to their cultural practices. However, culture significantly affects how people view nature. Culture guides people on what to do and how to do it. Culture also makes people ethnocentric as most perceive their culture to be superior to others. Thus, their superior culture should be the basis for judging the behaviors and beliefs of people enculturated in other societies.

What is Ethnicity, and how Does it Relate to Status/Identity?

Ethnicity is the identification and feeling to be part of a group of people bound together by ancestry, culture, or language. Still, this group is socially excluded from such other groups because of these characteristics. Ethnicity influences a person's position in society. In some nations like India, people have ascribed identity most because of their social and economic status. In other communities like the United States, people gain status through talents, actions, choices, and accomplishments. Therefore, Ascribed status is permanent in society while the achieved identity can be changed in case one change ethnicity through marriage, education, and job.

What does Judith Butler Say about Gender?

Judith Butler argues that gender is performative as people accomplish it through repeated acts that are rigidly regulated to produce a natural sort of being. Judith adds that gender portrays more of masculinity rather than the social identity associated with specific bodies. Besides, the gender roles assumed by different sexuality in society are greatly affected by day-to-day experiences.

How Judith Butler’s views Relate to Culture/ Anthropology

Anthropologists find this topic interesting because gender and culture are dependent on each other. Besides, gender is culture, and studying how gender is formed gives the same results as considering how culture is built. The only difference is how different cultures value gender neutrality and conformity to the norms. As Judith argues, that culture is a set of repeated acts that leads to deeper and more integrated habits in our lives, which are gained in the course of one's life in society.

Some Gender Norms in our Society

Gender norms are the social rules and expectations that keep the gender system intact. These norms manifest themselves in the form of actions, grooming, and speaking. For example, in our society, men are expected to be reliable, bold, and aggressive, while girls are expected to be polite, accommodating, and nurturing. Concerning the gender neutrality video, people are now adopting a system that is more gender neutral basically to eliminate the societal stereotypes to a particular gender. For example, in the video, Emilia and her family have named their two children gender-neutral names. They dress them on unsex cloths and usually call them by their names other than boys or girls. Gender norms related to anthropology in that anthropology studies how different communities assign roles to people of opposite genders and how they evaluate ideas and activities from the two genders.

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Paper on Culture, Ethnicity, and Judith Butler: A Reflection. (2023, Oct 27). Retrieved from

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