Thesis statement Civilization is largely cultural

| February 3, 2014

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Answer the questions separate and number them 1 and 2 1. Please use this book Traditions and Encounters – a Global Perpective on the Past – Fifth edition Jerry H. Benteley and Herbert F. Ziegler Volume 1 from the beginning to 1500 Answer the questions separate and number them 1 and 2 1. Question # 1 Discussion 1: Comparative Themes: Inequality in the Ancient This discussion explores a key theme in the Ancient World, that of inequality. While we tend to view equality as “natural” and good in our modern Western mind set, equality as a goal is really a very modern notion, a production of the Enlightenment of the 1700s. Instead, the Ancient World was marked by inequality of some sort in every ancient civilization. We find class and gender inequality in many early civilizations. While many of us will have a bias against such inequality, it is important to study its roots and compare systems of inequality in real civilizations to understand how and why it takes place. Compare the role of either class (or caste) or gender (just one is enough) in two of the civilizations were have examined so far: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Bantu Africa, Mayans, Incans, Aztecs, and India (Harappan, Aryan, & Vedic), and China (Xia, Shang & Zhou). What factors promoted the inequality and how did the inequality shape the civilizations? Then respond to two or more of your peers’ answers/initial responses. Your peer response should be 100 or more words in length (one or two sentence responses are not enough). Please post your thesis sentence before your answer and then again in your answer. 2. Question # 2 Discussion 2: Functional or Cultural (due November 2 and 5) When looking at past civilizations we find ourselves asking the crucial question in World History – was the overall development of a civilization functional or cultural? Functional implies that a civilization’s response was based primarily on solving a problem. Cultural solutions are based more upon how a society understands the world (“World View”) and are often theological in nature. Functional development implies universal solutions to similar problems, while cultural development argues for diversity in the development of civilizations. So for this week, post an initial message in which you argue that most overall (start to finish) development in Ancient civilizations has been functional (to meet a specific problem, without much broader meaning, and simply a logical solution) or support the argument that development in Ancient civilizations has been generally cultural (rooted in how civilizations understood the world, more about meaning rather than function, and at times not the most efficient solution). Use one of the major civilizations we have examined from Weeks 1 or 2 (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incans, the early Chinese, or the early Indians) as proof for your answer. For example, if you select to support the idea that civilization development was functional, then use one of the civilizations we have looked at to show what a functional civilization would be like.
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