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ANTH 1001 A – Fall 2022
Reflection Essay on Renegade Dreams
To demonstrate your knowledge of Introduction to Anthropology concepts and Renegade Dreams. To
demonstrate your critical thinking/analysis skills developed throughout the course.
Complete reading Renegade Dreams.
Respond to one of the three prompts listed below.
Due: Dec. 22 at 11:59 PM ET.
Write an essay between 1200-1500 words.
a. Your essay will include: a short introduction (tell the reader what you will be discussing
– include one sentence in your paragraph that summarizes your response to the
prompt), paragraphs with description and analysis, and a short conclusion.
5. At the top of the first page put your name, student number, and title of your essay (you do not
need a title page as you are submitting the essay electronically).
6. Save and submit as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file through Brightspace.
7. Your paper should use citations and have a bibliography (can use APA, MLA, or Chicago style for
bibliography; recommended you use in-text (author date, page) style for your citations).
Choose one of the three prompts. Answer the prompt in an essay using Renegade Dreams and course
content in your essay. Each prompt requires you to describe and analyze three ‘examples’ (usually a
person’s life-story, or an event) from Renegade Dreams. No outside of course research required to
receive a mark in the As. Do cite your sources.
Choose and answer 1 of the prompts below:
1. What does it mean to be a renegade and to dream while living in Eastwood?
2. What is the relationship between space/place and the past in Renegade Dreams?
3. How are economic issues and racialization connected in Eastwood?
In your response:
Demonstrate/analyze this relationship by describing AT LEAST three ethnographic examples from
Renegade Dreams
Draw on three concepts from the course (making connections to readings/lecture material). You should
include course concepts if included in the prompt.
Important notes:
Your essay builds off the skills you have developed by completing previous assignments. You
have been practicing how to link description to analysis.
Pay attention to the bolded terms – you should be providing citation to where Laurence Ralph
provides his definition of those concepts in the introduction/other parts of the book.
o Note: in the concept of space/place – you can reference Ralph’s discussion of Black
urban spaces, the neighbourhood, or Chicago. Past – notions of history.
Your essay should respond to the question in the prompt, include description of at least three
examples from Renegade Dreams.
o Example includes either a character and their life-story and lifegoal in relation to their
story, OR an event involving multiple characters.
Your essay should also link to course concepts (culture, power, identity, gender, race, ethnicity,
nation, space/place, economy, decolonial, health, body, memory, past, economy, neoliberalism,
o Very good answers will use three concepts from the class by providing a short definition
and show how they are relevant to your essay.
Limit your use of quotations, and if you do use quotes use short quotes.
Do paraphrase and make citations to specific pages in readings.
o Your examples from Renegade Dreams should include citations to specific pages!
o Referencing other course readings will help you achieve a very good answer (B+ to A+)
Marking Guide Marked out of /40
NOTE: There is a greater emphasis on the inclusion of examples from the course (Renegade
Dreams and other readings/lectures) and your own analysis (clear and accurate definitions of
concepts, links between concept and the examples, level of sophistication of connections made
between examples and concepts).
Writing / Presentation (8 marks)
Length and writing errors: /2 marks
Flow and structure: /4 marks
Citations: /2 marks
Course Content (16 marks)
Use and quality of examples from Renegade Dreams: /10
Links to examples from course content: /6
Analysis (16 marks)
Quality of response to main theme(s) of the prompt: /5
Accuracy and quality of use of (up to 3) concepts from the course: /6
Cohesive/coherent links between concepts and examples: /5
Marking ranges:
A range:
A+ (36-40) paper should demonstrate an excellent level of engagement with Renegade Dreams (RD) and
the concepts from the course; they should be able to not only relate to the concept in the question but
also be exploring a coherent and connected explanation of ‘how’ and/or ‘why’ (for example, it is not
enough to discuss “injuries” – paper should make a coherent argument about either the source of
injuries presented or interconnected consequences of these particular injuries). Demonstrating some
nuance to definitions and concepts is often a sign of advanced understanding of concepts and content.
EG: TOTAL (40 marks): 37
Writing / Presentation (8 marks)
Length and writing errors: 2/2 marks
Flow and structure: 4/4 marks
Citations: 2/2 marks
Course Content (16 marks)
Use and quality of examples from Renegade Dreams: 9.5/10
Links to examples from course content: 5.5/6
Analysis (16 marks)
Quality of response to main theme(s) of the prompt: 5/5
Accuracy and quality of use of (up to 3) concepts from the course: 5/6
Cohesive/coherent links between concepts and examples: 4/5
A (34-35.5) paper will be similar but may have some writing errors or one of the course concepts that
could have been used more effectively .Description of the examples should be ‘concise’ but clear. May
use less obvious examples from RD.
TOTAL (40 marks): 34.5
Writing / Presentation (8 marks)
Length and writing errors: 1/2 marks
Flow and structure: 4/4 marks
Citations: 2/2 marks
Course Content (16 marks)
Use and quality of examples from Renegade Dreams: 9/10
Links to examples from course content: 5.5/6
Analysis (16 marks)
Quality of response to main theme(s) of the prompt: 4/5
Accuracy and quality of use of (up to 3) concepts from the course: 4/6
Cohesive/coherent links between concepts and examples: 4/5
A- (32-33.5) paper could be one of two kinds of papers. One, it could be an exceptionally written paper
that responds explicitly to the prompt without really going beyond to think about ‘how’ or ‘why’ in an
interconnected way. Two, it is a more flawed effort that does go beyond the prompt but struggles in one
of the examples to make a strong connection; or does not have an exceptional structure/too many
writing errors.
B range:
B+ (30.5-31.5) paper is a very well written paper that does not challenge/expand beyond the prompt,
which is otherwise very well written meeting the expectations for concepts. Students will have a good
grasp of the course material but not quite sure how to ‘use it’.
TOTAL (40 marks): 30.5/40
Writing / Presentation (8 marks) – 7/8
Length and writing errors: 1.5/2 marks
Flow and structure: 3.5/4 marks
Citations: 2/2 marks
Course Content (16 marks) – 12.5/15
Use and quality of examples from Renegade Dreams: 8/10
Links to examples from course content: 4.5/6
Analysis (16 marks) – 11/16
Quality of response to main theme(s) of the prompt: 3.5/5
Accuracy and quality of use of (up to 3) concepts from the course: 4.5/6
Cohesive/coherent links between concepts and examples: 3/5
B (29-30) paper answers the prompt; has three examples that work well. May include one or two of the
following issues: Description of one of the examples may rely on longer quotes/miss a relevant detail.
Course connections are relevant, accurate, but basic and/or straight-forward. Some to no grammar /
spelling / citation errors. Some minor flaws in the connections between examples. May use a commonsense definition of “culture” but other concepts are connected. Main argument is a literal response to
the prompt.
B- (28-28.5) paper clearly answers the prompt, includes relevant definitions from prompt and
demonstrates engagement with the course: but may have a combination issues: description of examples
is adequate but perhaps missing details/relies heavily on wordy quotes; flawed structure / consistent
grammatical, spelling, or citation errors; uses of course concepts is basic and/or with some errors in the
application (“culture” is usually a pitfall). Few or no connections between examples outside of the main
topic of the paper. Main argument is a literal response to the prompt with some error in the definition
of the concept.
TOTAL (40 marks): 28/40
Writing / Presentation (8 marks) –6 /8
Length and writing errors: 1/2 marks
Flow and structure: 3/4 marks
Citations: 2/2 marks
Course Content (16 marks) – 11.5/16
Use and quality of examples from Renegade Dreams: 7/10
Links to examples from course content: 4.5/6
Analysis (16 marks) – 10.5/16
Quality of response to main theme(s) of the prompt: 3.5/5
Accuracy and quality of use of (up to 3) concepts from the course: 4/6
Cohesive/coherent links between concepts and examples: 3/5
C range
C+ (26.5-27.5) paper

Demonstrated engagement with Renegade Dreams but examples are poorly described; cites
course concepts but one-two significant problems with definition of concepts; uses two
concepts; structure of the paper is not consistent; poor citation practice; links of course content
very basic. Could be fairly well done, but short (meaning content really didn’t make it into the
C (25.5-26) paper

Limited reading of Renegade Dreams demonstrated; examples are poorly described/overly
wordy/one example is not very clear in description and/or connection
May have read two sections of the book
Gives general examples from the course content in very limited sections of the course (eg first
three weeks); uses common definitions for all concepts clearly defined in the course
(culture/power/race/gender/etc.) that have a particular definition
Between 800-1000 words
C- (24-25) paper

May not have read Renegade Dreams but can provide connected examples from the lecture
slides; course concepts are limited and/or inaccurate (but from the course)
May have only read the introduction
Between 800-1000 words
D range

Fairly obvious student did not read Renegade Dreams
Did use common examples from the lecture slides; very limited engagement across the whole
cross material

Under 800 words
F range: >20/40

Less than 500/600 words
Clearly did not read the slides/listen to the lectures beyond one or two classes.
In many cases F papers will be 10-15/40
Use of course concepts is open to interpretation:
o A student may use concepts in different ways – they may apply one different concept to
each example; they may use all three concepts throughout; they may use on concept
overarching the paper and apply two concepts more directly to examples; etc.
o Important part for exceptional papers is the appropriateness of the concept,
demonstration of understanding nuance and complexity, and connections – making
connections to course examples may be helpful for these points.
Do not necessarily think of points as linear – getting up to a 10/16 is easier than going from 11
to 14/16 in analysis.
On citations:
Citations for Renegade Dreams and readings from the course are more important; less
important are whether to not the student cited the lectures (a small concern if they did not cite
a direct quote but not a major concern).
Consistency is key
In the bibliography citations should be in alphabetical order
Power in everyday life
ANTH 1001 A – Sept 22, 2022 – Week 3
Core concepts:
What you will know
by the end this week:
• Power
• Symbolic power; cultural hegemony;
governmentality and biopower
• Resistance
• Different ways to think about power as
influencing, controlling, and limiting people’s
ability to act in the world.
• Relationship between culture and power.
• The state and Nigeria’s oil economy
Keep posting your weekly question – remember
that your 8 best out of 11 count towards your
final mark
Assignment #1 due Sept 30 (worksheet and
citation guide on Brightspace)
this week
culture emerges as shared
meanings created through
interactions with others
sharing / communicating
Involves other people and their
interpretation. People use their
Experience /
previous experiences to
interpret what is being
communicated to them.
Coming from previous experiences
Intention /
Act into the
An act of communication.
Can be with language or
making other “signs” that
carry meaning.
Cultural Relativism
• Recognize we all have our own
“cultural position” (experience
and knowledge)
• Every person’s experience and
knowledge of the world is also
• There is no position that is
inherently more ‘advanced’ or
• We are capable of interacting
across differences
• Is to centre your own knowledge
and experience while ignoring,
denying and/or destroying other
knowledges and experiences
• Often accompanied by violent
and aggressive use of power to
deny other ways of knowing and
being in the world
Culture and Power
• Make effort to interact with people respecting their ability to act into
the world (agency) based on their understanding of reality (or
• Power relates to the possibilities that people have in their own lives
to act meaningfully
• Power influences the ways in which everyone understands/relates to
who they are and how people are identified by others (identity)
• Power is ambiguous (can be “bad” and “good”; create and destroy)
Power is about to the ability to
influence, control, and limit how people
act into the world.
Domination describes a situation where one
group of people is consistently denied a
significant part of ability to act by another group.
The ‘state’ and
institutions of power
• Power is unequally distributed in a society
• Institutions help organize how power is distributed
• Institutions and the distribution of power form a structure influencing how people act in societies
• Examine how institutions with power like “the state”, corporations, non-governmental organizations act to affect how
people live their lives
• Example: Adunbi explores how the Nigerian state, oil companies, and non-governmental organizations combine to
‘govern’ (influence and control) oil industry
“The State” as an Institution of Power
• Max Weber (German sociologist, 1864–1920) theorized “the state” is
a special institution that has a monopoly over the use of legitimate
violence in a society.
• Politics is about how people have influence/control over the state – looked at
how ‘authority’ (legitimacy of power) is gained
• Early 20th Century socio-cultural anthropologists described how
“other cultures” were organized
• Interested by how ‘others’ governed society differently
• Represented other forms of authority they encountered as
“primitive” and “tribal”
• Often ignored issues of colonialism and globalization
Power is about to the ability to
influence, control, and limit how people
act into the world.
3 different ways to think about “power”
• Symbolic Power
• Cultural Hegemony
• Biopower
Symbolic power
• Pierre Bourdieu (French, 1930-2002) argued that there is power in the symbolic
“construction of social reality”
• A symbol is something represents something else
• Symbols used to communicate complex ideas
• Social positions are hierarchical; social status often represented by symbolic elements
• Titles denote authority
e.g. Professor => knowledge => power
• Material displays denote wealth;
e.g. Driving an expensive car => wealth => power
• Concept of symbolic capital
• Used to influence how others interpret actions when interacting with people
• Example: university degree from Harvard or Oxford, studying law or business, being connected to
other elites, dressing a certain way, speaking with a particular accent
• Social status emerges out of how others interpret someone’s position in society
• Influence can flow from social relationships (social capital)
Power as hegemony
• Antonio Gramsci (Italian, 1891-1937)
theorized that hegemony (domination
through power) is composed of two parts:
coercion (violence/threat of violence) and
consent (ideology).
• Where conditions of domination and/or
inequality exist without conflict, Gramsci
argued it was because most people in
society consent to the status quo.
• Such situations may include violence
that is socially perceived to be
legitimate (e.g. policing)
Cultural Hegemony
• Cultural hegemony focuses on how the production
of “culture” (arts and entertainment, education,
religion, social norms, etc.) promotes consent within
a society
• “Common sense” ideas e.g. individual
responsibility explains material inequality
(‘hard work’ = more wealth)
• Culture used to promote fear/danger of
• Culture as site for suppressing dissent e.g.
using sport to encourage a sense of belonging
to the nation
• Cultures helps explain why people do not act against
oppression / inequality
• Makes ‘culture’ a site of tension / conflict; Examples:
• British punk scene in 1970s and 80s responding
to loss of industrial jobs
• Political hip hop responding to violence of
racist police and state
Governmentality and
• Michel Foucault (1926-1984) argued that
“power is everywhere”
• Power is not only about limiting people; also,
about creating social identities
• Conformity and social discipline in groups of
people = power
• Ideas institutions have about people =
• About ideas: what is a ‘citizen’; what is
good behaviour; how to govern and why;
what is ‘wealth’
• Leads to regulation of large populations,
down to their bodies – to make ‘citizens’
into a type of person that can be easily
governed and regulated by the market
• Subtle uses of technology: surveillance and
assessment instead of violence to create ideal
• Social standards and expectations about the
body and sexuality that people are influenced
to conform to = biopower
Image from Amazon Jobs site (note no people)
Watch clip “You’re Just Disposable” from “Amazon Empire” (PBS Fronline, 2020)
• Workers are ‘monitored’ in many different ways to influence behaviours (workers talk about “hit your
• Interest of Amazon is maximum profit from worker
• Idea of worker is that they are lazy/distracted (governmentality)
• Uses technology and surveillance to influence how workers behave (biopower); track workers and timers
• “Scanning like a robot”; concerns about rating leading to transformations of the body
• Technology is used to create working conditions – that molds and transforms the ‘human’ into a
particular kind of person
Quick summary:
3 ways of thinking about power
• Symbolic power – who has social status, how are they recognized
(symbols of status), and what is made possible with symbolic capital
• (Cultural) Hegemony – power is made up of ability to coerce (use
violence) and consent (use of culture)
• Where coercion is accepted to prevent dissent, it is because most people give
consent; when consent breaks down there can be dramatic increases in
• Governmentality and biopower – power is ‘productive’ as it is the
ability to make people into certain kinds of people so that they can be
• Use “technology” to discipline people into particular ways of being
Omolade Adunbi and “Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria”
• Anthropologist from Nigeria and Professor
in the Department of Afroamerican and
African Studies, University of Michigan
• Political and environmental anthropologist
• Did fieldwork for “Oil Wealth and
Insurgency” from 2007 to 2011
• From peak oil prices to period of oilprice collapse
• Writes articles for “Africa Is A Country”
• Explores how and why an oil-wealthy state
and companies can conduct violence
(physical and environmental) against
people who live and work in oil-producing
areas; and how people organize in these
Reading: Ch. 5 “The State’s Two Bodies” in Oil Wealth
and Insurgency in Nigeria by Omolade Adunbi
• Read: Page 7 – Page 20 (recommended you read full chapter)
• Adunbi explores the violence of oil in Nigeria – the environmental violence and
the political violence – and how communities closest to oil are excluded from the
wealth that is produced by oil extraction
• Oil is extracted in Niger River Delta; extraction is partnership with multinational oil
companies and Nigerian state
• Residents of the Niger Delta understand the wealth of oil as an ancestral promise: as
promised land and the transformed bodies of lost enslaved ancestors into oil
• Conducted research in the Niger River delta in communities affected by oil extraction
between 2007-2011 between oil boom and emerging decline
• Chapter focuses on two ‘bodies’: “the creeks” of the Niger River Delta where oil is
produced and “the city of sin” Abuja, the capital of Nigeria where wealth and
power is held
• Argues the ‘power’ of creating Abuja – think about the symbolic power of the capital for
politicians; the hegemony (coercion/consent) of the Nigerian state; think about the
‘governmentality’ of extraction industry
Oil extraction in Nigeria
• Nigeria is an influential multi-linguistic/multi-ethnic country
• Population close to 200 million people
• From ~1800 to 1960 colonized by Britain
• Niger Delta integrated to global economy for long time:
Site of major ports where enslaved people were sent to Americas
Site of palm oil and agricultural production
Crude oil discovered in 1950s
Some peoples in delta understand that oil is the transformed bodies of
enslaved ancestors who died during the Atlantic crossing
• Oil extracted by multinational companies (Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobile, Elf, Agip) joint ventures with state oil
• Oil has made up a significant part of Nigerian national revenue
and international exports
• Lagos, Nigeria is the economic and cultural powerhouse of Eastern Africa
• Environmental devastation from broken pipes, spills, and
discharged waste; little to no legal/financial consequences for oil
• Armed resistance / violence in the delta region for ~20 years
justice atlas
• Includes documentation
and links to
environmental local
organizations battling oil
Construction of
• A planned capital inaugurated in
• Located near the geographic
centre of Nigeria
• Contains all central federal
government buildings
(presidential complex, National
Assembly and Supreme Court);
National Mosque and National
Christian Centre; Central Bank of
Nigeria; Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation
By Naziftm – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Questions to think about
• Why do states build national capitals? (Ottawa, Washington,
Canberra, New Dehli, Brasilia are all ‘planned capitals’)
• Anthropologist James C Scott argues that modern states have to re-organize
their populations to be able to ‘see’ all citizens (governmentality)
• Planned capitals become symbols of the new, modern, and represent the whole nationstate; places to ‘see’ the new citizens but also places where citizens can ‘see’ themselves
in the symbol of the nation
• Opportunities to re-organize shows who has power in a country
• For Adunbi, “In Abuja we see the artificial decreeing of an oil-inspired
modern city. The exclusion of resource enclaves [the creeks] from this
city generates new sites of power that create competing forms of
governance within the nation-state” (2015, 190).
Questions to think about
• What connection do festivals and international
cultural events in Abuja have to the oil extraction?
• Adunbi notes carnivals and masquerades are important
community events in different parts of Nigeria
• Masquerades of Igbo people in the Delta invoke the
ancestors in elaborate performances of dance and costume;
entertainment for the people
• A strong distinction between small masquerades and big
• Big masquerades are labeled the ‘main event’ and collect
most of the money
• Small masquerades warm up the crowd (take more risks), go
on for longer, collect little money but in the hope of
becoming a big masquerade
• Abuja and its national/international events becomes like
the “big masquerades” focusing attention on the
Nigerian state; while keeping the small masquerade of
the Delta – working and producing oil with little benefit
Image by Gogeafrica from,_Nigeria.jpg
“Abuja is a city of sin. Each time any of us visit this city, we go back to
the Niger Delta with anger, anguish, and more energy to defend the
interest of our people” Festus, an environmental and political activist
from Delta region (Adunbi 2015, 192)
“Two Bodies” of Nigerian oil industry and
• “City of Sin” (Abuja) – where oil wealth is organized
• Powerful, new, gleaming; iconic and central location in Nigeria
• Meeting space for institutions
• Environmental activists from the Delta have to travel to Abuja – to meet government
• Festivals, cultural events, international meetings
• “Creeks of Violence” (Niger Delta) – where oil wealth is produced (by
ancestors and through work); and the destruction occurs
• “The state’s neglect reminds community members that, if the ancestors’
promise had been realized, the creeks could have been transformed into a
modern city like Abuja”
• People subjected to hardship and environmental disasters
“The symbolic sin of Abuja transforms that beautiful landscape … into
an immoral space that must be not only rejected but also used as a
tool to mobilize against those who commit sins in the name of the city.
The immoral city symbolically represents the political elite, who control
and manage state wealth. The apparatuses of the state, located in
Abuja and represented by those who govern, become embodied in
those who sin against their own people. Having incurred the wrath of
their people and of the ancestors who created the wealth, they are
punished by people’s mobilization to reject them.” (Adunbi 2015, 192)
Story of ancestors
and oil
Adunbi identifies two purposes:
• Reminder that Europeans either
as slavers or oil companies long
perpetrated injustices against
people of the delta
• Stories of resistance against
slavers motivate activism today
against oil companies and the
Fourth concept: Resistance
• Anthropologist James C. Scott argues that people resist domination in
everyday life at times in imperceptible but important ways
• Resistance is a form of ‘agency’
• People are capable of acting, despite domination and situations of power /
domination limiting possibilities to act
• Second part of the chapter explores how people from the delta engage in
“resistance” (both organize institutions and use violence)
• Resistance response to symbolic power of Abuja
• Festus, excluded economically, became both environmental activists and fighters
• Violence emerges in response to the ‘exclusion’ (hegemony)
• People in the delta are not ‘part’ of the Nigerian public that really matters to the state
Immediate Connections
• Think about the importance of the extraction industry in Canada
• Where does the wealth go? Who has ‘power’ and why? Who faces the worst
of the environmental violence? How do those people get to tell their stories?
And, where is it made possible to tell those stories?
• In what ways does the state help the extraction of oil (and wealth)?
• In what ways does the state and other actors “believe” in the wealth
of oil and who this wealth belongs to?
• Compare this to the ‘belief’ that oil is the wealth of dead ancestors
• We engage in cultural ideas about the value of things in the world and who
should have access to this wealth
Connections to power and culture
• An example of how anthropologists think with and about power
• “Power is about to the ability to influence, control, and limit how people act
into the world.”
• Use a concept of ‘power’ to consider the impacts of inequality,
marginalization, silencing, exclusion, exploitation of people in different ways
• Power and culture are intimately entangled:
• in the performances of carnival to the nation-state;
• the symbols of power to the distribution of wealth;
• how being ‘seen’ as a person and citizen creates/limits possibilities to act
• How people act in the world is connected to their experiences; but
also what is made possible / not possible for them to do

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