Assignment extract: This is writing assignment paper from my Anthropology class. Course Description: This course examines a natural part of life–aging–in terms of its cultural significance within various societies. Although we tend to think of “aging” as a reference to being elderly, aging is in fact an ongoing process, one marked by a series of particular times of life when social status, responsibilities and privileges, perceptions of self, and social roles change in some way. Therefore, in addition to examining the experience of being old in various cultural settings, we’ll also look at turning points in people’s lives, at which time many cultures have “rites of passage” to mark the occasion. These turning points can be puberty, marriage, or just some designated age when a society has “decided” that a person has their their status–for example, in our society, when we turn 65, or 21, or 18, or even 50. We’ll use the holistic approach of anthropology to look at aging and the aging process through culture, language, biology, and even a little archaeology. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Two Old Women, by Velma Wallis. (2004) Perennial, Harper Collins. ISBN: 0060723521. This is a VERY small book–you can get any edition. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Instructions: Write a minimum of 1500 words, single-spaced, about the small book Two Old Women. No outside references are needed, as you are discussing the book only. Please begin with a brief synopsis or overview of the story, including the title and author of the book. Then, discuss the following: What cultural values, views about aging, appropriate gender roles and age roles in this culture can you discern simply from reading this folktale? If young people in that culture were told this tale, say—sitting around the campfire—what cultural values, or lessons, do you think would be communicated? [Similar to the way many of our “fairy tales” contain culturally relevant moral lessons].

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