3-4 page essay on sources that relate to nationalism and national identity

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Anthropology 1120 Assignment #2: Applying an Anthropological Perspective to Media
Value: 10% of final grade
Section A: MONDAY November 27 in your tutorial
Section B: WEDNESDAY November 22 in your tutorial
You must also upload your assignment to Turnitin via the course Moodle website by the
beginning of the lecture on the due date.
How does it work?
In Module 2 of this course, we have begun to examine worldviews and how anthropologists
argue that nation-states and nationalism are one form of ‘imagined community’ (Anderson 2006)
in which human groups organize, relate to each other and construct identities about themselves
and others. In this exercise you will apply anthropological insights on nation-states and
nationalism to one media narrative (see list below).
For this exercise you must write a 3-4 page essay analyzing one media narrative listed below
and its relationship to nationalism from an anthropological perspective. Your goal as an
anthropologist is to ascertain what values and beliefs about Canadian or American national
culture and/or identity are being communicated in these media narratives and how. Drawing on
newspaper stories, your essay must discuss the messages American or Canadian media convey
about 1) what American/Canadian national culture and/or identity looks like or should look like
and 2) how it is conveyed (through what words, phrases or sentences) and 3) who is
included/excluded in these narratives.
Choose ONE of the following media narratives:
1) “As Rulings Are Announced, Cheers and Tears Among Waiting Crowd” (New York Times
coverage of Supreme Court Ruling on Defense of Marriage Act, June 26, 2013)
2) “To be Indian in Canada today …” (editorial by Richard Wagamese in The Globe and Mail,
January 14, 2013) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/to-be-indian-in-canadatoday/article7261247/
3) “Canada Day dreaming: Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and a Canadian basketball dream
team” (editorial in the Globe and Mail, June 30, 2013)
4. “Canada’s immigration system lacks heart, critics say” (by Debra Black in The Toronto Star,
June 28, 2013)
5. “150th anniversary lays bare anger of indigenous Canadians not invited to first party” (by Jim
Coyle in The Toronto Star, April 1, 2017
6. “What 4 types of American nationalism can tell us about Trump voters” (by Bart Bonikowski
and Paul DiMaggio, Washington Post, February 6, 2017)
When are they due?
What should you learn from this assignment?
• The point of the exercise is to give you practice in applying anthropological concepts
discussed in lectures and readings to ‘real world’ issues and debates found in everyday
contexts such as popular media.
• This exercise will also help you develop skills in finding and evaluating specific information
in research data for a specific purpose
• The mark assigned to this exercise reflects your ability to connect content from the
newspaper article to anthropological concepts and arguments about nation-states and
nationalism discussed in lectures and readings. The mark also takes into account your ability
to get to the point quickly
How to complete the assignment
Your essay should follow proper essay format (including an introductory and concluding
paragraph) and address the following topics/questions:
1) A brief summary of the media article: What is the main issue or topic being discussed
(10-15% of overall content)
2) What are the words, phrases or sentences used in the article that connect it to questions of
nationalism, national culture and/or national identity (10-15% of overall content)?
3) Taking these words, phrases or sentences together, what overall message or messages are
being conveyed about Canadian or American national identity and culture in these news
articles? What messages are being conveyed about Canada or the USA as nation-states?
To paraphrase Geertz (whom we read in Module 1), what kind(s) of story or stories are
Americans or Canadians telling themselves about themselves and others in this news
article (25-30% of overall content)?
4) How do these messages relate what we have read about nationalism and the nation-state
in lectures and readings (It is highly recommended that you complete the required
readings for the weeks 10 and 11 in order to answer this question)(30-40% of overall
Formatting Instructions
Required Information on the first page: Your full name, student number, course code
(ANTH 1120 A, B or C), Name of your Tutorial Assistant, Time and Day of your tutorial. You
should NOT produce a separate title page and can put all of this information at the top of the first
page of text.
Technical Details: 12-point font, Times or Arial preferred, 2.5cm or 1inch margins all
round, double-spaced, with page numbers, and clear paragraphing.
Citations: See Chicago Manual of Style (Author-Date system) Guidelines in the
“Assignments: General Information” document on the course website for how to cite specific
ideas and phrases from the course resources you consult
Title and References are required for this assignment
Tips on what to do and what not to do
Do not spend the majority of the essay summarizing the article
Do not spend the majority of the essay reproducing every word and phrase that refers
to a nation or nationalism. Your job is to highlight what you think are the key words
and phrases and to summarize the dominant or primary message(s) that are conveyed
You are not being asked to provide your opinion on whether or not this is an
‘accurate’ depiction of Canada or the USA or Canadian/American culture and
identity. Your job is to explain how a particular world-view is being produced, and
what it is saying about that group of people.
You may quote or briefly summarize points from required readings in order to
illustrate your point. Extensive quotations or analyses from outside sources are not
Be sure that you do your own work. Please do not copy your work from another
student or reading. Work that is obviously copied from another source will be given a
zero because that is plagiarism. See the “Assignments: General Information”
document for further details on plagiarism.
Anderson, Benedict. 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of
Nationalism. London: Verso.

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