The following sample essay on: ” City of God Anthropological Analysis”. Through the vast diversity of ways that humans live, cultural anthropology attempts to apply its theories in order to achieve a better understanding of this notion. It is important to note that anthropology has established the fundamental belief that culture must be viewed under the terms of its own regulations. That is, anthropologists conducting research for the holistic comprehension of the human condition, within a coloratura Institution, use cultural relativism.
Yet, even social institutions are complex because they are a product of multiple parts functioning together with the intent of allowing humans to make sense of the world they live in.
A social Institution, or culture, is a human mental structure that is learned and only seen through its manifestations. Cultures differ from one another depending on their history and current situations. Therefore, it is difficult to understand a specific aspect of a culture without knowing its setting. For this reason, cultural anthropologists should refrain from being ethnocentric, since the environment of human groups alter mental processes and thus behaviors.
Because anthropologists have adopted the idea of interpreting cultures within their own means, the innumerable facets of cultures can be analyzed in an unbiased perspective, leading us closer to knowing what being human means. By knowing what causes humans to live the way they do, anthropologists have been able to come up with ideas to provide Improvement on Issues, based on established theories that explain certain behaviors. Moreover, the nature of anthropological work allows studies to use theories including, but not limited to, functionalism, structural violence, sociology, gift exchange, and substantive economics.
In the movie City of God, the culture portrayed from the slums of Brazil Is a good example of how these theories could be applied by cultural anthropologists In order to suggests improvements accordingly, based on how the population lives. By integrating appropriate theories and culturally relative perspectives to a social institution, such as the one in City of God, people can better understand how and why anthropological work is crucial for the diverse world we live In. City of God Is a movie, based on a true story, portraying the poor rural areas of Brazil between the sass’s and sass’s.
The main character, Rocket, explains how the people in his community came to the City of God with the hopes of finding paradise after floods and acts of arson had made the families of the previous town homeless. However, City of God ends up being deprived of electricity, paved roads, and transportation. The town is far removed from the urban cities of Brazil and unimportant to the rich and powerful. As a result, City of God becomes a town full of poverty with limited opportunity for a better life. It seems as though Rocket’s only options are to become a cop, a fishmonger, or a hood.
Three of the most notorious hoods of the town, the Tender Trio, are Shaggy, Clipper, and Goose, Rocket’s older brother. Benny and Ill 1 OFF aspire to be like them someday. Though, Rocket never gets the courage to be like his older brother, and he refrains from participating in the criminal activities that the Trio does to get money. Even though he does not want to sell fish, unlike his father, he is scared to get shot and killed by being either a hood or officer. One day, Ill Dice, who is gifted with ingenuity, suggests a plan for the Tender Trio.
The four of them decide to hold-up a motel and agree, against Dicer’s wishes, to go inside while Dice waits outside as their look-out. As they follow the plan and collect the money from the victims, Dice lets out a shot to signal the Trio of cops on the way. The three hoods steal a car to rush back home, but they cannot seem to find Dice. As they arrive to City of God, Clipper crashes the car into a hut where they are seen by the locals, including one named Shorts. The Trio tell the locals to deny what they had just witnessed, and two of them hide out into the woods, while Shaggy goes his separate way to distract the cops.
When the cops get to the locals, nobody admits to paving witnessed anything, except for Shorts who directs the cops towards the woods. After hiding in the woods all night, the community learns that the people in the motel had all been shot dead. Clipper decides to leave the hoodlum life, Goose is forced to start selling fish by his angered father, who knows of Goose’s criminal ways, and Shaggy hides out at his girlfriend Bernice house. Although the Tender Trio are innocent of the motel guest’s deaths, daily police raids, accompanied by arrests, in City of God follow after the incident.
Despite the persistence of the officers, nobody room the community snitches on the three hoods, but things change when Goose gets caught having an affair with Shorts wife. The infuriated Shorts beats his wife to death, and the police come to arrest him after he buries her. Knowing that Shorts will expose their identities out of spite, Goose decides to leave City of God. As Goose is leaving, he unexpectedly runs into Dice and Benny, whom are counting large sums of stolen money. He asks Benny to advise Shaggy to leave and tries to take some of Dicer’s money.
As a result, Dice shoots and kills Goose. Unknown to everyone else, Dice had satisfied his urge to kill for the first time by being the one who killed all of the motel victims. In addition, Shaggy gets killed by the police, which is seen by all the locals. Rocket decides that he wants a camera when the reporters take a photograph of Shaggy corpse. The movie skips to a decade later, when Rocket is sixteen years-old and finally buys his own camera. As a kid of the ass’s, Rocket and his friends enjoy smoking pot, and some of them begin to try cocaine as well.
Because he tries to impress his dream girl, Angelica, he tells his friends he can get drugs easily from his former classmate, Blackleg. Meanwhile, Dice, who changes his name to , and Benny grow up to be the most respected hoodlums in City of God. That is not enough for, however, who decides that taking over the drug business is ultimately where the most money can be made. While paying a visit for some weed, Rocket encounters Benny and as they overthrow Blackleg from his drug racket. This begins the first of several dominations that the duo make in City of God.
Though, they refrain from taking over Carrot’s racket, since he is a good friend of Benny. becomes obsessed with trying to be the boss of the entire town and looks for any excuse that will allow him to overthrow Carrot. In the process, City of God becomes teemed with addicts that feel safe to go there, since forbids problems that would supermarket, but he is shortly fired when the Runts, a gang of young children, cause trouble at his work. This causes Rocket’s boss to think he was associated with the group of children.
Consequently,decides to confront Carrot about the Runts, since they cause trouble in his part of town and are ultimately bad for business. Carrot agrees to do something about the Runts, but only because he respects Benny. Then, Rocket decides to attempt holding-up anybody with his friend because he feels that being honest does not pay. Due to his cowardice, Rocket is unable to go through with his plan, so he remains the same unfortunate aspiring photographer. Eventually, Benny decides to leave Ill Z to live a more peaceful life away from City of God.
At Penny’s going-away party, Blackleg accidentally kills Benny. When Carrot finds out, he kills Blackleg in return because he knows that, without Benny, is a major threat to his racket. After Penny’s death, rapes the girlfriend of Ned, a peaceful man from he slums. Moreover, tries to kill Ned, but he only succeeds at killing Needs younger brother. The extremely angered Ned seeks for revenge on the sociopaths drug-dealer. Because of Needs gunshot aim accuracy, Carrot offers him the opportunity to Join his side in order to eliminate.
At first, Ned is hesitant due to his honest ways, but his mind is changed when one of the slum children tells Carrot that is willing to let him alone if he kills Ned. Being left with no other alternatives, Ned and Carrot’s gang prepare to face by holding-up stores for money to buy more guns with. Hence, City of God becomes a warfare between the two gangs, and Rocket gets out of the mess by finding a Job at the newspaper. The City of God becomes divided, and the war becomes an excuse for the people of the town to become involved.
Both drug leaders provide guns to those that want to be a part of their side’s defense. After a year of war, the initial objective gets replaced with the intent to take over the enemy’s business. One day, Ned gets shot, hospitalized, and broadcasted on the news., thinking he is the official boss of City of God, gets jealous of Needs publicity. Wanting to seek his own infamy, he finds a camera but cannot figure out how to work it. The only person that seems to know how to work a camera is Rocket, so asks him to take his pictures. Rocket, somehow, gets his work to develop the film for him.
This leads the pictures to come across the path of Marina, the newspaper’s publisher, who makes Rocket’s pictures the front page. Rocket is offered the opportunity to become a photographer if he can get more pictures of and the other dealers, since no other photographer has ever been able to step ground in the slum. In the end, Carrot gets arrested, everyone involved in he war seems to get killed, and Rocket takes the perfect snapshot of G’s dead body. This movie represents the similar issues that other rural towns across the world experience due to their environment’s lack of resources and poor living conditions.
Cultural anthropologists can use theories such as functionalism, structural violence, sociology, gift exchange, and substantive economy to further understand these communities and suggest ideas for their improvement. For example, City of God depicts the structural violence that inhabits the slums because it is obviously a lower-class society, separate from urban Brazil. The fact that City of God is a town without many resources, such as paved roads or electricity, shows how political and affects the population because they are divided from the rest and are forced to find other means for basic needs, such as food and money.
A cultural anthropologist could suggest what is appropriate to do in order to eliminate the unnecessary structural violence that causes these marginalia groups to suffer from hunger, disease, and neglect. Additionally, the theory of gift exchange in the story of City of God, is one that may be observed by an anthropologist through the many interactions teen the characters. One interaction is when both gangs supply the community volunteers with guns. Gift exchange theory would denote that people within cultures always give things based on self-interest.
In this case, both gangs are trying to attain more defense in order to defeat the enemy. Even though it may seem Carrot and are carelessly bestowing guns to random people, their true intentions are to expect that those receiving the guns will weaken the opposition’s power. Alternatively, this theory also claims that when a gift is refused, unsuccessful gift exchange is created. The consequences of the unacceptable of a gift divides people and aggravates conflict. This concept is portrayed when offers to leave Carrot alone, only if he kills Ned first.
The fact that Carrot denies G’s offer is what triggers the beginning of the war between them in the City of God. Gift exchange is important because it can initiate series of events within a culture, no matter how miniscule it may seem at first glance. Moreover, Sociology is another concept that can be connected with the film because of the idea that societies pass on obtained characteristics for the sake of regress. For instance, the war between Carrot and can be traced back to the beginning of the movie, when was Just a young boy and was striving to be like the Tender Trio.
looked up to the three older guys who would steal money out of desperation, resulting from their poverty and low social status. From a young age, adopted the idea that he needed to take extreme measures to avoid the suffering of poverty. Thus, as he grew up with what he learned from the generation before him, he became a ruthless drug-dealer that caused mayhem in City of God. Sociology can revive the explanation for why cultures experience changes that are meant to improve the lives of the individuals provoking them. Another realm that can be explored is the economical facet of cultures with the theory of substantive economics.
This idea focuses on the way populations attempt to earn a living within their natural or social environments. In City of God, the impoverished conditions of the community narrow the number of options available to its people. Job opportunities are scarce, dangerous, or not available at all. As a result, the hoods and drug-dealers realize that money can be earned by stealing or selling drugs. Though, the only way to be successful at either requires for the individual to be armed, to avoid getting killed by rivals or the police, and willing to kill people, including the innocent.
Even though the option to become a drug-dealer or hood may seem dangerous, to the people living in the slums it provides the most lucrative lifestyle possible. Therefore, substantive economics provides the rationalization of this culture’s method for earning money. Finally, the latter theories and concepts mentioned can all be assembled together by a cultural anthropologist with the idea f functionalism, which states that an entire culture can be changed by simply altering one aspect of it.
In other words, each part of a whole culture plays an in that case, be individually understood, like science breaks down molecules and atoms, in order to understand their unique and specific function. Hence, functionalism would be considered when analyzing the social institution and which specific part, or parts, can be modified to rectify the structural violence, dangerous forms of earning a living, and limited options that hinder the populations from a better quality of life.
A cultural anthropologist can be the key to providing a holistic understanding of this culture, along with similar ones worldwide, to improve the lives of those misfortune people that live in undesirable conditions. The nature of any culture is complex and, due to varying situations, outsiders looking into another culture can get lost in translation. For this reason, many people consider other cultures “weird” or “wrong” for living the way that they do. With anthropology, this barrier between groups of people is removed, resulting in the expansion of the mind’s perception.
This allows for us to gain new definitions of the oral around us. It is difficult to grasp some of the concepts implied by the field of anthropology because cultures are limitlessly ever-changing. Anthropology also goes beyond solid facts of already established theories and concepts; analytical thinking is key for producing effective applications in the field. Without extensive questioning, the objective to find answers of what makes us human will never be answered. This is because we are the conductors of research researching ourselves.
Personally, the concepts of structural violence, sociology, gift exchange, and substantive economics re all things I would have never thought about on my own. Before taking this course, my reasoning for why people did things a certain way was explained by the fact that everyone is different, but I think my approach was more of a psychological one. For example, I would think that humans of different cultures had a different way of thinking because everyone’s mental structure is biologically unique, yet similar.
Because no two people share the same DNA, I Just assumed people acted different for that reason, but I knew there were similarities in behavior due to the fact that, as humans, we all have basic needs. After taking this class, I realize that anthropology is its own science because it can be broken down into smaller and smaller, or larger and larger, pieces Just like any other science. Every aspect of a culture can be broken down into elements, like the ones in a chemistry chart. In addition, I completely understand how a single element of a culture can change it completely if removed.
This reminds me of the way that different elements combined make up distinct molecule compounds. Thus, the previously mentioned concepts of anthropology are ones that I can integrate into my daily life and was able to notice in the movie City of God. When I think about gifts, I now see the relationship it creates between the giver and the receiver; I see what traits I have been handed down from my parents; I realize why some people might do illegal things in order to make ends meet; lastly, I think about the non-direct violence that impoverished people experience based on the decisions made by others.
In conclusion, City of God was a great film to enjoy while I searched for ways anthropologists might view it. It helped me connect some of the theories and concepts that I had learned from my lectures including: functionalism, structural lenience, sociology, gift exchange, and substantive economics. These theories provide People unfamiliar with marginalia groups of people can apply the concepts themselves and realize why or how cultural anthropologists are important to have.
Anthropologists can use their methods to create a solution to the problems that are inflicted throughout the world. Their ability to inquire the human condition in a problem-oriented way enables them to create ever-evolving solutions. In an increasingly connected and ever-evolving world, cultural anthropologists are needed to aid our progress.