Discussion on Pomo
1. If what you observe and the conclusions you draw from it depend on your positionality, is objective knowledge possible?
2. Do rituals always reveal cultural depth?
3. What are some of your rituals and do you consider them “culturally deep?”
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  • jumpinhare  On April 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    If what you observe and the conclusions you draw from it depend on your positionality, is objective knowledge possible? As Mullooy has always said the only thing objective or black and white, is “Math”. After hearing that enough times and thinking about it I have to adimit that it rings true. Every situation viewed by different people even within the same culture can be viewed differently. I think of how often people who have viewed a crime tell a very different story of who, what and how it happened. Personality, background, gender all plays a role in our analysis of what we see no matter how we try to leave it all behind. Now try leaving your subjectivity behind when observing a culture or a ritual that is not familiar to you.

  • TheAnthroGeek  On April 27, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Well said. But now that you know objectivity is impossible, realize you can still generate solid data about the unfamiliar. It’s just not as easy as the math geeks have it!!

  • mirrferr  On April 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

    A great deal of rituals are culturally deep, we keep doing them because we view them as part of our culture. We do not question it because we believe it is the way things are, without realizing that it is not always the same in other places even within our own country. Every person is different based on their own background and they view rituals differently and what is and is not culturally deep. For some it may be similar, but something as simple as brushing your teeth for instance, each person may view that differently. Culturally it may be seen in a certain light, but it varies greatly in something so small.

  • Simara Vongthongdy  On May 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I believe rituals do have cultural depth. Rituals are usually passed down from generation to generation. It shows the importance of their cultural values. A ritual I do is somewhat religious as well. My culture recognizes our ancestors and believes in the afterlife. We light candles, give food, and make an altar for them. This ritual is popular in most parts of Asia. It has Buddhist ties, and differs from place to place.

  • pthoj91  On May 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I believe that rituals can show some cultural depth. Ritual is part of culture. Culture is a very broad subject and how culture do ritual is based on the culture. For rituals in my culture, my religion is shamanism and it is the practice of a shaman who enters a state of consciousness and is able to enter the spirit world. Shamanism is the belief that the shaman is able to travel through the spirit world and is able to heal someone who is sick. This ritual belief is that the person who is sick has lost their soul in the spirit world and the shaman must go enter the spirit world and find the soul. It is very interesting on how shamanism rituals are done. I believe that other rituals from different cultures shows their own cultural depths and gives meaning to their own culture.

  • mech  On May 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Although objective knowledge may not be possible due to an individuals biases, this does not mean that the knowledge gained cannot be useful. By acknowledging your own positions on a matter, you can determine what you must look out for when are observing and making conclusions on a subject. IMO, this whole question is problematic. Based on your positions, you would only observe something that someone with that stance would also notice. Someone with a different position would possibly ignore those observations as meaningless and make their own conclusions about whats important. Nevertheless, I think it is possible that objective knowledge can be obtained from thoroughly collected and analyzed data.

  • jannetC  On May 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I think rituals have are in place for a reason. Though I think our society evolve and some rituals don’t. I come from a Hispanic family and one ritual that my father refused to practice was a quinceanera. He was the only one in his family that went to school. He thought that that changed the way he viewed things. He refused to practice in this ritual because he felt that in our culture they perceived that as being of age and therefor ready to marry and have kids. He felt that he would refuse to have us be a part of a statistic and expect more from us. This ritual is a sign of culture surpassing a ritual, at least in my case.

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