Friday, June 15, 2012

Cultural Body Modification

 I had to write a last journal for sociology this week I had fun writing this paper. My paper was about body modification and how it related to sociology. So I wrote about the beginning with the tribes and how it related to the new tribes of today. Well I am going to paste a copy of my paper here if anyone would like to read it.

 Cultural Body Modification 

When explaining culture one has to know the definition, culture is the ways of acting, and materials objects that together form a people’s way of life. Culture throw out the years are slowly blending us, as people together. This document explains about the past cultures with examples of tribes and what type of body modification they have experience. Also what is taken from these cultures and why today certain people try to resemble modern primitives? In the following how body modification is going too related to sociology.
Body modification has been a part of every different culture globally.  Body modification has been a part of history throughout time. It is said that body modification is linked to religious associations and right of passages to deter other tribes from abducting their women. I feel today body modification is linked to creativity and self-expression. Types of body modification are influenced by the type of culture that is surrounding the people, class they are in, and history that surround that culture.
            In the Chinese culture, especially the T’ang Destiny, area they women would have their feet bound. The women it is the foot binding stated because there was a “concubine of a Chinese prince walked gracefully as if she Skimmed over the top of golden lilies” (Crites, 2005)The woman from the story was adopted to their culture and then started the binding the feet of young woman.  Foot Binding started with the rich because women were depends on servants. This body modification became a social norm for their society.  I believe that foot binding can into the existence to make the woman be subservient to her husband. “Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco” found that women ages 80 and older with bound feet were more likely to have fallen in the previous year and to need assistance in rising from a sitting position. They also had lower bone density in the hip and spine than women with normal feet, increasing their risk of debilitating fractures” (U.C.S.F., 1999).
From the Apatani Tribe, both the men and women modify their body. The practice with the woman is thought to start because the man of the tribe didn’t want males from neighboring tribes to take their woman away from the tribe. According to the tribe “the Apatani women were considered to be the most beautiful ones among all the Arunachal tribes” (Clyde.2012). The Apatani women have plugs put in their nostrils. The men from this tribe have a tattoo of a “T” shaped on their chin.
The Mursi, are a tribe that still performs the body modification of women were they wear plates in their lower lips. The girls from this tribe have their lower lip punctured and they have a small wooden stick put in their lip. Over the leading months the girl stretches the lip by adding bigger plates over a period of time. “When a girl from this tribe does not wear the plate is label to be lazy and not being committed to her culture and husband” (LaTosky, 2012). The stretching of the lip can cause the front bottom teeth to be knocked out. If these woman do not properly take care of their lip infections can happen. This tribe is widely acknowledged due to the fact they have photographers come into the villages and take pictures of the young woman.
In the Island of Borneo, the Dayak and Iban have the Palang is the piercing the Glans Penis horizontally the tribes traditionally use little rods made from gold, copper, bamboo. The term "Palang symbolizes the “protective power of the male over the family” (Morrison, 1998). This modification is performed on men. The Dayak also had tattoos in their culture. Dayak tribes acted as pirates and were also head hunters.
The modern primitive is a person that seeks to return to primitive times. A modern primitive person seeks resemble a person from a primitive culture by modifying their body by piercings, tattoos, and scarification. Some people want to try to relate by projecting the image of a primitive person. Tattooing and piercings have different meanings in different cultures, often as a rite of passage into adulthood or as a means of bonding and marking membership in a particular subgroup (Kulish, 2011). By having the urban primitive person changing their appearance they are creating a subculture. This subculture is taking on the older primitive ways by acknowledging others. The modern people exchange stories almost like the older tribal describing their rights of passage or battle wounds to other in their tribes. Some Americans feels society should “become part of a tribe simply because it is fun” (Haidt, 2008). In the United States, there are people modify their bodies every day. People modify their bodies from minimal modifications as changing hair color to extreme procedures like breast implant or suspensions.
In ending, culture plays significant role in each and everyone’s life globally. Culture is dividing in to norms, moral, and laws. Cultures in group were they establishes a set of norms which is lead often by the elder that a specific group. Some of those are body modifications. Body modifications are found in every group globally some maybe extreme or minimal.

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