Below are two questions. Respond to ONE question in an essay of three to five pages. The essay is worth 50 points. Your essay should be typed, with 1 inch margins, double-spaced, with a font no larger than 12 pt. You may use any format that is supported by TurnItIn.com (see that website for list of supported formats). It is not necessary to consult any sources other than your text books or lecture notes to compose a good (or even great) essay. If you do use outside sources, however, you must cite them. Online sources may be used to supplement the assigned readings, but not as a replacement. Do not use Wikipedia or online resources other than electronic resources available through the CSUN library (books, professional journals, or AnthroSource) or the online resources provided by the publishers of the textbooks. You may consult with other students in preparing your answers, but the work you submit must be your own. Copying, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty will result in punishment, which includes (but is not limited to) receiving a failing grade in the course. In particular, anyone who cuts and pastes material from any internet source will receive an F in the course. I mention that latter point because someone does it every year.
As with previous exams, you should upload your essays to TurnItIn.com, using the link available on the Moodle page for the site. You will find a “Final Exam” block on Moodle at the bottom of the web page. That block contains a copy of this file and a link to TurnItIn.com tagged “Submit Final Exam.” Your papers are due no later than Midnight on Wednesday, May 13. It is your responsibility to ensure that the file uploads properly and that it contains the proper essay. Remember that you will receive a receipt from TurnItIn.com when your file is properly uploaded. If you do not receive the receipt or if you have any doubts, please contact me by e-mail before the due date and include a copy of your essay.
Answers to essay questions do not need to be extremely long. The essay is not a research paper, but a reflection on the course readings. Your answers should, however, minimally do the following 1) Demonstrate that you understand the concepts to which the question refers by defining as necessary the key terms. 2) Illustrate key points with examples taken from lectures, readings, or other source. 3) Answer all parts of the question
1. One critic of Jared Diamond’s work wrote:
“Like a Victorian moralist, Diamond lauds what he considers advances and warns of decline. His notions of virtuous leaders and societal courage are reminiscent of those of Gibbon and Toynbee, two historians who bracketed the Victorian era” (Joseph Tainter 2005).
Diamond often refers to history as a race that has been won by Europe. For example, the first chapter is called “To the starting line.” Is Diamond just another unilineal evolutionist, like Augustine of Hippo, E.B. Tylor and L.H. Morgan, or does he avoid their mistakes? Does Diamond make a contribution with Guns, Germs, and Steel or is it an over-generalized just-so story? Justify your answer by discussing culture change and theories of unilineal evolution.
2. Does culture matter? Guns, Germs, and Steel addresses how western cultures came to dominate the world. In his text, however, Diamond seems to ignore why they would want to do so. Analyze the social and cultural factors that promoted European expansion and spread European culture around the world. Your discussion should include a discussion of World Systems Theory and the spread of European culture after 1400. Consider also whether Diamond’s book would be better if he included a discussion of culture as well as geography (you may wish to consider Diamond’s defense of his approach and the reasons why he thinks that culture is unimportant).