Beyond My Cultural Comforts Assignment
This research project requires you to watch one documentary on a religious ritual of your choice in addition to finding 8 sources (4 academic articles and/or books, 2 popular sources, 2 in-class articles).
You will be observing a religious ritual online (Either a documentary and/or a video recording of a full religious service/ritual). Then you will write a research project based on your online observation by combining it with what you have learned from class and with the articles found. See step by step guidelines.
1. Find a documentary that describes and shows a religiously significant ritual event. Conduct online observations on the ritual by watching a documentary (and/or an actual recording of a religious ritual). See the handouts below to take notes while/after completing your online observation.
To find and watch a documentary/a video of an actual service on the ritual you have chosen (see websites below to find an appropriate one to watch).
You can use YouTube to find documentaries. However, you need to be careful in choosing a video on YouTube. Try to look for trustable sources, i.e. National Geographic, History Channel, University-based sources, etc.
2. You need to find four academic articles that are on your topic or related to your discussion.
3. You need to choose two articles we have discussed in class and use them in your discussion as a way to frame your analysis.
4. How to write your research article:
a. Your first paragraph should be an introduction to the project. Start with a more general focus (i.e. the significance of myth and ritual in religion) then narrow down to focus on your topic choice.
b. Second paragraph will be a brief review of the religion itself. The origin of the religion, key beliefs, rituals, symbols, etc.
c. By third paragraph you will start discussing the ritual of your choice in this religious tradition. The rest of the paper will be on the ritual itself. First start describing your online observation like an anthropologist. Then you will link it the articles you found/you read in class.
You have to talk about:
-The type of the ritual (periodic vs. occasional, social rites of intensification, and/or a rites of passage)
-The significance of this ritual for this group
-The myth behind this ritual
-The structure of the ritual, how it is performed
-The symbols used, their meaning, and their use to convey certain messages
-The purpose and the function of this ritual
-Actors (what type or religious specialists involved), Participants, Scene, Altars, etc.
d. In your analysis/discussion of the ritual, you are required to use eight sources (four academic articles, two in-class articles (see article folder on Blackboard) and two other non-academic sources (i.e. the official website for the religious group, museum website, etc.). You are required to cite them in-text (Author, Year) and you will create a separate reference page at the end of your paper.
e. The written project must be typed, 5-6 double-spaced pages of full written content, with 12-point font and 1-inch marginsall around excluding the reference page.7-8 pages including reference and notes.