Social Anthropology Term 1

hi so this is basically a post about my first term/semester at university/college

if you forgot where i go to it’s the School of Oriental and African Studies: University of London

it’s pretty central i mean it’s next to UCL and Senate House Library and it is about 15mins away from Oxford Street no lie

i am very grateful and happy that i got in…now it’s just about STAYING IN

as in everyone is clever and amazing and so pretty and awesome and i’m just there like omg i am not the cleverest person in the class anymore REALITY CHECK

so it’s good that most people are on the same level or higher than me but then it’s just “MY THOUGHTS ARE STARS I CAN’T FATHOM INTO CONSTELLATIONS” (TTFIOS by John Green)

as in i am not very good at articulating my thoughts

then again i prefer speaking to writing essays because writing essays is so much reading and referencing it’s HORRENDOUS

anyways so i know it’s been a few months yet i haven’t made any friends

so i DO talk to people in my tutorials and lectures but i don’t have anyone to hang out with or eat with

and yes i know some people from my old school but our timetables are different so i hardly ever see them maybe in the prayer room sometimes or like around campus but i’m rarely there anyways

i usually just go for my lecture/tutorial then head back home to eat lunch and watch tv and then do my readings

because i prefer being at home in my room where i know i have company as my mum is downstairs working and my cat is sleeping on the sofa

whereas at uni it’s a lovely place and the people ARE really friendly it’s just i’m really shy so i find it hard to approach people, i prefer it if someone came up to me and said hi

Charlie McDonnell aka charlieissocoollike

he is so hot and adorable and just he’s basically my kind of guy…awkward and nerdy and awesome and really really funny.

anyways yes i WOULD love to talk to all these people in the JCR (junior common room) but i can’t seem to say hi.

i tend to just sit there and read my book while eating my lunch or a snack or on my phone tweeting my friends because i feel kinda lonely.

but i know i always have God with me except i can only talk to him in my head not aloud.

and then there’s me talking to myself in my head…insane. no i am not schizophrenic.

so i am just a really shy person but i promise once you get to know me i am CRAZY and you won’t be able to shut me up especially if we get talking about books.

but for some reason i don’t know if i’ll meet a fangirl…someone who i can talk about THG or TMI or any of the books i read with…someone who will understand my obsession with Taylor Swift and EMBLEM3 and Ed Sheeran. but you know what. that’s okay. i already HAVE friends who understand me like that.

all i need is someone who will help me along the next three years at university…who i can hang out with and chat about weird random silly things to deep meaningful philosophical conversations. one person is all i need. preferably someone who loves reading.

i DO KNOW PEOPLE IN ONE OF MY SOCIAL THEORY TUTORIAL WHO HAVE READ ISABEL ALLENDE WHICH MAKES ME VERY HAPPY.

there are loads of international students and older students. which is really cool.

also i HAVE seen some hot guys around campus ๐Ÿ˜‰

one of my friend’s does English Lit at Kings College London which is a few tube stops away so sometimes she comes visits me and we go out to eat lunch. it’s nice to catch up and see a friendly face. plus we’ve been friends for like 8 years so i can be myself around her.

one of the best things about my uni is that there is a Waterstones bookstore RIGHT THERE. yes it’s the academic one but it has like 5 levels of books. =D

so my timetable is pretty good i have most afternoons off.

Monday- Introduction to Anthropology which is a 2 hour lecture

Tuesday- Social Theory which is a 2 hour lecture

Wednesday- Voice and Place- also 2 hour lecture

Thursday- Social Theory tutorial which is 1hr and my floater (open option course) in politics States, People and Power in Asia and Africa (SPPAA) lecture which is 1hr

Friday- i have 3 1hr tutorials

oh and on Wednesdays i have a Historical Fiction Book Club at my dad’s school. no not his school he just teachers there. yeah i know for a really shy person i don’t know how i do it. but i guess it’s because it’s about books that i can do it. the first book we did was The Book Thief of course. one of my FAVOURITE books. so that’s quite fun because i’m like really weird and awkward and slightly crazy and yet they seem to listen to me and laugh at me but it’s cool. and sometimes my friend joins me so it’s even more fun. my dad says we make a good duo. =D

Introduction to Anthropology:

this is basically doing the basics. so far we’ve done stuff on:

  1. Anthropology as a practice of representation/ Writing of Culture- this is about alterity and the whole idea of Us and Them…
  2. Race and the production of Whiteness- looking at race and whether it is a social construction (yes) and the concept of whiteness and white privilege which most people in my tutorial were white so it was like a major realisation for them.
  3. Sharing, giving and exchange– this is about gifts and how important they are in many cultures as it contains the essence of a person and how gifts should be reciprocal but how they can be about showing off your wealth or gifts can be contracts/treaties to avoid war and conflict as well as gifts for dowries etc
  4. Descent and descent groups– this is all about lineage and clans and how you can get the patriarchal ones or matriarchal ones and many others and how inheritance works and who is in charge etc
  5. how to write anthropology essays
  6. Marriage and Alliance- marriage can be seen as a form of alliance between certain clans
  7. Sex, gender and sexuality– about gender bias and stereotypes and our views on sexuality and sex omg the readings were quite graphic and disturbing and the movie was about a male stripper LOL no it wasn’t magic mike. but what was funny was that he had a law degree and was a lawyer for a while but he wasn’t happy so he quit his job and became a male stripper and he’s happy. he’s married and has kids too. have no idea what his wife thinks about it all tho. but omg in the tutorial i was actually really mature and didn’t laugh and kept a straight face even when she was talking about orgasms and stuff and i have guys in my tutorial and i even said the word penis LOL but seriously what is it with guys and the size of their penis? is it an ego thing?
  8. Inequality, domination, exploitation- about women and links to sex and gender because women are seen as inferior and are only used for reproductive purposes but they are vital in giving the man power and control and money when it comes ot marriage. but many fo the women don’t see themselves as exploited so how can we say they are?
  9. Classification and symbol– from totems and symbols and how animals can be a symbol for a clan or how certain objects are significant for certain rituals etc also how we classify things and put things into categories for order to avoid chaos
  10. Rituals and the making of meaning– links to how we use objects to create meaning but also rituals are practiced constantly for example in religion you practice certain rituals and it has certain meaning etc

what’s awesome about these lectures is that we get to watch an enthnographic film for 1 hour. so i’m doing my essay on race because idk it seemed okay at the time but then i wanted to do the gender one but i already did some readings. oh wells.

Social Theory:

it’s basically history and sociology it’s very intense and my lecturer is kinda boring. it’s also a 9am lecture so i often have like 10sec cat naps

  1. Three theorists of the French Enlightenment – one of them was Rousseau of course
  2. Three theorists of the Scottish Enlightenment
  3. From progress to Evolution: Spencer and Darwin – i am totally not against Darwin. i don’t believe we came from apes. however evolution and natural selection and survival of the fittest in animals is evident. science and religion go together just saying.
  4. Victorian Anthropology– social organisation
  5. Victorian Anthropology– Religion
  6. Historical Materialism– Marx- Method and concepts- i like his idea of the false consciousness where we don’t see things underneath we take everything at face value which is why capitalism exists eg fashion industry but behind the scenes the sweatshops and child labour etc
  7. Historical Materialism– Marx- historical sociology- i’m kinda sick of marx now but you can’t escape him. poor marx though his ideas were good IN THEORY but in practice not so much
  8. George Simmel’s formal sociology
  9. Weber’s methodology applied– sociological method
  10. Weber’s methodology applied– world religions

i think i’ve forgotten everything wow it’s gonna be fun revising for my exams…

this is all interesting and necessary stuff but half these people have no idea what they are saying and contradict themselves and just go on tangents it’s ridiculous. they’re all so full of themselves too. but i think i’m doing my essay on george simmel coz his view son society and how it’s formed is quite interesting.

Voice and Place:

every week we have a different lecture and it’s really cool because these are experts in their field and talking about a subject they are passionate about

  1. on human sacrifice in the Yoruba tribe – fascinating stuff how people practice human sacrifice to the gods as a bargaining tool and it was an honour to be sacrificed but once colonialism came and the missionaries and muslims came this was destroyed
  2. anthropology and the study of media
  3. media and transformation of audiences in china– traditional chinese theatre
  4. film and the politics of fear
  5. why can’t states and nomadic people get along? nomadic herders in the Himalayas – the nomads want to wander around and do there thing while the state wants order and to figure out where they are and what exactly are they doing
  6. on untouchability in india– caste systems still prevalent and it’s inescapable. it’s so intrinsic into their culture even if you aren’t a hindu
  7. anthropology of humanitarianism– are people’s intentions always good? what happens after a natural disaster? the aftermath and how once rebuilding gets going the economy improves?
  8. terroir and the anthropology of food– this was legit a 2 hour lecture on cheese i wanted to kill myself it was so boring. i thought the anthropology of food would be about food in different places and different delicacies and stuff like shark fin soup or something but no it was about cheese in france and the concept of terroir as in the microbiology and geography of an area makes the product distinct to that particular area. this is mainly for cheese and wine etc
  9. localising global islam and globalising local islam- tabligh jamat in the Gambia – basically about jamaat which is like muslim missionaries except they tend to ‘convert’ muslims back to the ‘true’ form of Islam etc and they are all over the world and they travel etc but you get it in like each country and in the Gambia you have women preaching to other women etc whereas in india where it originated you didn’t.

i chose to do my essay on media…so you can choose a film or book and analyse it etc so i think i’m gonna do THG because it’s a book and film so i can compare the reception and audience etc

SPPAA:

this is an intense course i chose it because it was interesting but omg it’s so much reading and work…well it IS politics.

  1. Colonialism, postcolonialism and decolonisation
  2. Decolonisation in Africa
  3. Theories of Revolution and the future of revolution– these were my fave lectures about the revolutions and how they occur and how they are changing due to globalisation etc
  4. how to write a politics essay
  5. iranian revolution
  6. Arab intifadas– this lecture was awesome because it was about the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions or uprisings as i think it’s too early to call them complete revolutions
  7. Democratisation in the third world
  8. pakistan: the two faces of democracy

i wrote my essay on the future of revolutions. it’s probably the worst essay i have ever written. :s

and there were some cancelled lectures

overall i have enjoyed this term it’s been SO MUCH READING that i haven’t managed to do all and i could barely get t the additional readings

but i have enjoyed some readings others were just so dry and dull and made me fall asleep

it’s become a bad habit to end up doing some on the tube journey instead of reading my own book for pleasure

but not everyone does all the reading though the tutors do so they expect us to!

tbh i don’t understand how people have social lives and do readings and essays

so yes i have learnt a lot now i need to write my 3 essays for January fun times JANUARY IS SOON MY ESSAYS ARE DUE NEXT WEEK

i am known for my ability to procrastinate…maybe i work better under pressure? probably not because then i just end up panicking and having like heart palpitations and breathing and sleeping problems and start crying and like praying i don’t fail and then feeling horrible coz i’m a failure in life etc

i choose my questions and then i’m like…um…so what do i write now?

basically

screw you essay i have better things to do…

i’ll be doing one last post of 2012 which is the Best of 2012 so like books, movies, music, tv shows and highlights etc

also i will be writing my essays of course because i am a good girl and my family is paying a ridiculous amount of money for me to go to uni and so i shall make the most of it plus i chose this subject plus i will write my 3 essays even if they are crappy as long as i get over 50% i’ll be okay.

and next time less procrastination and more action.

if you’re reading this please pray that i become less lazy and more active (not running i mean as in doing my work rather than leaving it till the last minute and freaking out!) – although i should be more active…

i should be lots of things but i’m not ANYHEW

hope all is well with you whether you’re in school or college or university or working or whatever

make sure you do something you love

yes it’s important to have a stable job

but it’s more important to be happy

have a good New Years and week and year and life

and don’t go too wild in the sales. i got some nice things…like sparkly shoes and i may or may not have bought a red dress with acts on it...i did well i know what i’m gonna wear to Taylor Swift’s UK RED tour whenever that isย 

Happy Reading

DFTBA

indeed

YES 2013…TERM 2 I CAN DO THIS

yes that gif is from The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie

โ€œBeing a geek is all about your own personal level of enthusiasm, not how your level of enthusiasm measures up to others. If you like something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp, if hearing a stranger fondly mention your favorite book or game is instant grounds for friendship, if you have ever found yourself bouncing out of your chair because something you learned blew your mind so hard that you physically could not contain yourself โ€” you are a geek.

Iโ€™m incredibly biased, of course, but based on that last paragraph, I think we geeks sound like pretty awesome people to be around. So why, then, the lingering social stigma?โ€ย  http://www.themarysue.com/what-it-means-to-be-a-geek/

“I will never apologize for being me, but I will apologize for the times that I am not.” Michael Carini

oh and

you’re still reading my blog

nah it’s all good thanks for reading my blog i appreciate it

toodles

yes i like mean girls it’s like one of the best movies of the 21st century okay every teen needs to see this.

PEACE. LOVE. BOOKS. =D

 

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