Summer 2021 ANTH 101B OL – Final Exam
A) In the film Race the Power of an Illusion, Episode 2: “The Story We Tell,” historian James Horton
points out that colonial white Americans invented the story that “there’s something different about
‘those people” in order to rationalize believing in the contradictory ideas of equality and slavery at the
same time. Likewise, historian Reginald Horsman shows how the explanation continued to be used to
resolve other dilemmas: “This successful republic is not destroying Indians just for the love of it, they’re
not enslaving Blacks because they are selfish, they’re not overrunning Mexican lands because they are
avaricious. This is part of some great inevitability… of the way races are constituted.”
a. What stories of difference are used to mask or cover up oppression today?
b. Why do we need to tell ourselves and others these kinds of stories?
In the paper you need to:
1. Explain ways that Americas have used to legitimize racial and/or gender stratification? (6 points)
2. Describe at least two stories (give examples) that are used to cover up oppression in the United
States or somewhere else. (10 points)
3. Explain where those stories are coming from (8 points) and what values they promote.
4. Use anthropological terms/concepts, to explain each of the answers. Don’t just quote your textbook
or documentary. Use anthropological theories, concepts, and so forth, to answer the questions “how”
and “why?” are stories of oppression and inequality created. (4 points)
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