The modern world-system




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1. What is the modern world-system? What are its origins? What are cores, semi-peripheries, and peripheries? Where do most of the cultures we have studied fit into the scheme of things? Provide three examples each, representing countries in the core, semi-periphery, and periphery. What is globalization? What is transnationalism? What is the relationship of globalization and transnationalism to popular culture?
Essay 1:

2. Kottak (2019: 74) discusses the HIV/AIDS pandemic in “The Deadliest Global Pandemic of Our Time” in Chapter 4, “Applying Anthropology” (pp. 61-80). The HIV/AIDS pandemic began around 1981, nearly forty years ago. With 34-40 million people are living with the disease today and 35 million people have died from the disease, it is still a large, ongoing pandemic. HIV, primarily transmitted through sexual contact, is managed by those who are infected through taking a variety of drugs and has no cure. The highest concentration of cases is in sub-Saharan Africa.

We are currently besieged by a COVID-19 global pandemic, transmitted by close human interactions through respiratory droplets. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard, there are nearly 68 million confirmed cases and 1.5 million deaths. The US has the highest number of cases and the highest number of deaths. Although there are COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, which are currently undergoing review for approval and distribution, there are substantial surges in cases throughout the world due in part to limited masking, social distancing, and handwashing, exacerbated by humans being in enclosed spaces during the colder months. This has led infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci to recommend that restaurants and bars be closed to curb current surges until vaccines are administered in the US.

Here are variety of questions to consider in your essay:

• What are your personal experiences with the pandemic? Your extended family? Your friends?
• Have you been able to follow CDC guidelines regarding masking, social distancing, handwashing, and engaging in activities out of doors?
• What role does public health play in mitigating the pandemic? Medical anthropology?
• Have you had good access to public health literature on COVID-19?
• Is testing readily available to you?
• Are you willing to take a vaccine?
• When and how do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will end to that you can resume your everyday life? What form will that take?
• How would you compare the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19





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