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90 Days UPSC Mains Optional Answer Writing


Initiative

Anthropology – Paper 1

Question and Model Answers from Subject Experts

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04-Dec-2017 – Question 1
Discuss the relationship of Anthropology with Behavioural Sciences.
Model Answer
Answers should include the following :
1. Introduction-Few lines regarding Behavioural sciences and anthropology.
2. Body -Addressing the needs of the question and diagrams if any
3. Conclusion
Points for reference :
1. Behavioural science or Psychology studies Human behavior in relation to
the environment. Anthropology studies man holistically.
2. Anthropology is a comparative and analytical study of human behavior and
experience.
3. The influence of psychology on anthropology and vice versa led to
development of culture personality school,
4. Mention important thinkers like M.Mead, R.Bendict, Kardiner etc
5. social psychology studies individual behavior under social environment and
cultural anthropology studies institutions, human societies as a group.
6. Both study man but different viewpoints, both try to understand man in the
context of social behavior
7. Case studies by thinkers show how culture acts as a social control and how
culture influences the development of personality and vice versa.
8. Anthropology has given field work knowledge and cultural analysis of
different societies whereas psychology has given pschyo analysis
techniques and helped in building national character studies e.g: Ruth
Benedict’s study of Japanese culture
9. Psychology helps in understanding root causes of human behavior in
different societies.
10. Some methods of observation are commonly employed in both of these
sciences, some methods of psychology like the introspection method, are
not used in Anthropology.

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04-Dec-2017 – Question 2
‘Man can stand erect while anthropoid apes cannot’. Discuss the anatomical
changes that occurred in Man due to erect posture.
Model Answer
Following anatomical changes needs to be elaborated in your answer.
1. Skull- skull well balanced on the first vertebra, foramen magnum centrally
placed
2. Vertebral column – elastic ligaments between vertebral lamina, four
alternative curves, extensor n spinal muscles in the direction of spinal
process
3. Thorax- transverse diameter more than dorsoventral diameter
4. Pelvis- ileum has become short, sacral part enlarged, head of the femur
enlarged, acetabulum thicker n larger, n it is centrally placed
5. Limbs- Legs longer than arms to withstand body weight
6. Femur – muscle attachments n ridges more sharply defined. Linea Aspera is
a characteristic feature of humans
7. Footless opposability of great toe, shock absorbing arches, medial n lateral
arches, calcaneum larger n stronger, wedge-shaped development of other
torsal bones

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06-Dec-2017 – Question 1
Discuss different types of Australopithecines. Describe their spatial distribution
and physical features.
Model Answer
Australopithecines:
The fossils of Australopithecus were found at different places in Africa and
outside Africa. It is a small brained bidep with a number of species within the
same genus. Most of these variants are associated with savanna living.
Divided into two groups
1. Gracile:
It includes
1. A.Anamensis: Earliest Australopithecus species found in Northern Kenya
2. A.Afarensis:
 Large ape like canines but did not fit into diastema. Thus side to side
movement of lower jaw was possible
 A complete skeleton of gracile female called Lucy fossil was discovered by
Donald Johnson at Hadar(Ehtiopia)
3. A.Africanus (Southern ape of Africa)
 First Australopithecus to be discovered by Raymond Dart
 Taung fossil: Juvenile fossil, Foramen Magnum located underneath the skull
indicating bipedalism and erect posture, incisors and canine teeth were
short like humans
 Initially, it was difficult to conclude on Australopithecus Africanus features
based on child fossil but later discoveries by Robert Broom at Sterkfontein
and others at Makapansgat helped in deriving a complete picture:
2. Robustus or Paranthropus
 Large and robust with features such as supra orbital ridges and sagittal
crust
 Larger dentition
 considered to be extinct with changing the climate It includes

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1. A.Aethiopicus: earliest known robustus found in North Kenya and South


Ethiopia
2. A.Robustus: discovered by Robert broom at Kromdraai. It is found to be
living at the same time of A.Africanus though they have marked different
hominid features.
3. A.Boisei or Zizanthropus: Discovered by Louis Leakey at Olduvai Gorge in
Tanzania.The discovery demonstrated the presence of early hominids in
east Africa.
Geographical disrtibution:
South Africa:
1. Taung – A.Africanus
2. Sterkfontein – Plesianthropus Transvellenis
3. Makapansgat – A.Prometheus
4. Robust:
5. Kromdraai – A.Robustus
6. Swartkrans – Paranthropus Crassidens
East Africa:
1.Omo(ehtiopia) – both gracile and robustus
Gracile:
2. Hadar(Ethiopia) – A.Afarensis
3. Laetoli(Tanzania) – A.Afarensis
Robusutus
4.Olduvai(Tanzania) – A.Boisei

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06-Dec-2017 – Question 2
How is Darwinism different from Lamarckism? Critically evaluate their
contributions.
Model Answer
Lamarckism:
Attempts to explain the similarities and differences among species
Adaptations- are a major component to these theories.
Adaptations are features which make a species better suited to live and
reproduce in its environment
The evolutionary theory of Jean-Baptiste Lamark was based on the principle of:
1. Use and Disuse
2. Inheritance of acquired traits
The principle of Use and Disuse:
For an organism, new structures appeared in the course of evolution because
they were needed. Structures that were present and were used became better
developed and increased in size; structures that were not used decreased in size
and eventually disappeared
Ex: muscles of an athlete vs. Appendix
Inheritance of Acquired Traits:
Useful characteristics acquired by an individual during its lifetime can be
transmitted to its offspring
These acquired traits result in species that are better adapted to their
environment
Ex: a giraffe’s neck became longer as a result of stretching to reach higher
branches. This acquired trait was then passed down to the offspring
Darwinism:

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Darwin presented theory of evolution in ” origin of species and made 3


observations & 2 deductions
Observation 1: all organism has potential for explosive population that would
outstrip their food supply ( idea from Malthus)
Observation 2: population of species remains more or less constant over
generation
Deduction1: therefore there must be struggle for existence
Observation 3: nature is full of variations, even in one animal group individuals
vary
Deduction2: therefore some of these variations are favored & some are
disfavoured
Postulates
1) Overpopulation
2) Struggle for existence: interspecies , intraspecies , struggle against environment
3) Hereditary & variation : Useful , permanent variations are hereditary
4) Survival of fittest /natural selection: nature selects organism with useful
variations, therefore, results in differential reproduction
5) Origin of species: individuals selected by environment accumulate variations –>
new species.

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08-Dec-2017 – Question 1
What are major branches of anthropology ? Briefly explain any two with their
relevance.
Model Answer
Major Branches :
1. Socio-Cultural Anthropology
2. Linguistic Anthropology
3. Biological Anthropology
4. Archaeological Anthropology
Social – Cultural anthropology:
1. Charles Winick defines social anthropology as the study of social behavior,
especially the systematic comparative study of social forms and institutions.
Ideally, the comparative studies include all human societies, primitive,
civilized and historic.
2. Making a distinction between the two, cultural anthropology(the term
popular in USA) studies historically, the cultural traditions and their content
in diachronic approach whereas social anthropology(term popular in UK)
focuses on behavior and social interaction in a non-historical, synchronic
approach.
3. Various subfields have emerged within sociocultural anthropology which
includes ecological, economic, psychological anthropologies, cultural
history etc. with specialized study over the specific aspects of culture.
4. Ethnology and social anthropology, were once considered the same but are
now regarded as two different disciplines in that ethnologists try to
reconstruct past history, even based on circumstantial evidence which the
social anthropology doesn’t do.
5. The emphasis of social anthropology has largely been on primitive societies,
ie those in small number, the territory with a simple technology and
economy etc. This has been justified in that study of simple societies, could
then be followed by the complex. Also, it is important in the context of
vanishing societies.

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6. The study of society as a whole in social anthropology provides better


understanding rather than a study of specific problems as in sociology.
7. Social anthropology has a wide scope – it studies culture, civilization,
institutions like family, kinship, political organizations, understanding of
customs, traditions, religious beliefs etc based on systematic observation
and does comparative analysis.
8. Comprehensiveness of approach is it’s an important characteristic. It also
studies origin and development of the social organizations. Comparative
study helps abolition of ethnocentrism.
9. Royal anthropological institute defines aims of social anthropology as the
study of primitive cultures in present form, the study of culture contact,
reconstruction of social history, search for universally valid social laws.
10. Thus it examines every aspect of a single culture, every aspect of a single
society.
Biological Anthropology
1. Physical anthropology is the oldest branch of anthropology. It is primarily
concerned with human evolution within the context of culture. Biological
sciences has made huge contributions to Physical anthropology, of these
organic evolution and principles of genetics are significant.
2. There are three mains branches of Physical Anthropology,
a) Paleontology, It studies extinct primates and concerns itself with evolution
of man.
b) Neontology, It studies living primates and examines comparative anatomy,
physiology, human variation in terms of population genetics.
c) Ethology, It’s the scientific study of animal behavior such as that of free-
ranging to confined monkeys etc.
3. Physical anthropology tries to understand the extent to which biological
factors exert influence upon the nature, behavior and potentialities of
humans. Human population Biology is a area of research in those studies
adaptations of humans to differing environments and hereditary
characteristics of the living population.
4. Physical Anthropology is interrelated to genetics, anatomy, physiology,
taxonomy etc. . It’s closely related with cultural anthropology. Mating,
inbreeding patterns food resources food habits are elements of cultural

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anthropology that affect the human physical form and racial history which
are elements of physical anthropology. The studies from physical
anthropology, in turn, are also useful in the study of cultural anthropology.

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08-Dec-2017 – Question 2
Write short note on :
1.Homo Erectus
2.Linguistic Anthropology
Model Answer
1. Homo Erectus
You can write about finds from any region here I have mentioned peking and java
man
Homo erectus lived for more than one million years and spread from Africa to
Asia. The fossils obtained were nicknamed as Java man and Peking man based on
the location from which they were obtained.
Java man
 The discovery of Java man was first major Hominid find and helped
understand the evolution and anatomy of early man. Its extinct remains
were found in Java, Indonesia
General features
 They weigh around 70kg.
 Height : ~170cm
Anatomical features
 Skull: small in size with complex supra orbital region and broad, rounded
occipital region
 Cranium: dolichocephalic with lower cranial vault And complex cranial
sutures
 Forehead: receding, flat
 Teeth: smaller canines but largess incisors and molar. Diastema occurs in
the upper dental arch . They r essentially human with partly ape-like
features (overlapping canines)

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Peiking man
Peiking man is an extinct hominid species of H. erectus , known from the fossils
found in a village in Beijing. The story of the famed Peking Man fossils is one of
discovery and loss.He is considered as the ancestor of Chinese people. He post
dates Java man
General characters
 Weighs around ~50 kg and shorter in stature than Java man
Anatomical features
 Skull: large in size with heavy continuous furrows separating forehead from
supraorbital region
 Cranium: Dolichocephalic , has cranial capacity nearing modern man
 Forehead: receding but has bump like development
 Teeth: essentially modern, though with large canines & molars
 Limb bones: almost like modern man
Tools of H.erectus
 Used more advanced, sophisticated tools as hand axes. Mostly Acheulian
tools
 Tools associated with Java man are yet to b found but tools of Oldowan-
technology are found in Java.
2. Linguistic Anthropology
1. Study of speech and language as a socio-cultural phenomenon across
space and time.
2. It is Linguistics in the context of culture and society. Therefore ,Linguistic
anthropology deals with history, structure, variation and meaning of
language in the social and cultural contexts they occur.
3. Upto 1950’s it dealt with only descriptive studies such as origin of
language, classification and similarities and was called Anthropological
liguistics.
4. Contemporary Lingusitic Anthropology is considered to be both
descriptive and analytical. It has 5 sub branches.

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5. Historical or comparitive Linguistics: study of emergence, divergence


and dynamics of language over time in cultural context. 6. Structural
Lingusitics: Construction of Language. Deals with Phonemic, syntactic
and morphemic structures.
6. Socio-Linguistics: study of speech in social and situational
contexts.Covers regional dialects, secret languages, magic languages,
folktales.
7. Ehnosemantics: to understand culture from the point of view of people.
studies meanings the words carry for a culture group for a particular
situation.
8. Psycho Linguistics: studies processes underlying the acquisition ,use,
transmission of language.
9. Contemporary Linguistic Anthropology tries to understand the historical
linkages and tries to devise scripts to languages without one. It helps in
establishing contacts with Alien and foreign culture groups and in
devising contents and curriculum under tribal education policies.

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18-Dec-2017 – Question 1
Bring out the distinguishing features of culture and civilization. (15Marks 2013)
Model Answer
1. Culture can be defined as a complex whole which includes knowledge,
belief, art, moral, law, custom and any other capabilities acquired by man
as a member of the society.
2. Civilization is considered as the most advanced stage of culture. It includes
material things used by man such as a house, household commodities,
weapons, instruments etc.
3. The relationship between culture and civilization:
 Culture and civilization are interdependent. Culture needs civilization for
further growth and civilization needs culture for its vital force and survival.
 The objects of civilization after a period of time acquire a cultural
significance. Civilization tries to put certain limitations on culture – it
determines the degree to which cultural activity can be pursued.
 Culture and civilization are interactive – civilization is a vehicle of culture,
culture responds to the stages of technological development.
 Every change in culture and its valuations have repercussions on the
civilization structure. Civilization is the driving force of society and culture is
its steering wheel.
4. Differences between culture and civilization:
 Civilization has a precise standard of measurement but not culture – while
comparing the products of civilization, we can prove which is superior and
which is inferior. eg. a car runs faster than a bullock cart. But, there is no
measuring rod by which we can assess cultural objects. eg paintings of
Picasso may appear to some an abomination while to others they are
invaluable.
 Civilization is always advancing but not culture – The various constituents of
civilization like machines, means of transport are constantly progressing.
But concerning culture, it cannot be asserted that art, literature, thoughts
of today are superior to those of the past
 Civilization is transmitted without effort, but not culture – Objects of
civilization can be easily adapted form generation or country to another but

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culture is not adapted with equal facility because it is related to the inner
tendency. The adoption of culture depends on personality and nature or
people.
 Civilization is borrowed without change or loss, but not culture – eg.
railways, motors, machines etc are borrowed as they are from one country
to another but the elements of culture such as religion, art, literature are
not borrowed in their original character.
 Culture is internal and an end while civilization is external and a means –
civilization is inclusive of external things while culture is related to internal
thoughts, feelings, ideas and values. Civilization is what we have and
culture is what we are.

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18-Dec-2017 – Question 2
Where do you situate ‘live-in relationship’ within the institution of marriage?
(15Marks 2013)
Model Answer
The live-in relationship, also known as cohabitation is a consensual arrangement
wherein a couple lives together without entering a formal marriage. It need not
necessarily involve sexual relations. It may be equivalent to Social Monogamy.
Reasons for live-in
– to test compatibility before marriage
– do not want the hassles of a formal marriage
– see no benefit in the institution of marriage
– not in a position to legally marry
Elderly persons who have lost a partner or got divorced are increasingly preferring
a live-in relationship.
In some countries like UK & US, there is a provision for live-in partners to get
themselves registered as domestic partners, but this does not make formal
divorce necessary.
Indian Scenario
– Live-in relationship is not illegal but considered socially and morally improper.
– Legally, it is permissible only for unmarried major persons of opposite sex.
– If a live-in relationship is continued for a long time there is a presumption of
marriage, and all the laws regarding domestic violence, the legitimacy of children,
maintenance rights, inheritance rights are applicable.

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20-Dec-2017 – Question 1
Define marraige and bring out the economic aspects of marraige with relevant
examples (20 Marks ,250 words)
Model Answer
1. In about 75% of the societies known to anthropology, one or more explicit
economic transactions take place before or after the marriage.
2. Such economic transactions may take several forms: bride price, bride service,
exchange of females, gift exchange, dowry or indirect dowry.
3. BRIDE PRICE Or bridewealth is a gift of money or goods from the groom or his
kin to the bride’s kin.

 The gift usually grants the groom the right to marry the bride and the right to
her children. It may be paid in goods, money, land or livestock.
 Of all the forms of economic transactions involved in marriage, bride price is the
most common – 44% of societies with economic transactions during the
marriage.
 It is not payment for women but rather is seen as a way of valuing the labour of
women, the effort involved by the bride’s family in raising the female and the
labour value of the woman’s offspring.
 It is more common in patrilineal and patrilocal systems. It is also common where
land is abundant and the labour of women and children contributes to group
welfare.
 eg. Nandi tribe, Subanun of Philippines, Manus of Admiralty Islands.

4. BRIDE SERVICE – Requires the groom to work for the bride’s family, sometimes
before the marriage, sometimes after. It varies in duration, from a few months to
several years. eg. North Alaskan Eskimo
5. EXCHANGES OF FEMALES – A sister or female relative of the groom is
exchanged for the bride. eg. Tiv of West Africa.
6. GIFT EXCHANGE – Involves the exchange of gifts about equal value by the two
kin groups to be linked by marriage. eg. Andaman Islander.
7. DOWRY

 It is usually a substantial transfer of goods or money from the bride’s family to


the bride, the groom, the groom’s kin or the couple.

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 A woman’s dowry might include personal possessions such as clothing and


jewels, money, servants or land.
 It was practised in medieval Europe and is still prevalent in South Asia.
 In India, it has become a matter of controversy and a subject for legal reform
because of a large number of incidents in which women have been harassed and
even murdered to extort richer dowries.

8. INDIRECT DOWRY

 The dowry is provided by the bride’s family to the bride, the groom or the
couple.
 The payments to the bride originate from the groom’s family. Because the
goods are first given to the bride’s father, who passes most of it and not all to
her, this kind of transaction is called indirect dowry.
 eg. Basseri of Southern Iran.

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20-Dec-2017 – Question 2
Write a note on double descent (10marks,150 words)
Model Answer
Descent or kinship system bind people together and defines social unity. Family
members get support from the members of the people they are related with. The
training of a child is done mostly by the people he or she is affiliated with. Kinship
system regulates sexual relationship as it controls incest. Finally, the residence,
membership, and citizenship of am individual are defined by the kinship system.
Double Descent system is two-sided because an individual can be traced to,
inherit from, and connected to both the father’s and mother’s side. There is a
simultaneous affiliation to both sides. Usually, the landed and immovable
properties such as the trees, forests, farm products are inherited through the
male side while the movable properties and livestock are inherited matrilineally.
This is common among the Yako people of Cross River State in Nigeria.

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22-Dec-2017 – Question 1
Write a note on Incest Taboo (2006)(10marks 150 words)
Model Answer
Ans
The word “incest” is a word which means sexual intercourse with the closely
related persons of one’s family like brother and sister, mother and son
etc. “Taboo” refers to the prohibition intercourse, especially on religious and
moral bases. So, incest taboo means the prohibition of sexual intercourse or
marriage between the close related persons of the family.
In every society, there are some limits of prohibitions of sexuality. However, in
some other societies incest, taboo is permitted like in “ancient Egyptians. They
practised marriage between brother and sister in the royal families. This is also
practised in Saha Tribe of Columbia and North America. Islam gives the
permission of marriage cross and parallel cousins but in other societies, it is
prohibited considered them as siblings.
Theories of incest Taboo
Following are the various theories of incest taboo given by different
anthropologists.
Psychoanalytic Theory
This theory is presented by Sigmund Freud. According to this theory, a strong
sexual relationship exists between two persons of a closely related family like
mother and son, and father and daughter. But during the process of socialization,
these sexual feelings of children are depressed due to fear from parents. Although
the sexual attraction continuously exists between them. So, incest taboo is a way
to control the sexual line or it is necessary for the defence against the sexual
relations between these persons.
Childhood familiarity Theory
This theory was presented by Edward Wester in 1920. According to this theory,
“People who have brought up together from very each others like siblings. These
people would be not sexually attached to each others. To test the hypothesis, a

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study was conducted on a family of Israel, in which the married pair born a child
and was kept in a separate centre where other children of the same age were
present. They were nourished and reared in that centre and had no relations with
parents. When they reached maturity, it was observed that among 125 pairs of
male and female, there was no single case of sexuality with other group
members.
Cooperation Theory
This theory was presented by an eminent anthropologist E-B-Taylor. According to
him, “incest taboo is necessary for co-operation and healthy relationships among
family members. Incest taboo accelerates cooperation among the members and if
there is no restriction of sexual relations, it would lead to suspicious and hostility
among members.”Incest taboo enforces a person to marry outside one’s family
and if he performs exogamy, he attached to another family. So, in this way, the
bond of cooperation with that family will be strengthened.

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22-Dec-2017 – Question 2
What do you understand by Feminist movements? Discuss their impact on
family. (2002)(250 words)
Model Answer
1. Feminist movements and the increased entry of women into the workplace
beginning in the twentieth century has affected gender roles and the
division of labour within the family.
2. Better education has resulted in greater financial independence and more
career choices for women.
3. Women have begun to shun marriage. According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, in 2005, unmarried households became the majority of all U.S.
households.
4. Even after they marry, many of today’s women put their careers above
children or put off having a family for several years.
5. The changing status of women has to lead to an equal division of household
responsibilities. Husbands increased their participation by only a small
amount and the wives reduced the number of hours they devote to various
household tasks. The most pressing problem in a family, as a result, is that
of childcare. A majority of working mothers pay for child care, even if not
on a daily basis.
6. It has resulted in children feeling deprived of mother’s attention. Many
believe that this will affect children adversely leading to psychological
problems and deviant behaviour. But various studies have proved this
notion as wrong.
7. It has affected the sex role attitudes of children. In general, when mothers
work their children are more likely to approve of working women and of a
more egalitarian division of domestic tasks.
8. The additional income of wives has improved the standards of families in
which women work.
9. But some studies have reported that husbands of working wives experience
less marital satisfaction with their marriages and a generally lower mental
and physical well being than husbands whose wives stay at home.

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10. With women becoming more independent and assertive, the divorce rates
have shown an increasing trend.
11. The increased contribution of women to family income has given them a
stronger voice in family decisions.
12. All these changes are substantial in some societies but insignificant in
many.

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01-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Discuss the impact of globalization on tribal economy (20Marks 2013)(250
Words)
Model Answer
Negatives :
Displacement
Approximately 16 million people were displaced because of construction of over
1500 irrigation projects out of which nearly 40% belong to tribal population
Ban on Shifting Cultivation
With time the shifting cultivation has been banned and they were restricted to
limited area for living
Eroding of Socio-Cultural Heritage
Due to development activities, commercial interest and lack of effective legal
protection to tribals they have been displaced from their original homeland to
other areas thus leading to loss of their normal life and their original traditions
like related to exotic plants used for medicinal purposes
Forced Evictions
For making way for capital-intensive projects as happened in the central belt of
India which is rich in mineral resources and are the point of major emphasis for
companies like BALCO, NALCO etc.
Rise in Pollution
With more development projects in the indigenous tribal areas the release of
GHGs and pollution due to mining (leading to dust problems and further diseases
consequently) etc. leading to more health problems and subsequently more
health-related expenses
Benefits:
There are definitely ills of globalization, but we cannot neglect the benefits as well
like:

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More medicines and drugs for life-threatening drugs


Better education and development, better lifestyle etc. and this education leading
to better utilization of local resources for the betterment of all
Giving them exposure to media and other sources of mass communication so that
they can raise their voice against injustice this leading to a separate department
under government of India for them
So although their benefits and negatives related to globalization for tribals, seeing
the big population of tribals and the number of resources delegated for their
welfare are mismatched and still a large chunk of their population are not living a
good life and so there is need of work in that direction.

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01-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Totemism (10Marks 2013)(150 Words)
Model Answer
The term totem refers to the natural object or item either inanimate or animate
with which a group of individuals identify themselves. The system of mystical
attachment of groups of people with totems is called totemism. The group that
observes totemism is called a totemic group. A totem may be a plant, or an
animal or even an object like a rock.
The members of a totemic group distinguish themselves from other groups by
wearing totemic emblems as charms and by painting or tattooing the figure of the
totem on the walls of their houses, canoes, weapons and even their body. A
prominent exhibit is the construction and erection of a totem pole representing
the figure of the totem that is generally carved or painted in the locality where
the specific group members reside.
Totemism is widely prevalent in tribal India. The Santhals have hundreds of
totemic groups named after plants, animals or objects. The Gonds have a goat
clan whose members regard the goat as their totem because a goat that had been
stolen by their ancestors for sacrifice turned into a pig when the theft was
discovered and thus saved the thieves from punishment.
The Kamar tribe have totemic groups named as Netam(tortoise), Sori(a jungle
creeper), Wagh Sori(tiger), Nag Sori( snake), Kunjam(goat) and so on. A tortoise
saved the Netam at the time of the deluge. Among the Toda, the Buffaloes are
the revered totems. Most of the rituals have to do with buffaloes and the
treatment of their milk. The Oraons erect wooden totem posts and make an
occasional offering to them. Totemism is thus an integral part of tribal India.

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03-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Critically discuss the formalist and substantive approaches in the context of
economic anthropology. (250words- 2005)
Model Answer
The opposition between substantive and formalist economic models was first
proposed by Karl Polanyi in his work The Great Transformation.
Formalists such as Raymond Firth and Harold K. Schneider asserted that the
neoclassical model of economics could be applied to any society if appropriate
modifications are made, arguing that its principles have universal validity.
Formalism:
The formalist model is closely linked to neoclassical economics, defining
economics as the study of utility maximization under conditions of scarcity. All
societies are therefore a collection of “choice-making individuals whose every
action involves conscious or unconscious selections among alternatives means to
alternative ends” or culturally defined goals. Goals refer not only to economic
value or financial gain but to anything that is valued by the individual, be it
leisure, solidarity or prestige.
Since a formalist model usually states what is to be maximized in terms of
preferences, which often but not necessarily include culturally expressed value
goals, it is deemed to be sufficiently abstract to explain human behaviour in any
context. A traditional assumption many formalists borrow from neoclassical
economics is that the individual will make rational choices based on full
information, or information that is incomplete in a specific way, in order to
maximize whatever that individual considers being of value. While preferences
may vary or change, and information about choices may or may not be complete,
the principles of economising and maximising still apply.
The role of the anthropologist may then be to analyse each culture in regards to
its culturally appropriate means of attaining culturally recognized and valued
goals. Individual preferences may differ from culturally recognized goals, and
under economic rationality assumptions, individual decisions are guided by
individual preferences in an environment constrained by culture, including the

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preferences of others. Such an analysis should uncover the culturally specific


principles that underlie the rational decision-making process. In this way,
economic theory has been applied by anthropologists to societies without price-
regulating markets
Substantive:
Polanyi’s term, “the great transformation,” refers to the divide between modern,
market-dominated societies and non-Western, non-capitalist pre-industrial
societies. Polanyi argues that only the substantive meaning of economics is
appropriate for analysing the latter. According to Polanyi, in modern capitalist
economies, the concepts of formalism and substantive coincide since people
organise their livelihoods based on the principle of rational choice. However, in
non-Capitalist, pre-industrial economies this assumption does not hold. Unlike
their Western capitalist counterparts, their livelihoods are not based on the
market exchange but on redistribution and reciprocity. Reciprocity is defined as
the mutual exchange of goods or services as part of long-term relationships.
Redistribution implies the existence of a strong political centre such as kinship-
based leadership, which receives and then redistributes subsistence goods
according to culturally specific principles. In societies that are not market-based,
reciprocity and redistribution usually occur together. Conversely, market
exchange is seen as the dominant mode of integration in modern industrial
societies, while reciprocity may continue in the family and inter-household
relations, and some redistribution is undertaken by the state or by charitable
institutions. Each of these three systems of distribution requires a separate set of
analytical concepts.
Without a system of price-making markets formal economic analysis does not
apply, as for example, in centrally planned economies or preindustrial societies.
Economic decision-making in such places is not so much based on individual
choice, but rather on social relationships, cultural values, moral concerns, politics,
religion or the fear instilled by authoritarian leadership. Production in most
peasant and tribal societies is for the producers, also called ‘production for use’ or
subsistence production, as opposed to ‘production for exchange’ which has profit
maximisation as its chief aim. These types differ so radically that no single theory
can describe them all.

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03-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Kula Ring (150 words-2003)
Model Answer
The term Kula Ring refers to the circulation of shell valuables between island
communities in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. Bronislaw
Malinowski was the first anthropologist to document the exchange in a classic
anthropological text, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, written in 1922.
There are two shell ornaments circulated against each other between kula
partners. The armshell or mwali is made from shell belonging to the Conidae
family. Both ends are broken off and smoothed to leave a cylindrical armlet that is
decorated with other shells, seeds, beads, and ornamental items. The armshells
travel around the ring in a counterclockwise direction for the necklaces, or
soulava, which travel in a clockwise direction. The necklace is made up of
Spondylus and/or Chama shell roughly broken and then repeatedly smoothed
between stone in a single, long strand of shells strung together to form the
necklace. These, too, are highly decorated for aesthetic purposes. While armshells
and necklaces are the primary objects exchanged in the kula, other valuables and
locally produced resources (such as clay pots, greenstone, and ocher) are also
exchanged as solicitor gifts.
Although there are local differences, as general rule men only have kula partners
on other islands. A man will have partners on one side of him from which he
receives only armshells. He gives these to partners on the other side of him from
whom he can expect to receive necklaces. This means that men have to cross the
open seas to solicit and acquire their valuables. Kula protocol is all about
attraction and persuasion. While Malinowski wrote that kula was a “very simple
affair,” anthropologists have since documented the dangerous business of
conducting kula. Partnerships are unstable because others desire the shell
valuables they might hold and may persuade the trader to give up the shell to
someone other than the intended partner. The consequences of this action
include suspension of one’s kula career and even death threats. The most
valuable shells invite jealousy and accusations of foul play in their acquisition,
subjecting holders to attacks of sorcery. While participation in Kula offers men
status and prestige, it may also bring upon them disgrace and death.
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05-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Discuss mechanisms of social control in simple societies citing suitable
examples. (250Words – 2007)
Model Answer
In every society, there are institutions that encourage and emphasize conformity
to social and customary rules or norms. These institutions are referred to as
sanctions. According to Radcliffe Brown, a sanction is a reaction on the part of a
society or of a considerable number of its members to a mode of behaviour which
is thereby approved or disapproved.
Sanctions can be positive or negative. By positive sanctions, it is meant such
incentives to conformity as awards, titles and recognition by others. However,
they seem to be usually of less significance than negative sanctions. The negative
sanctions include threats of imprisonment, corporal punishment or ostracism
from the community for violation of social norms.
Sanctions may be formal or informal depending on whether or not a legal status is
involved. Informal sanctions may acquire the forms of surprised glances to
murmurs or disapproval by others while formal sanctions may involve subject to
litigation.
Organized and diffused sanctions where organized sanctions are those which
reward or punish behaviour through the precisely regulated social procedure.
When these sanctions are imposed by an authorized political body they are
referred to as legal sanctions. Diffused sanctions are those which are the
expressions of approval or disapproval by members of the community. Often
diffuse sanctions involve patterns of behaviour which are more or less
institutionalized.
Religious sanctions also serve to regulate behaviour and explain incomprehensible
phenomena.Witchcraft; sorcery and other magical practices instil fear and
thereby act as effective sanctions that lead to the conformity to proper
behaviour. One of the important contributions of Anthropologists has been to the
field of conflict. The term denotes any antagonistic state between two or more
parties arising from incompatible interests. The parties may be individuals, social
groups or institutions. Conflicts are quite an inevitable part of social life.
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05-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Band and tribal societies (10Marks 2012)(150 Words)
Model Answer
Bands have been found primarily among foragers, especially self-sufficient
pedestrian foragers. The total number of people within these societies rarely
exceeds a few dozen. Bands are essentially associations of families living
together. They are loosely allied by marriage, descent, friendship, and common
interest. The primary integrating mechanism for these societies is kinship. Bands
are extremely egalitarian–all families are essentially equal. There is no economic
class differentiation. However, there are often clear status differences based on
gender and age.
There are a horizontal status and power relationship in bands between all adults
of the same gender. They are more or less equal as far as community decision
making is concerned. However, some individuals in a band stand out for their
skills and knowledge. These often are the people who have the best memories,
are the best hunters, most successful curers, most gifted speakers, or have some
other special ability. Such people become informal leaders. Most often they are
given authority by community consensus arrived at through casual discussion
without the need for a formal vote. This is possible because the entire society is
small and everyone knows everyone else intimately as a result of living and
working together throughout their lives.
The principal goal of politics in most bands is making sure that people get along
with each other.
A tribe is a somewhat more complex type of acephalous society than a band. As
the population size increases with a shift in subsistence pattern from foraging to
horticulture or pastoralism, it eventually reaches a point at which kinship ties and
friendship are no longer sufficient to hold society together. This is especially the
case when there are hundreds of people and multiple communities. Tribes also
are characteristic of some large equestrian and rich aquatic foraging
societies. Regardless of the subsistence base, new forms of social integration
become a necessity in tribes to settle disputes and prevent the society from
disintegrating.

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Tribes commonly have village headmen who perform leadership roles, but these
individuals have relatively limited authority. Political power stems largely from
their senior position within kin groups and their ability to persuade or harangue
others into doing what they want. In New Guinea and many of the neighbouring
islands of Melanesia, these leaders are called “big men.” In the past, there often
were competing “big men” who vied with each other for status and nominal
authority over a number of villages. They worked for years to accumulate pigs
and other items of high value in order to give them away in large, very public
formal ceremonies. This functioned to not only enhance their status and political
influence but to also redistribute wealth within their societies. A similar ritualized
economic redistribution was orchestrated by the leading men among the Kwakiutl
and some other rich fishing societies on the northwest coast of North America.
Their principal goal was also to increase their status and power.

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15-Jan-2018 – Question 1
In what ways is Functionalism different from Structural Functionalism?
(20Marks 2013)(250 words)
Model Answer
Malinowski suggested that individuals have physiological needs (reproduction,
food, shelter) and that social institutions exist to meet these needs. There are also
culturally derived needs and four basic “instrumental needs” (economics, social
control, education, and political organization), that require institutional devices.
Each institution has the personnel, a charter, a set of norms or rules, activities,
material apparatus (technology), and a function. Malinowski argued that uniform
psychological responses are correlates of physiological needs. He argued that
satisfaction of these needs transformed the cultural instrumental activity into an
acquired drive through psychological reinforcement.
Radcliffe-Brown focused on social structure rather than biological needs. He
suggested that a society is a system of relationships maintaining itself through
cybernetic feedback, while institutions are orderly sets of relationships whose
function is to maintain the society as a system. Radcliffe-Brown, inspired by
Augustus Comte, stated that the social constituted a separate “level” of reality
distinct from those of biological forms and inorganic matter. Radcliffe-Brown
argued that explanations of social phenomena had to be constructed at the social
level. Thus, individuals were replaceable, transient occupants of social roles.
Unlike Malinowski’s emphasis on individuals, Radcliffe-Brown considered
individuals irrelevant.

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15-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Cultural Materialism (2011)(150words)
Model Answer
Coined by Marvin Harris in his 1968 text, The Rise of Anthropological Theory,
cultural materialism embraces three anthropological schools of thought, cultural
materialism, cultural evolution and cultural ecology. Risen as an expansion of
Marxism materialism, cultural materialism explains cultural similarities and
differences as well as models for cultural change within a societal framework
consisting of three distinct levels:
infrastructure,
structure and
superstructure
Cultural materialism promotes the idea that infrastructure, consisting of “material
realities” such as technological, economic and reproductive (demographic) factors
mold and influence the other two aspects of culture. The “structure” sector of
culture consists of organizational aspects of culture such as domestic and kinship
systems and political economy, while the “superstructure” sector consists of
ideological and symbolic aspects of society such as religion. Therefore, cultural
materialists believe that technological and economic aspects play the primary role
in shaping a society. Cultural materialism aims to understand the effects of
technological, economic and demographic factors on molding societal structure
and superstructure through strictly scientific methods.
As stated by Harris, cultural materialism strives to “create a pan-human science of
society whose findings can be accepted on logical and evidentiary grounds by the
pan-human community” . Cultural materialism is an expansion upon Marxist
materialism. Marx suggested that there are three levels of culture, infrastructure,
structure, and superstructure; however, unlike Marxist theory, cultural
materialism views both productive (economic) and reproductive (demographic)
forces as the primary factors which shape society. Therefore, cultural materialism
explains the structural features of a society in terms of production within the
infrastructure only.

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17-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Examine the relationship between culture and personality. Give suitable
examples to illustrate your answer (250 words)
Model Answer
The culture and personality movement was at the core of anthropology in the first
half of the 20th century. It examined the interaction between psychological
aspects of the individual and the overreaching culture. Culture and personality
were too divided to really be considered a “school of thought.” It had no orthodox
viewpoint, centralized leadership, or coherent training program; however, there
were also some basic ideas that most practitioners would agree with. This would
include adult behaviour as being “culturally patterned,” childhood experiences
influencing the individual’s personality as an adult, and the adult personality
characteristics influencing the cultural institutes such as religion. Theorists of
culture and personality school argued that socialization creates personality
patterns. It shapes a person’s emotions, thoughts, behaviours, cultural values and
norms to fit into and function as productive members of the surrounding human
society. The study of culture and personality wanted to examine how different
socialization practices resulted in different personality types.
Culture and personality were one of the reactions against the 19th social
evolution and diffusionism just as the functionalism school of Radcliff-Brown and
Malinowski was. The views of Franz Boas and some his students (such as Ruth
Benedict) argued against that of the early evolutionists, such as Louis Henry
Morgan and Edward Tylor, who believe each culture goes through the same
hierarchical evolutionary system.
The field developed more with later work by Margaret Mead and Ruth
Benedict. Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) provided “the first sustained
consideration of the relation between personality and culture”.
Benedict conducted fieldwork among American Indians, contemporary European
and Asian societies. Her key works, Patterns of Culture and the Chrysanthemum
and the Sword, spread the importance of culture in individual personality
formation.
In 1945, Cora Dubois, Abram Kardiner and Ralph Linton coauthored the book, the
Psychological Frontiers of Society which consisted of careful descriptions and
interpretations of three cultures (the Comanche culture, the Alorese culture, and

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the culture of an American rural community). It explained the basic personality


formed by the diversity of subject matter in each culture.

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17-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on origin of language (10marks )(150 words)
Model Answer
A number of theories have been proposed on the origin of language but are
difficult to prove. Some of the theories are mentioned below.
1. The bow-wow theory
The idea that speech arose from people imitating the sounds that things make:
Bow-wow, moo, baa, etc. This is difficult to prove since very few things we talk
about have characteristic sounds associated with them, and very few of our
words sound anything at all like what they mean.

2. The pooh-pooh theory

The idea that speech comes from the automatic vocal responses to pain, fear,
surprise, or other emotions: a laugh, a shriek, a gasp. But plenty of animals
make these kinds of sounds too, and they didn’t end up with language.

3. The ding-dong theory

The idea that speech reflects some mystical resonance or harmony connected
with things in the world.

4. The yo-he-ho theory

The idea that speech started with the rhythmic chants and grunts people used
to coordinate their physical actions when they worked together.

1. Divine hypothesis theory

It is believed that god or divine power chose humans at some point in time and
rewarded them with the ability to speak.This is also not possible to prove.

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19-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Disciss the contributions of field work in the development of anthropological
concepts and theories(250 words)
Model Answer
Ethnographic fieldwork is an in-depth localized research process aimed at the
description and analysis of cultural systems. Both scientific and artistic in
perspective and approach, ethnographic fieldwork is characteristic of the work of
cultural anthropologists who seek explanation and/or interpretation of human
behaviour, practices, ideas, and values. Conducted in the naturalistic setting of
everyday life, ethnographic fieldwork lasts from months to years as
ethnographers immerse themselves in the social interaction and cultural scenes
of a social group.
Ethnographic fieldwork involves either applied or basic research goals. For the
latter, a researcher investigates a group, a previously unexplored topic, or one
that has changed significantly, writing publications that describe, for example, the
Nuer of Sudan and their love for cattle, or the San of southern Africa and their
traditional foraging subsistence pattern. In applied ethnographic fieldwork,
researchers address problems and offer possible solutions to a limited set of
issues. For example, if a team is hired to investigate the consequences of a flood,
they may use available statistical data on land and households and survey
research in addition to ethnographic fieldwork, and then make recommendations
for policy decisions to a government agency.
Ethnographic fieldwork includes quantitative and qualitative data collection
techniques based on participant observation and ethnographic interviews with
key informants. Together, these form methodological checks and balances so that
data gained through observation are checked as the researcher participates in the
culture and conversations with informants proceed to greater intimacy. Similarly,
interview data are evaluated and compared with those gained in participant
observation and also are compared from informant to informant. Ethnographic
fieldwork has been described as a series of stages, from the excitement and
culture shock of the initial period through the development of rapport and
reciprocity with informants to the final sadness of departure. Some cultural

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anthropologists continue ethnographic fieldwork on repeated visits over lengthy


periods and establish long-term relationships with those they study.
In the 19th century, social (or cultural) anthropologists usually did not directly
collect data in the field. They relied on the accounts of explorers, travellers, and
missionaries, compiling them into comparative frameworks for “scientific”
purposes. An exception to this pattern was Lewis Henry Morgan, who visited the
Iroquois and collected information about kinship. The change to firsthand direct
data collection by anthropologists in the field is generally attributed to Franz Boas
for the Americanist tradition and Bronislaw Malinowski for the British. Even
before emigrating to the United States, Boas fulfilled his dream of living among
the Inuit and studying their understanding of landscape and geography. From his
position at Columbia University, Boas trained many anthropologists to do
ethnographic fieldwork as he did among the Kwakiutl. His initial emphasis was on
“salvage” ethnography in order to preserve cultural traditions before they
disappeared. On the other hand, Malinowski’s interest was in observing the
society as it then worked, using the Trobrianders’ language in order to understand
their point of view. By the second quarter of the 20th century, ethnographic
fieldwork was the defining standard and practice of sociocultural anthropology.

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19-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Observation (150 words)
Model Answer
The most common method used for getting information about the various things
around us, is to observe those things and also the various processes related to
those things. Hence, it can be said that observation acts as a fundamental and the
basic method of getting information about anything. But it must be kept in mind
that observation is not just seeing things but it is carefully watching the things and
trying to understand them in depth, in order to get information about them.
Advantages of Observation
1. Very direct method for collecting data or information – best for the study of
human behaviour.
2. Data collected is very accurate in nature and also very reliable.
3. Improves precision of the research results.
4. The problem of depending on respondents is decreased.
5. Helps in understanding the verbal response more efficiently.
6.By using good and modern gadgets – observations can be made continuously
and also for a larger duration of time period.
7. Observation is less demanding in nature, which makes it less bias in working
abilities.
8. By observation, one can identify a problem by making an in-depth analysis
of the problems.
E.g : Study of trobriand islanders by Malinowski by Participation Observation
method helped in the understanding of their Society and Social Institutions.
Disadvantages of Observation
1. Problems of the past cannot be studied by means of observation.
2. Having no other options one has to depend on the documents available.

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3. Observations like the controlled observations require some especial


instruments or tools for effective working, which are very much costly.
4. One cannot study opinions by this means.
5. Attitudes cannot be studied with the help of observations.
6. Sampling cannot be brought into use.
7. Observation involves a lot of time as one has to wait for an event to happen
to study that particular event.
8. The actual presence of the observer himself Vis a Vis the event to occur is
almost unknown, which acts as a major disadvantage of observation.
9. A complete answer to any problem or any issue cannot be obtained by
observation alone.

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29-Jan-2018 – Question 1
What are the genetic effects of Consanguinity? Give examples? (20Marks 2012)
Model Answer
Consanguineous marriage is matrimony between individuals who are closely
related. Though it may involve incest, it implies more than the sexual nature of
incest. In a clinical sense, marriage between two family members who are second
cousins or closer qualify as having a consanguineous marriage. This is based on
the gene copies their offspring may receive. Though these unions are still
prevalent in some communities, as seen across the Greater Middle East region,
many other populations have seen a great decline in family marriages.
Genetic effects :
Multiple studies have established consanguinity as a high cause for birth defects
and abnormalities. A risk of autosomal recessive disorders increases in offspring
coming from consanguineous marriages due to the increased likelihood of
receiving recessive genes from cognate parents. According to population based
case-control studies, a higher risk of stillbirth is associated with consanguineous
marriages.
Inbreeding is associated with decreased cognitive abilities in children.
Younger ages of marriage are commonly seen in consanguineous marriages,
which may account for the increase in fertility seen in these unions. Chances of
postnatal mortality are higher in offspring.The first year holds the highest chance
of death due to the risk of autosomal recessive genes. This is also the cause of
health complications as children born from consanguinity enter adulthood.

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29-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Down Syndrome (150 words)
Model Answer
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder and the most common autosomal
chromosome abnormality in humans, where extra genetic material from
chromosome 21 is transferred to a newly formed embryo. These extra genes and
DNA cause changes in development of the embryo and fetus resulting in physical
and mental abnormalities.
Causes:
In patients with Down syndrome, an error occurs in the coming together of
chromosome 21. The extra genetic material is responsible for the developmental
abnormalities that occur. Instead of 46 chromosomes plus two sex chromosomes,
there are 47.The most common error in chromosome replication is trisomy 21,
where the new cell gets three copies of chromosome 21, instead of two. This
accounts for about 95% of those patients with Down syndrome.
Symptoms :
Commonly, there is a small head and short neck, a flat face, and upward slanting
eyes. Ears are flat and positioned lower than “normal.” The tongue protrudes and
seems to be too large for the mouth. Hands tend to be wide, with short fingers
and there is just a single flexion crease in the palm. Joints tend to be more flexible
and muscles may lack tone.The patient may have growth retardation and though
as a baby may be normal size, will not grow as tall. Average height for an adult
male with Down syndrome is 5 ft 1 in and for a female it is 4 ft 9 in.
Bowleggedness is common. Obesity occurs with aging.

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31-Jan-2018 – Question 1
Discuss the chromosomal aberrations and manifestations of Klinefelter and
Turner syndromes (20Marks 2013)
Model Answer
Klinefelter Syndrome :
Genetic Changes: Klinefelter syndrome results from the presence of one extra
copy of the X chromosome in each cell (47,XXY).
Frequency: Klinefelter syndrome affects 1 in 500 to 1,000 newborn males. Most
variants of Klinefelter syndrome are much rarer, occurring in 1 in 50,000 or fewer
newborns.
Effects: Klinefelter syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects male
physical and cognitive development. Its signs and symptoms vary among affected
individuals.Affected individuals typically have small testes that do not produce as
much testosterone as usual. Testosterone is the hormone that directs male sexual
development before birth and during puberty. A shortage of testosterone can
lead to delayed or incomplete puberty, breast enlargement (gynecomastia),
reduced facial and body hair, and an inability to have biological children
(infertility)
Turners Syndrome :
Genetic Changes: Turner syndrome results when one normal X chromosome is
present in a female’s cells and the other sex chromosome is missing or
structurally altered. The missing genetic material affects development before and
after birth.
Frequency: This condition occurs in about 1 in 2,500 newborn girls worldwide, but
it is much more common among pregnancies that do not survive to term
(miscarriages and stillbirths)
Effects: Turner syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects development in
females. The most common feature of Turner syndrome is short stature, which
becomes evident by about age 5. An early loss of ovarian function (ovarian
hypofunction or premature ovarian failure) is also very common. The ovaries

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develop normally at first, but egg cells (oocytes) usually die prematurely and most
ovarian tissue degenerates before birth. Many affected girls do not undergo
puberty unless they receive hormone therapy, and most are unable to conceive
(infertile). A small percentage of females with Turner syndrome retain normal
ovarian function through young adulthood.
About 30 percent of females with Turner syndrome have extra folds of skin on the
neck (webbed neck), a low hairline at the back of the neck, puffiness or swelling
(lymphedema) of the hands and feet, skeletal abnormalities, or kidney problems.
One third to one-half of individuals with Turner syndrome are born with a heart
defect, such as a narrowing of the large artery leaving the heart (coarctation of
the aorta) or abnormalities of the valve that connects the aorta with the heart
(the aortic valve). Complications associated with these heart defects can be life-
threatening.

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31-Jan-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Concept of Race (150 words)
Model Answer
The human species has an inclination for labelling, organizing and categorizing
objects that appear to share certain similarities. It would then make sense that
humans would turn this practice onto themselves and categorize other humans
according to the similarities or differences among populations throughout the
world, which is a classification or idea commonly known as ‘race’.
In biological terms, race can be defined as geographically patterned physical
differences in local populations of the same species. Humans possess a lot of
physical variables such as differences in skin colour, face shape, eye colour and
shape, and hair colour and form. Humans with certain commonly-shared
characteristics have traditionally been grouped together into categories that are
associated with a specific geographical location. But, in a social context, this
biological definition of race has given rise to the perception held presently (and
throughout history) that certain characteristics (such as black skin or lower
foreheads) can and should be associated with a lack of virtue, morality and
intelligence. One example of how the biological concept of race and the social
concept of race conflict, is the perception of skin colour from a scientific
perspective versus a cultural one. Skin colour is the most visible aspect of the
human phenotype and therefore is often culturally considered as synonymous
with the modern idea of what race is.
While anthropologists have found that skin color is determined by one’s climate
through the process of Natural Selection (the hotter the climate, the darker the
skin color), social perceptions of skin color are largely influenced by religious texts
that describe dark skin as a sign of disfavor from God, the punishment of which is
eternal servitude . This idea can then give rise to the practice of racism and
ethnocentrism, or the idea that certain races (or skin colours) are better than
others.

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02-Feb-2018 – Question 1
Elaborate upon major human adaptations to heat and cold. (15Marks 2013)
Model Answer
The human body always works to remain in homeostasis. One form of
homeostasis is thermoregulation. Body temperature varies in every individual, but
the average internal temperature is 37.0 °C (98.6 °F).[1] Stress from extreme
external temperature can cause the human body to shut down. When the body
becomes hypothermic, the core temperature drops to 35 °C (95 °F).[2]
Hyperthermia results when the core body temperature rises above 37.5-38.3 °C
(99.5-100.9 °F).[3][4] These temperatures commonly result in mortality. Humans
have adapted to living in these extreme climates primarily through culture and
technology, such as the use of clothing and shelter.
Acclimatization :
When humans are exposed to certain climates for extended periods of time,
physiological changes occur to help the individual adapt to hot or cold climates.
This helps the body conserve energy.
Cold
Eskimos have more blood flowing into their extremities, and at a hotter
temperature, than people living in warmer climates. A 1960 study on the Alacaluf
Indians shows that they have a resting metabolic rate 150 to 200 times higher
than the white controls used. Lapps do not have an increase in metabolic rate
when sleeping, unlike non-acclimated people. Australian aborigines undergo a
similar process, where the body cools but the metabolic rate does not increase.
Heat
Humans in Central Africa have been living in similar tropical climates for at least
40,000 years, which means that they have similar thermoregulatory systems.
A study done on the Bantus of South Africa showed that Bantus have a lower
sweat rate than that of acclimated and nonacclimated whites. A similar study
done on Australian aborigines produced similar results, with aborigines having a
much lower sweat rate than whites.

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Culture
Social adaptations enabled early modern humans to occupy environments with
temperatures that were drastically different from that of Africa. Culture enabled
humans to expand their range to areas that would otherwise be uninhabitable.
Cold
Humans have been able to occupy areas of extreme cold by creating
microclimates, such as clothing, buildings, and manipulation of fire. Using energy
to create technology such as furnaces has further enabled the occupation of cold
environments.
Australian aborigines only wear genital coverings for clothes, but studies have
shown that the warmth from the fires they build is enough to keep the body from
fighting heat loss through shivering. Eskimos use well-insulated houses that are
designed to transfer heat from an energy source to the living area, which means
that the average indoor temperature for coastal Eskimos is 10 to 20 °C (50-68 °F).
Heat
Humans inhabit hot climates, both dry and humid, and have done so for
thousands of years. Selective use of clothing and technological inventions such as
air conditioning allows humans to thrive in hot climates.
One example is the Chaamba Arabs, who live in the Sahara Desert. They wear
clothing that traps air in between skin and the clothes, preventing the high
ambient air temperature from reaching the skin.

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02-Feb-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Rh blood group (150 words)
Model Answer
Rh blood group system is a system for classifying blood groups according to the
presence or absence of the Rh antigen, often called the Rh factor, on the cell
membranes of the red blood cells (erythrocytes). The designation Rh is derived
from the use of the blood of rhesus monkeys in the basic test for determining the
presence of the Rh antigen in human blood.
The Rh antigen poses a danger for the Rh-negative person, who lacks the antigen,
if Rh-positive blood is given in transfusion. Adverse effects may not occur the first
time Rh-incompatible blood is given, but the immune system responds to the
foreign Rh antigen by producing anti-Rh antibodies. If Rh-positive blood is given
again after the antibodies form, they will attack the foreign red blood cells,
causing them to clump together, or agglutinate. The resulting hemolysis, or
destruction of the red blood cells, causes serious illness and sometimes death.
A similar hazard exists during pregnancy for the Rh-positive offspring of Rh-
incompatible parents, when the mother is Rh-negative and the father is Rh-
positive. The first child of such parents is usually in no danger unless the mother
has acquired anti-Rh antibodies by virtue of incompatible blood transfusion.
During labour, however, a small amount of the fetus’s blood may enter the
mother’s bloodstream. The mother will then produce anti-Rh antibodies, which
will attack any Rh-incompatible fetus in subsequent pregnancies. This process
produces erythroblastosis fetalis, or hemolytic disease of the newborn, which can
be fatal to the fetus or to the infant shortly after birth.

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12-Feb-2018 – Question 1
Explain any two biological theories of ageing based on purposeful events.
(20Markers 2012)
Model Answer
Biological theory refers to the structural and functional state of the cells, tissue,
organs and system of the body that determines developmental changes,
longevity, and death. Morden, biological theories of ageing in humans fall into
two main categories:
Cellular theory
Cells have been a subject of much scientific inquiry in exploring ageing
phenomena. The cell has three distinct components

1. cells that can reproduce


2. cells that cannot reproduce
3. intercellular substance/materials

1. Cells that can reproduce: Reproduction of cells occurs.Some new cells


become nonfunctioning or less effective than the others that are
replaced.Three systems in the human body are continuously replaced ( skin,
the lining of the intestine, circulatory system). with the process in the ageing
process, there is an accumulation of these inefficient and nonfunctioning
cells. organism functional ability becomes apparent. visible changes occur in
the ageing process.
2. Cells that cannot reproduce: Eg. CNS, Kidney. With the age cells progressively
wear and tear out and or destroyed. Develop an accumulation of non-
functioning cells. The system becomes less efficient and difficult to handle.
3. Intercellular substance/ materials: Gradual deterioration of intracellular
material with ageing (Busse,1971) reduces the ability of the cells to provide
necessary nutrient and oxygen for respective tissue and directly interfere the
functioning abilities of each system.
Programmed theory
Aging and death, according to this theory, are not a result of wear and tear or
exposure but are programmed to age and die.
Error theory

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Mistranscription and mistranslation of certain genes products.


Results in self-amplifying error producing dearrangement .
The initial error will most likely result in further errors of similar types.
The productions of faulty products of other genes which accumulate with ageing
.eg. Enzymes with decrease catalytic activity in the later life.
Somatic mutation theory
Cells exposed to x-ray radiation or chemicals.
Cell by cell alteration in DNA occurs
Increase the incidence of chromosomal abnormalities
Occurs more at youth and its deleterious effect are seen in later life.
Wear and tear theory
Postulates that an organism ” wears out” with use.
Damage begins at the level of molecules in our cells.
DNA that makes up our genes sustains repeated damage from toxins.
Bodies have the capacity to repair the damage but not all are accurately
corrected.
Damage cells progressively accumulate.
Autoimmune theory
Postulates that with age, the immune system produces auto – antibodies that
cause cell death or cell changes that foster the ageing process.
Free radical theory
Free radical is molecular with an unpaired, highly reactive electron. One type of
free radical generated in our body is oxygen free radical.
This free radical grabs the molecule from any other molecule and damage the
other molecule.
Molecules that are damaged by free radicals are Fat, protein and DNA .(both of
nucleus and mitochondria).
Under normal condition, natural defence mechanism prevent most of the
oxidative damage.
This theory purposes that little by little small damage accumulates and
contributes to the deterioration of tissues and organs.
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Cross-linkage theory
Also called as collagen theory. With age, our proteins, DNA, and other structured
molecules develop inappropriate cross-links to one another.This unnecessary link
decreases the elasticity of proteins and other molecules.Proteins that are
damaged are no longer needed and are broken down by protease enzymes.The
presence of cross-linkage inhibits the activity if protease.Damaged and unneeded
proteins stick around and can cause a problem.Eg: wrinkling of skin at ageing, age-
related cataract formation.

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12-Feb-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Ageing and Senescence (10Marks 2013)
Model Answer
Aging, progressive physiological changes in an organism that lead to senescence,
or a decline of biological functions and of the organism’s ability to adapt to
metabolic stress.
Aging takes place in a cell, an organ, or the total organism with the passage of
time. It is a process that goes on over the entire adult life span of any living thing.
Gerontology, the study of the aging process, is devoted to the understanding and
control of all factors contributing to the finitude of individual life.
Aging is the sequential or progressive change in an organism that leads to an
increased risk of debility, disease, and death. Senescence consists of these
manifestations of the aging process.
In humans, overall aging-related changes in metabolism that result in increased
fat deposition and reduced muscle mass can lead to an increased likelihood of
developing metabolic diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia
(elevated blood levels of lipids), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and
hypertension (high blood pressure). In some persons, these conditions may occur
simultaneously, giving rise to a condition known as metabolic syndrome.

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14-Feb-2018 – Question 1
Discuss the biological and socio-ecological factors influencing fertility and
mortality.(250 words)
Model Answer
Biological factors:
Spontaneous abortion of recognized pregnancies and stillbirth affect fertility and
mortality.
Following the birth of a child, most women experience a period of temporary
infecundability, or biological inability to conceive. The length of this period seems
to be affected substantially by breast-feeding. In the absence of breastfeeding,
the interruption lasts less than two months. With lengthy, frequent breast-
feeding it can last one or two years. This effect is thought to be caused by a
complex of neural and hormonal factors stimulated by suckling.
Contraception
Contraceptive practices affect fertility by reducing the probability of conception.
Contraceptive methods vary considerably in their theoretical effectiveness and in
their actual effectiveness in use.
Abortion
Induced abortion reduces fertility not by affecting fecundability but by
terminating the pregnancy. Abortion has long been practised in human societies
and is quite common in some settings. The officially registered fraction of
pregnancies terminated by abortion exceeds one-third in some countries, and
significant numbers of unregistered abortions probably occur even in countries
reporting very low rates.
Sterilization
Complete elimination of fecundability can be brought about by sterilization. The
surgical procedures of tubal ligation and vasectomy have become common in
diverse nations and cultures.
Socio-ecological Factors:

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 Status of women
 Sex preference
 Contraceptive control practices and attitude
 Religion and age at marriage
 Economic status and Place of residence
 Housing and Sanitary Conditions.

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14-Feb-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Forensic Anthropology(150 words)
Model Answer
Forensic anthropology applies the science of physical or biological anthropology
to the legal process. Anthropology is the study of humans, and in this forensic
discipline physical or biological anthropologists focus their studies on the human
body as it relates to explaining the circumstances of an accident or solving a crime
– often homicide.
Forensic anthropology involves applying anthropological research and techniques
to medicolegal issues. There are three subsections within the field of forensic
anthropology, including:
1. Forensic Osteology (the study of the skeleton)
2. Forensic Archeology (involves the controlled collection of human remains)
3. Forensic Taphonomy (involves the study of changes to the body after
death, including decomposition and environmental modification)
Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains, typically in criminal
investigations. Their study of human remains aids in the detection of crime by
working to assess the age, sex, stature, ancestry and unique features of a
skeleton, which may include documenting trauma to the skeleton and its
postmortem interval.
Forensic anthropologists use a number of techniques when studying skeletal
remains, including:
 Clay or graphic facial reproduction
 Scanning electron microscopy
 Radiographic techniques
 Photo or video superimposition techniques
 Thin-sectioning techniques of bone histology
 The casting of skeletal materials
 Preservation of skeletal materials using commercial preservatives
 Rehydration and preservation of mummified or decayed soft tissues

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16-Feb-2018 – Question 1
Discuss the application of anthropological knowledge in designing equipment.
(2011)(250 words)
Model Answer
Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual. An early tool
of physical anthropology, it has been used for identification, for the purposes of
understanding human physical variation.
Anthropometry plays an important role in industrial design, clothing design,
ergonomics and architecture where statistical data about the distribution of body
dimensions in the population are used to optimize products. Changes in lifestyles,
nutrition, and ethnic composition of populations lead to changes in the
distribution of body dimensions (e.g. the rise in obesity), and require regular
updating of anthropometric data collections.
Ergonomics professionals apply an understanding of human factors to the design
of equipment, systems and working methods in order to improve comfort, health,
safety, and productivity.
This includes physical ergonomics in relation to human anatomy, physiological
and biomechanical characteristics;
Environmental ergonomics in relation to human metrics affected by climate,
temperature, pressure, vibration, and light; visual ergonomics; and others.
One of the most momentous applications of anthropometry is designing of
defence equipment which dates back to World War II with the contribution of
physical anthropologists as the experts of human anatomy. Anthropometric
research has played a pertinent role in engineering designing of many
technologies right from Jet-fighter ejection seats to analysing human posture in
zero gravity . Anthropometric data with due credit to its accuracy and reliability
has been intelligently applied by anthropologists for Air Force by improving the
flying efficiency of the pilots thus saving much money on procurement of a large
number of pilots.
Anthropometric techniques have witnessed its wide usage in defence for better
results. For example, a gun turret is designed using a scientific principle that any

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extrusion from an aircraft adds air resistance in such a manner that the gunner
has all the free movement of his body needed. This not only reduces their
discomfort of long occupancy in a cramped enclosure but also increased the
efficiency of crewmen, and ensured effective means of escape from an aircraft in
an emergency.
A landmark contribution is reflected in improvising the cock-pit size in different
types of aircraft and designing of various seat configurations for both fighters and
bombers which assisted in reducing cockpit fatigue and discomfort by proper
body support.

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16-Feb-2018 – Question 2
Write a note on Eugenics (150 words)
Model Answer
Eugenics is the philosophy and social movement that argues it is possible to
improve the human race and society by encouraging reproduction by people or
populations with “desirable” traits (termed “positive” eugenics) and discouraging
reproduction by people with “undesirable” qualities (termed “negative”
eugenics). The eugenics movement began in the United States in the early part of
the 20th century; the United States was the first country to have a systematic
program for performing sterilizations on individuals without their knowledge or
against their will. It was supported and encouraged by a wide swath of people,
including politicians, scientists, social reformers, prominent business leaders and
other influential individuals who shared a goal of reducing the “burden” on
society. The majority of people targeted for sterilization were deemed of inferior
intelligence, particularly poor people and eventually people of colour.
In the early 20th century, many scientists were sceptical of the scientific
underpinnings of eugenics. Eugenicists argued that parents from “good stock”
produced healthier and intellectually superior children. They believed that “traits”
such as poverty, shiftlessness, criminality and poor work ethic were inherited and
that people of Nordic ancestry were inherently superior to other peoples, despite
an obvious lack of evidence and scientific proof. However, eugenicists were able
to persuade the Carnegie Institution and prestigious universities to support their
work, thus legitimizing it and creating the perception that their philosophy was, in
fact, science.
Adolf Hitler based some of his early ideas about eugenics on the programs
practised in the United States. He was its most infamous practitioner; the Nazis
killed tens of thousands of disabled people and sterilized hundreds of thousands
deemed inferior and medically unfit. After World War II and the Holocaust, the
American eugenics movement was widely condemned.

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