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To Understand The Most Important Characteristics Of A Society, One Must Study Its Major Cities - With A Free Essay Review



"Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position"

Often tourists aiming at experiencing the exotic flavors of cultures visit the main regions of foreign countries, presuming that the latter reflect a concise image of the societies as a whole. However, any anthropologist or world researcher, if asked, would disagree with this assumption.

If examined superficially, all the districts, provinces, counties, or towns of a country provide a general idea of how it functions. However, if probed into more profoundly, one can easily perceive that this is often not the case. For example, the Indian society is believed to be well represented by the cities of Punjab, Mumbai, and Lahore among many other regions: the plethora of hospitality and respect for elders usually associated with India is assumed to be omnipresent. Yet, such major cities do not seem to be endowed with these values. In theory, perhaps they are, but in practice, such principles are normally more deeply endorsed by the smaller, less educationally-advanced areas of the country. A visit to the house of a resident of high-class Lahore compared to one to the inhabitant of a slum in the suburbs of the city will confirm this.

Moreover, major cities are often the most politically, socially, and intellectually developed parts of the countries in question. As a result, they are equipped with several technologies of information and communication that allow them to stay connected with the world. They are continuously updated on various advancements taking place across the world, especially those occurring on the West side of the globe. Consequently, these main cities are the most vulnerable to Western influences and, more often than not, readily accept the values, norms, and practices of the West. Hence, a major city would seem to reflect somewhat different, if not opposite, values of the society.

If the society under the microscope is a small, monotone, and conformist one, then perhaps evaluating its main regions would provide a fairly accurate diagnosis of the society in general. For example, if the small island of Mauritius were to be investigated, studying the capital, Port Louis, or the town of Beau-Bassin, would likely yield the same outcome. Under such circumstances, the statement could hold true but one must keep in mind that this is the exception that proves the rule. In the majority of cases, studying solely the big cities would not prove to be beneficial.

Thus, it would seem that in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of a society, one cannot put one’s entire focus upon its main cities and should instead rely more heavily on its less famous regions.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Your essay makes a fairly common mistake (or what I assume to be a mistake) in that it takes the given statement to mean that one can understand the most important characteristics of a society by studying only its major cities. The statement, however, only asserts that one must study the major cities, not that one only needs to study the major cities. One could, in other words, agree with the statement and think, at the same time, that one also has to study the towns and villages.

Your essay also emphasizes the question of a society's traditional values. It doesn't go without saying that such values are the most important characteristics of a society and so it doesn't go without saying, for instance, that a society's vulnerability to the influence of foreign societies is not one of the most important characteristics of that society. Of course what is meant by "important characteristics" is open to debate, and so, in any discussion of the given statement, one would be free to define what one means by the expression, but you would need to do that explicitly to justify your emphasis on the question of values.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: tawpha
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