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Current Issues and Cultural Beliefs  

How do current issues and cultural beliefs shape life for people in other countries today?
Last Updated: May 14, 2014 URL: http://ma.sau45.libguides.com/world-studies Print Guide RSS Updates

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Assignment

Research modern day issues using the articles in the research guide and use CultureGrams and World Geography and Culture to gain information about modern day life in four of the following countries (one from each group) that we have studied at some point during the year. Then you will write a narrative in which you journey through each of these countries to incorporate the information you gained that includes interactive media.

Part I: Use CultureGrams to find information about each cultural component in each of your countries (all four countries).  Record at least two facts for each component.

  • Government
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Communication
  • Family
  • Religion
  • Occupation
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Recreation

Part II: For each of the four countries you are researching, choose three articles from Mr. Vallee’s website and summarize the articles and explain them in terms of the cultural components above (at least three cultural components per article).

 

Honors: Choose one additional article for each country and repeat the above process. These articles should demonstrate 1. that you have an understanding of issues of concern from each country; 2. that you clearly chose these articles thoughtfully; 3. that you understand how to judge the quality of an article--you choose reliable sources, you choose articles with sophisticated vocabulary that tackle potentially complex issues.

    Citation and Plagiarism Resources on the Internet

     

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    Databases

    • CultureGrams
      Learn about different cultures from around the world including customs, languages, diet, and much more.
    • World Geography and Culture
      This database facilitates the study of countries, U.S. states, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills through a global approach.
    • World News Digest
      Authoritative world news coverage from 1940 through today: provides information, context, and perspective.

    Group 1 - China, India, Japan

    • The New York Times' Japan page
      News about Japan, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.
    • Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies
      U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new "red line" and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
    • Japan to conduct island defense drill amid tension with China
      Japan will conduct a military exercise this month to practice defending an island, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday, underscoring concern about East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China.
    • Japan, worried about China, strengthens ties with NATO
      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, concerned about China's rising military spending and disputes with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea, signed a new partnership agreement with NATO.
    • Japan PM adviser says revision of pacifist constitution vital
      The idea that Japan can improve its security without dropping a long-standing ban on aiding friendly countries under attack is a miracle that just won't happen, the acting head of an advisory panel to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday.
    • How uninhabited islands soured China-Japan ties
      From the BBC: Ties between China and Japan have been strained by a territorial row over a group of islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China.
    • Japan a Year After Catastrophe
      March 11, 2012, marked the elapse of a full year since Japan experienced its most powerful earthquake on record. The magnitude 9.0 quake, centered off the northeastern coast of Honshu, the country's main island, triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal areas. In addition to the widespread destruction, the double disaster left some 20,000 people dead or missing.
    • The New York Times' China page
      News about China, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.
    • Sinosphere - Dispatches from China
      Blog from the New York Times compiling articles on China.
    • China tightens security in Beijing
      China has deployed armed police patrol vehicles in Beijing after three attacks at transport hubs around the country.
    • China's young migrants like cities, spend more: survey
      China's young rural migrant workers are more eager to work in cities, and are spending more and saving less, an official survey showed on Monday, a trend that could boost Beijing's efforts to urbanize and re-balance the economy in the long term.
    • Warning for Chinese activists before Tiananmen anniversary
      Pu Zhiqiang participated in 1989's Chinese pro-democracy protests. Every year since, he has attempted to mark the movement's bloody conclusion in Tiananmen Square.
    • China says no waste plant without support after protests
      A government in eastern China will shelve plans to build a huge waste incinerator if it does not have popular support, in an apparent victory for protesters who had clashed with police saying they feared the plant would damage their health.
    • More Hugs Please, We’re Chinese
      Of all the changes to sweep China since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 — stock markets, private cars, fashion — one thing seemed not to have changed: No hugging. Chinese were physically reserved. That’s changing now.
    • The New York Times' India page
      News about India, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.
    • India's new government must wrestle with weak output, inflation
      India's ailing economy showed little sign of improvement on Monday, trapped in a spell of weak growth and high inflation when the country is on the cusp of political change that is widely expected to script an economic revival.
    • India Ink - Dispatches from India
      Blog from the New York Times compiling articles on India.
    • 'Election' massacres of Muslims darken India immigration debate
      From his hiding place in a cowshed, Sefaqul Islam watched as masked gunmen moved through his village, shot women and children dead with automatic rifles and tossed wounded survivors into the blazing remains of their homes.
    • Special Report: India Gang Rape Furor
      On Sept. 13, 2013, an Indian court sentenced four young men to death for their role in a brutal gang rape of a young woman in Delhi nine months earlier. A fifth accused died in his jail cell in March. A sixth participant, who had been underage when the crime was committed, faced a three-year sentence. The crime had ignited a storm of protests both in towns across the country, pushing authorities to action that, for India, seemed unusually tough.

    Group 2 - Israel, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran

    Group 3 - Greece, Italy, England, France

    Group 4 - Libya, Nigeria, Egypt

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