Annotation Highlighting Example

Cultural Universals
With the amazing variety of human cultures around the words, are there any cultural
universals – values, norms, or other cultural traits that are found everywhere?
To answer this question, anthropologist George Murdock combed through data that
anthropologists had gathered on hundreds of groups around the world. He drew up a list of
customs concerning courtship, marriage, funerals, games, laws music, myths, incest taboos, and
even toilet training. He found that although such activities are present in all cultures, the
specific customs differ from one group to another. There is no universal form of the family, no
universal way of disposing of the dead. Similarly, the games, rules, songs, stories, and toilet
training differ from one culture to another. So do cooking and eating food.
Even incest is defined differently from group to group. For example, the Mundugumors of
New Guinea extend the incest taboo so far that for each man, seven of every eight women are
ineligible marriage partners. ………………
In short, although there are universal human activities (speech, music, storytelling, marrying,
disposing of the dead, preparing food, and so on), there is no universally accepted way of doing
any of them. Humans have no biological imperative that results in one particular form of
behavior throughout the world. A few sociologists take the position that genes significantly
influence human behavior, although almost all sociologists reject this view.
Information in the margin
cultural universal a value, norm, or other cultural trait that is found in every group
sociobiology a framework of through that views human behavior as the result of natural
selection and considers biological selectors to be the fundamental cause of human behavior
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