Delving Into Academic Writing And Anthropological Thought

With relating both the Bateson and Molina, et al readings I was intrigued by the differences between the formatting and the reasons for it. Just the very intended audience and form of dispersal of information changed the manner these readings were formed. I also found that with the shared background both Bateson and Molina, et al might share some interesting insights into Bateson’s standpoint.

When reading Molina, et al’s paper, I was also given the impression that it is more of a literature review than a research paper because of its overall neutral tone in the paper. It seems to be only at the conclusion does Molina, et al express their opinion and thoughts on cooperation and competition, and what could be explored in further detail in the future.  Throughout Molina, et al’s paper there is also a sense of formality because of the language, citation and formatting used; which imbued credibility to the writers who wished to disseminate their knowledge as so. Which contrasts with Bateson’s paper greatly because the formatting in there was informal and intended to be performed to an audience; to persuade them of her perspective of cooperation and competition.

Even the way Molina, et al and Bateson cite their sources are different in intention. Bateson refers to her sources as evidence or an example to further her argument. Whereas Molina, et al uses their sources in order to give an overarching view to the field of research regarding cooperation and competition that crosses over different disciplines. What interested me was how Molina, et al took concepts from completely different disciplines, with different perspectives and language, and piecing them together under the same sphere of thought. With relating and weaving these ideas talking about the same topic but in different “languages” makes this paper from Molina, et al markedly different from the papers that I have read thus far.

Since Molina, et al are also anthropologists they give the reader a glimpse of the thoughts and beliefs within that discourse community and perhaps even into the basis of Bateson’s perspective. I could not help but notice some details that seemed to piece itself together, like how “social anthropology has traditionally considered cooperation as the starting point for every known human community” (Molina, et al), which coincides with Bateson’s example of babies being born reliant on others cooperation with their needs. Even terms used by Bateson like “interdependence” can be found strewn into Molina, et al’s paper when they speak of Tomasello in particular. After listing off the different communities, Molina, et al gives me the idea that  Bateson would probably enjoy a society based off of a hunter-gatherer structure. In making this assumption, I just take into account Bateson’s ideal societal structure being an interdependent realized system and related it to a society that has egalitarianism and general reciprocity as their dominant traits as a society.


Works Cited


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