Topics We’ve Discussed

Topics We’ve Discussed

Taboo topics:What are the topics of conversation that make people in your culture uncomfortable? What topics do you discuss that might be difficult in other cultures

1. Drugs:

- types

- drug trafficking

- Timothy Leary,Aldous Huxley and LSD

- effects of taking drugs

- reasons for taking drugs in different cultures

2. Voodoo :

- a religion or witchcraft?

3. Death:

- throughout the world, death and the rituals that surround it are steeped in taboos. Death is celebrated, embraced and feared

- is death taboo? if so, in what sense? if it is not taboo, then why the frequent announcements that it is?

- is it the end or the beginning

- are you your body?

4. Nudity:

- what is wrong with nudity?

- why are people embarrassed about their bodies?

- how and why did they get the way they are

5. Sexuality:

- why is sex so taboo?- sexual identity & gender identity

-the degree to which your beliefs are based on stereotypes and prejudice

- how does human sexuality vary across cultures?give specific examples cross-culturally /e.g. ancient Greeks,Egyptians,African tribes/

6. Money:

- why are we embarrassed to discuss money?

- wealth, poverty, making money, giving it away, what is virtuous about having money, and also how love of it can be our downfall

7. Blood sports:

- should human beings be allowed to use animals as objects of sport and entertainment ?

- are they entertainment or bloodshed ?

- bloodsports as vestiges of culture or heritage

- animal rights

8. Healers:

In the field of consciousness-based medicine, it is far more important — as Hippocrates (460–400 BCE) already taught us — which person has a disease than which disease a person suffers from.

- conventional vs alternative medicine

- is it possible to integrate both methods?

- what is holistic healing?

9. Faith:

- faith vs religion/what’s the difference/

- tests of faith in different cultures

- what do you like about your religion?

10. Witchcraft:

- various approaches to witchcraft /black and white magic/

- witches over centuries / famous witches in history

- is witchcraft still used in modern-day times?

- why do people practice witchcraft ?

11. Rites of passage :

- what is the meaning of rites of passage

- http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Rites_of_Passage.pdf- religious and secular rites of passage – give examples

- rites of passage in various cultures

Other topics

I. The Internet

- the impact of the Internet on our daily life:

- is the Internet detrimental to human relationships?/does it bring people together or quite the contrary?/

- is the Internet a tool for social change and democracy?/think of, for example, the Arab Spring/

- the Internet abuse

- the Internet escapism

- the Internet as a source of information

2. Entertainment

- what is entertainment

- who needs entertainment

- what for

- when you are entertained,what are you feeling?do you feel happier?do you feel a sense of release?the resolving of tension?or may be more aggressive?

- would you say that reading e.g. a comic strip is the same kind of experience as watching a television show? how? how not?

- are some kinds of entertainment better for you than others? which kinds? and why?

3. Journalism

- its functions

- its importance

- its ethics and standards

- journalism and the truth

- journalism and paparazzi

- alternative journalism /can it find a place to live in harmony and cohesiveness with traditional journalism?/

- your opinion on modern journalism

4. How have electronic devices changed our lives

- electronic devices and their functions and inventors

- electronic devices vs/versus/ paper

- can electronic technology make us happier?

- electronic devices redefine quality family time…

-  personal electronics are markers of social class and creators of social stratification

- the ways in which this technology impacts our understanding and practice of community

- personal electronics provide ways to escape reality or ease suffering

- this technology changes how we think and process the world around us

- the impact of the personal electronics culture on the environment

-how the boundaries between nations are influenced by personal electronics

5. All about friendship /reminiscence of Mrs.Palfrey at the Claremont/

- what is friendship

- how to maintain it

- shades of friendship

- your idea of a good friend at different stages of life

- why do we become friends with the people we do? http://socialpsych-emma.blogspot.com/2007/10/what-factors-influence-our-likelihood.html

- what is your capacity for friendship

6. Music

- its function

- its origin

- music and morals/give examples/

- music in medicine /therapy/improvisation/therapeutic songwriting /

- why is music so necessary to human beings

- power of music

- how to alter your states of mind listening to music /http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/Music-to-Change-Your-Brain/3927.pd/

- music and spirituality  /http://www.inspireimagineinnovate.com/Music-and-Spirituality.asp/

- music and art /interaction/  http://blog.art21.org/2010/12/07/music-and-art/#.Ungtl0DAHOc

- dance music can always be played without dancers, but dance can rarely be performed without music,   some music is inspired by dance but not designed for dancing.

- different countries – different music

- when people travel, they often take their music with them and nowadays recorded music can travel across the globe instantly. Find out about some of the sounds and new musical styles that have emerged as music moves around the world.

1. The origins of different instruments?

2. Pop icons who moved to acting after music (Elvis, David Bowie)

3. Music of different countries (India, Iran, France, Ireland, Cuba)

5. A biography of a composer (Stravinsky, Bach)

6. Cultural impact of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath

7. Write about the history of a genre (Disco, Rap, Be-bop)

8. How electronic music get started

9. The history of jazz music and the great meaning that has behind it

10. The Lasting Influence of Musicians Who Died Young

11.How popular music helped give a voice to the anti-war movement during the Vietnam war

7. Astrology

- the history of astrology

- astrology and politics through ages

- astrology versus psychology

- what are horoscopes all about

- why is astrology considered occult

8. Multiculturalism

- http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Advantages-And-Disadvantages-Of-Multiculturalism-1152335.html

- problems caused by multiculturalism

prejudice,-different languages,-racism,different ways of constructingmessages,-defensiveness,-different values and beliefs,-unequal power,

failure to allow for individual differences within a culture,- lack of trust

cultural stereotyping, – ethnocentrism

- http://georgeadams1991.hubpages.com/hub/Multicultural-societies-create-more-problems-than-benefits-To-what-extent-do-you-agree-with-this-statement

- http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-02-20/news/ct-oped-0220-page-20110218_1_multiculturalism-cultural-differences-immigrants

- https://sites.google.com/site/ufirenow/Home/the-negative-aspects-of-multiculturalism

Whiplash  

- mediocrity vs virtuosity

- Good educators nourish rather than crush one’s confidence. They instil self-reliance, not fear. And they inspire learners to push themselves, rather than let others push them – True or False?

- How far is too far to push yourself — or to push others — on the road to a much desired greatness?

- Is what we’re witnessing in the film unduly extreme, or utterly necessary?

- Fletcher says that the most dangerous two words in the English language are ‘good job.’ We live in an era of praise, where encouragement is the teaching tool and every kid gets a medal for participation. Have true talents been left to wither because they were over-watered?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/10/11/whiplash_charlie_parker_and_the_cymbal_what_the_movie_gets_wrong_about_genius.html

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