Rendez Vous En Terre Inconnue Sociology Analysis

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The television show ‘Rendez-vous en Terre Inconnue’ presents the lives of four different ethnic groups around the world, the Lolos Noirs in Vietnam, the Amharas in northern Ethiopia, the Nyangatom in southern Ethiopia, and the Tsaatans in Mongolia. Anthropologist Frédéric Michalak, along with a french celebrity guest, spend two weeks living these groups, immersing themselves in the lives of the ‘others’ through participant observation, eating the local’s foods and partaking in the local’s work, then compiling these observations into an ethnography in the form of the television episode, containing visual observations, interviews and film evidence of participation. It is worth noting, however, that the participant observation practiced by …show more content…
Once marriage occurs, all wives are actively involved in the rearing of children from all marriages, the first wife often taking the most dominant role, even naming the children from future marriages. The other groups interviewed in the film have unclear marriage practices, the permissibility of polyandry or polygyny never explicitly discussed, though all other groups, the Amharas, the Tsaatans, and the Lolo Noirs appearing to be in monogamous relationships. All that is known regarding the Amharas’ marriage practices is that they permit forced child marriage, though this practice is changing as people receive educations. The Lolo Noirs view marriage more as a working partnership, more about labour productivity than about love. The Nyangatoms were also the only group to mention the system of dowries, in their group, the groom presents the bride’s family with goats in exchange for her hand in marriage. In terms of post-martial residence, the Nyangatoms appear to ascribe to patrilocality, the woman relocating closer to her husband after marriage though due to the endogamous nature of their relationship it is likely that her relocation is not far. The Amharas are decidedly patrilocal, after marriage, brides move to their husband’s village, no matter how far away, to live with him. Similarly, the Lolo Noirs are patrilocal, women moving to live …show more content…
The Amharas are agriculturalists, living in autarky by growing barley on the high plateaus of Ethiopia’s Semien mountains that, though once fertile and bountiful, are becoming increasingly over-farmed. Survival on these plateaus is precarious, families frequently fearing starvation from bad harvests or death due to exposure to cold, a veritable threat on the high, treeless plateaus. The Lolos Noirs support themselves through rice farming on the terraces of Vietnam and raising pigs as a source of revenue. Their diet consists mainly of the rice they harvest themselves and in times of poor harvests, they must eat roots and other things to survive. Yet the wealth of the Lolos Noirs is quantified not in the bounty of their harvest, but rather in the community’s possession of spiritual, symbolic items, namely their community’s 2 ancient bronze drums. Likewise, the Nyangatoms don’t quantify their wealth in purely monetary terms looking rather at the number of goats one has, an indicator of a man’s prosperity and the number of wives’ dowries he can afford. This group of people is self-sufficient, semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists, raising goats and cattle to eat and trade with, along with collecting maize and gains used to pound into cooking materials. This group’s wealth is often

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