Social anthropology cannot just study a human being. There would nothing to study in that case so as Edmund Leach has stated, the smallest entity studied by social anthropologists is of the interaction between at least two persons (T.H Eriksen. 1995). It is by that interaction that we can understand the meaning of language, views on statuses and roles, responsibilities of genders, and the concepts of society and social life. I feel as my research in these few cultural concepts, and specifically on society and social life, has provided me with a sound answer to the diversity of activist unity.
Throughout my research in use of language, roles and statuses, and gender responsibilities I have come to understand them as a result of norms set in place and the sanctions which follow their disregard or compliance. How one sees their society’s framework influences the way one interpret the norms they accept or reject. Simply, my answer is this; The Prolife Movement’s original framework of society was accepted and as others with various cultural beliefs related to the movement joined, there became larger mobilization and more cultural interpretation of initial norms.
To explain, the initial activists in this movement had a distinct idea of what their society was and what it valued. Furthermore, the core religious membership participating believed that idea was a result of correct interpretation of their culture. As time moved forward, interaction of activists with other cultural groups (who in one way or another related to principles and values found in the movement) caused a mash up of opposing ideas and then compromises. These compromises caused:
1. Easier membership into the movement, producing more visible support in the movement and
2. An exchange of cultural beliefs that could influence members of the movement to interpret societal norms and language differently, place different amounts of value on gender responsibilities, statuses, and roles.
So when all is said and done, Pro-life is like… a pot of chili at a Texas City Fair (forgive me for the terrible simile… its dinner time and I’m hungry). Everyone knows about chili but everyone adds their own individual ‘flavor.’ In regards to Pro-Life, if you’re the spicy religious, the medium conservative, or the mild in favor for what you believe to be right activists, you’re bound to be all bundled up as a “chili” in one way or another.
1995 Small Places, Large Issues. 3rd edition. Vered Amit and Jon p. Mitchell, eds.
Pluto Press: New York
Bowls of Chili