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Critical response paper-the emperors new clothes Essay Example

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Critical response paper-the emperors new clothes

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Pitt’s contention of “looking for diversity for diversity’s sake” is quite shallow and underestimates a reader’s capacity to see the whole picture.In the category of class and status, the positioning of individuals in Roman social hierarchy is studied. Most of the literature surveyed was dominated by topics on elites and state institutions such as the military. However this category has triggered interest in material culture identified with certain social segments. For example, the higher echelons of society generated material culture related to epigraphy, monumentality, literature and art while those pertaining to small finds and pottery had more distinct differences in terms of design and use by the high and low-status social spheres. It is actually interesting to learn what things were used by people and how this represented their status in society, and how such us reflected the culture of the times. However, one should have adequate knowledge about the diversity of Roman culture to explain such material culture and correlate it with the period it was used.Pitts explains that the category on gender identity was not discussed much in the literature, although in recent years, there was more interest in this area of Roman culture. The lack of knowledge regarding gender differences or how each gender was regarded gives a lopsided study on Roman culture. The emphasis on cultural or ethnic identities should be balanced with the investigation of class, status and gender in Roman culture (698).It is apparent that Pitts has given a lot of thought about the consequences of relying on the limited literature that merely inferences Roman identity. It is true that more theorization should be gained from the study of identity in Roman archaeology, but limiting it to a conceptual level or simply “reading” material culture to denote identity will not make it holistic enough. Pitts’ contends that archaeologists may encounter a dilemma in incorporating the investigation of Roman identity because it is a modern construct that may not be compatible with their study of the past. The study of identity in such a context involves social analysis of subjective categories which archaeologists may not be accustomed to. However, with the availability of material culture examined by archaeologists, people in the present may be given a glimpse of how various social groups and cultures lived during their

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Works Cited

Jones, S.. The Archaeology of Ethnicity. London: Routledge. 1997

Pitts, Martin, The emperor’s new clothes? The utility of identity in Roman Archaeology,

American Journal of Archaeology 111 (2007) 693-713

Royman, N. Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power: The Batavians in the Early Roman

Empire. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

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