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Paraphrasing exercise

A) For many people, answering questions about identity begins by listing details that can be found on our birth certificates–name, sex, ethnicity, and family origins. People wishing to research their family histories locate the birth certificates of known family members because these documents provide essential information about the identities of ancestors. As the experts from the PBS television series Ancestors explain, birth certificates record a range of vital facts about identity (Latterell 5). B) Communities maintain stability by establishing traditions and standards of behavior for those who belong to them. Traditions and standards of behavior help community members to know which practices are acceptable and which are not. “Traditions” are the customs and beliefs shared by a community. Traditions are shared practices such as religious celebrations or national holidays, but they also exist in more limited contexts, such as the pregame rituals of athletes or a family’s custom of eating at the same restaurant every Saturday night. “Standards of behavior” include all of the everyday habits that a group of people accepts as normal. For example, how people dress is often a matter of what is standard within their own community. Greetings–whether a handshake, a simple “hey,” or a kiss–are further examples of standards of behavior within a community (Latterell 89).

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