Print Version

Effective: Summer 2011

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Social & Behavioral Sciences Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Students will practice cultural relativism and apply understandings of global diversity to investigations of current society.
  • Students will critically analyze and interpret ethnographic data acquired as part of in-depth field research.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.
Description -
Comparative study of patterns in culture. Introduction to ethnographic research and applications of different methods and theories for studying and interpreting societies.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. acquire a broad perspective of human behavior.
  2. construct a view of culture that will add to an understanding of our own culture.
  3. gain an insight into the meaning of science, the scientific method, and anthropology as a science.
  4. gain a sense of the cultural diversity existing throughout the world.
  5. reduce bias and prejudice.
  6. understand and apply current anthropological methods and theories.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught face-to-face, no special facilities or equipment is needed.
  2. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous Internet and Email access.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Explanation of anthropological theory and methods.
  2. Survey of selected societies.
  3. Concepts of anthropology, including
    1. Culture and Ethnography
      1. Examples of Ethnography and Cultural Analysis.
        1. Eating Christmas in the Kalahari.
        2. Shakespeare in the Bush.
        3. Fieldwork on Prostitution in the Era of AIDS.
      2. Lessons from the Field.
    2. Language and communication.
      1. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Worlds Shaped by Words.
      2. How To Ask For a Drink.
      3. Body Art as Visual Language.
      4. Conversation Styles.
    3. Ecology and subsistence.
      1. The Hunters: Scarce Resources in the Kalahari.
      2. Adaptive Failure: Easter's End.
      3. Forest Development The Indian Way.
    4. Economic systems.
      1. Reciprocity and the Power of Giving.
      2. Cocaine and the Economic Deterioration of Bolivia.
      3. Office Work and the Crack Alternative.
    5. Kinship and family.
      1. Mother's Love: Death Without Weeping.
      2. Family and Kinship in Village India.
      3. Life Without Fathers Of Husbands.
      4. Uterine Families and the Women's Community.
    6. Identity, roles, and groups.
      1. Symbolizing Roles: Behind the Veil.
      2. Society and Sex Roles.
      3. A Woman's Curse?
      4. Mixed Blood.
    7. Law and politics.
      1. Cross-Cultural Law: The Case of the Gypsy Offender.
      2. Notes From an Expert Witness
      3. Life Without Chiefs.
    8. Religion, magic, and world view.
      1. Taraka's Ghost.
      2. Baseball Magic.
      3. Run For The Wall: An American Pilgrimage.
      4. Cargo Beliefs and Religious Experience.
    9. Applied anthropology.
      1. New Americans: The Road To Refugee Resettlement.
      2. Men's Pleasure, Women's Labor: Tourism For Sex.
      3. Japanese Hip-Hop And The Globalization Of Popular Culture.
    10. Globalization.
      1. The Kayapo Resistance.
      2. Medical Anthropology: Improving Nutrition in Malawi.
      3. Using Anthropology.
      4. Career Advice for Anthropology Undergraduates.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Class discussion.
  2. Written examinations.
  3. Field investigation.
    1. In-depth ethnographic study of current day culture in the region consisting of research steps, such as informant interviews.
    2. Student will set up research questions, work with others in the class, do field research, and analyze data collected.
  4. Research paper.
    1. 10-15 page paper covering the field investigation.
  5. Oral reports.
Representative Text(s) -
Spradley, James and David McCurdy. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Pearson, 2008.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Field work, Oral presentations.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Application of anthropological theory and methodology via a ethnography field project that covers a cultural group in the region. Research results and conclusions presented orally to the class.