Course Abstract Details

ANTH-101, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Credits: 3

This is a General Education Course

Course Description

ANTH-101, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, is the study of the nature and development of culture through an examination of cultures throughout the world and across time. Topics include language, ecological adaptation, religion, family, diversity, economic and political patterns and cultural change. Prerequisite: exemption or completion of READ-099 and ENG-097. Three hours lecture each week. Three credits. Three billable hours. DIVERSITY/WORLD VIEW. GENERAL EDUCATION.

Course Objectives and Grading Information

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Anthropology 101 examines human cultures past and present in order to answer fundamental questions concerning human nature, and to gain an understanding of the similarities and differences between cultures on a global scale utilizing lectures, films, slides, written sources and field observations through the following objectives: 

1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the methodology used by anthropologists, and the types of questions addressed in their research, by successfully conducting a fieldwork project. The student will utilize the participant observer method of research study, analyze their findings and present the results in a written (paper) and oral (class discussion) format (GE1, GE2, GE3, GE5, GE7, PG 1-4). 

2. The student will explain the influence and importance (essential function) of language by analyzing metaphors used by different cultures (GE1, GE2, GE4, GE5, GE6, GE7, PG 1-4). 

3. The student will explain why different societies are able to successfully utilize different techniques to satisfy the essential human need for energy (food). The student will relate food-getting techniques to land allocation and social stratification in order to argue that each technique is capable of providing a solution to the problem of human survival (GE1, GE2, GE6, PG1, PG2, PG4). 

4. The student will explain how and why social organization and conflict resolution vary from culture to culture. The discussion will include the role of kinship, marital residence patterns, gender, associations and political organization in order to identify the type of social organization adopted by various example cultures (GE1, GE2, GE6, PG1-4). 

5. The student will explain the universal functions and purposes of religion including an explanation of why, if the functions and purposes are universal, religions vary from culture to culture (GE1, GE2, GE6, GE7, PG 1-4). 

6. The student will write a paper demonstrating an understanding of the role of the Arts in a society. The student will locate, record, research, analyze and report (written format and oral class presentation) a folktale or story from a first person source and explain how the tale fits and functions within the source culture (GE1, GE2, GE6, GE7, PG 1-4). 

7. The student will read an assigned novel set in a non-western culture and then write a final exam comprehensive essay to illustrate their ability to synthesize and analyze all components of culture presented throughout the course with an emphasis on how and why cultures change. The essay will apply anthropological techniques to demonstrate an understanding of the novel from the perspective of western culture (U.S.) and from the perspective of the novel's non-western culture (GE1-7, PG 1-4).

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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