SOCI120 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Sociology
- I. Course Number and Title
- SOCI120 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- II. Number of Credits
- 3 credits
- III. Number of Instructional Minutes
- IV. Prerequisites
- V. Other Pertinent Information
This course meets the General Education requirement in Critical Thinking. This course meets the General Education requirement in Diversity. This course meets the General Education requirement in Social Sciences.
- VI. Catalog Course Description
- This course explores human culture worldwide, including cultural elements and systems, diversity and cross-cultural interactions, and cultural change. It covers concepts essential to the discipline of cultural anthropology, such as holism, fieldwork, and environmental adaptation. Course topics include worldview, domestic groups, kinship, gender, power structures, economics, religion, and artistic expression.
- VII. Required Course Content and Direction
Course Learning Goals
- describe the unique approach anthropology brings to the social sciences, including the ideas of holism, fieldwork, ethnography, adaptation to the environment, and the multiple subdisciplines (including cultural anthropology), and apply these concepts to specific examples (Social Sciences);
- articulate the concept of "culture" and use examples to explain its key features as a group's shared, learned, and changing system of beliefs, behaviors, values, and objects (material culture);
- analyze a particular culture by identifying and describing several of that culture's unique forms of the following common cultural elements: communication, kinship, worldview, marriage and domestic groups, gender, making a living, economics, political structures, stratification, ethnicity, "race" and racism, art and symbolic expression, ritual, and religion (Social Sciences);
- explain how elements of a culture interact to create a cultural system (using a specific example);
- apply anthropological concepts to local, national, and/or global contexts to demonstrate an understanding of diverse human perspectives (Diversity); and
- apply anthropological concepts to analyze and/or address a social problem, explaining the nature of the problem from a cultural standpoint and suggesting possible solutions (Critical Thinking).
Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities
The following topics are covered.
- Anthropology as a discipline
- History of the field and discipline
- Cultural relativism
- Sub disciplines
- Adaptation to the environment
- Defining "culture"
- Research methods and products, including etic/emic perspectives, fieldwork, published resources, and ethnography
- Particular cultural elements, including but not limited to communication, kinship, worldview, marriage and domestic groups, gender, making a living, economics, political structures, stratification, ethnicity, "race" and racism, artistic and symbolic expression, religion and spirituality, ritual. Study of each element includes key concepts and their application in diverse cultural groups
- The diversity of cultural groups, individual identity and practice, and cross-cultural interactions
- Applying anthropology
- Cultural change
- Anthropology as a discipline
Assessment Methods for Course Learning GoalsAssessment methods may include exams, tests, quizzes, essays and other written documents, research portfolios, research reports, and worksheets.
Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:Learning resources may include the following: a textbook, anthropological (or other ethnographic) articles assigned or selected by students, original field research (e.g. interview, participant-observation, observation) conducted by students, documentary and other films, popular media, websites of anthropological and other ethnographic organizations, field trips, class discussion and exercises, and lecture.
Review/Approval Date - 10/06; Revised 4/06; New Core 8/2015; Revised 11/15