Course Number:
ATH 103
Transcript Title:
Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Created:
May 31, 2022
Updated:
Jul 26, 2022
Total Credits:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture / Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement:
No
Satisfies General Education requirement:
Yes
Grading Options
A-F, P/NP, Audit
Default Grading Options
A-F
Repeats available for credit:
0
Prerequisites

Placement into MTH 65 or MTH 98

Prerequisite/Concurrent 
WR 121

Course Description

Examines modern human cultures through a cross-cultural and comparative approach. Explores language, technology, subsistence, economics, sociopolitical systems, religions, and human expression through ethnographic examples to better understand global diversity and the dynamics of culture change. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic conceptual framework of anthropological study, including the crucial distinction between ethnocentrism and the practice of cultural relativism.
  2. Define the key methodological practices of cultural anthropology with a major focus on the pursuit of ethnographic research via fieldwork.
  3. Analyze how cultural systems operate as adaptive strategies in response to physical and social environments.
  4. Evaluate the diversity of human cultures by comparing ethnographic information from a variety of world societies.
  5. Assess the dynamics of culture change in order to understand the complexity of culturally heterogeneous societies.

Alignment with Institutional Learning Outcomes

Major
1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
Major
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
Not Addressed
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)
Major
4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
Major
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Suggested Outcome Assessment Strategies

Tests, research papers, discussion, quizzes, homework, group projects, and other forms of assessment all may be used for this course at the instructor's discretion.

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content

Outcome #1: Identify the basic conceptual framework of anthropological study, including the crucial distinction between ethnocentrism and the practice of cultural relativism.
  • Explore the development of anthropology as a Western academic discipline.
  • Identify the basic conceptual framework of an anthropological study.
  • Identify and define ethnocentrism.
  • Explore the practice of cultural relativism.
  • Differentiate between cultural relativism and moral relativism.
  • Define emic and etic approaches to anthropology.
  • Explore holistic perspectives in understanding humanity.
  • Differentiate three components of an anthropological approach to understanding culture.
Outcome #2: Define the key methodological practices of cultural anthropology with a major focus on the pursuit of ethnographic research via fieldwork.
  • Identify how anthropology connects to national colonial projects.
  • Discuss changing theoretical perspectives in anthropology.
  • Identify key methodological practices in anthropology, particularly in fieldwork.
  • Explore ethnographic research through fieldwork.
  • Discuss international political conflict as it impacts research and fieldwork experiences.
  • Discuss the nature of culture shock.
  • Explore the importance and limitations of participant-observation and interviewing.
  • Explore ethical issues confronting anthropologists.
  • Explore preparations for undertaking fieldwork.
Outcome #3: Analyze how cultural systems operate as adaptive strategies in response to physical and social environments.
  • Explore anthropology as a way of thinking.
  • Discuss the dynamics of cultural diversity: foraging, tribes, chiefdoms, states.
  • Discuss cultural processes: language, technology, economics, social structure, politics, religion, and worldview.
  • Discuss systems theory: economies/populations/ecosystems, kinship/political power/stigma.
  • Contrast different subsistence-based cultural systems operating in diverse environments.
Outcome #4: Evaluate the diversity of human cultures by comparing ethnographic information from a variety of world societies.
  • Identify trends in collaborative research, both contemporary and historical.
  • Explore voluntary v. involuntary culture change: invention, diffusion, acculturation, assimilation.
  • Explore the role of anthropology in medical, education, agribusiness, and corporate settings.
  • Discuss applied anthropology responses to vital issues and new challenges facing humans.
  • Investigate new forms of cultural aggression such as terrorism and cyber warfare.
  • Explore the impact of genetic engineering of food and cloning on the future of humanity.
  • Discuss comparative ethnographic material as examples of cultural diversity.
Outcome #5: Assess the dynamics of culture change in order to understand the complexity of culturally heterogeneous societies.
  • Explore the contributions and perspectives of women, minorities, subaltern, and non-Western cultural anthropologists.
  • Discuss how ethnocentrism can be used as a political weapon for discrimination.
  • Discuss the loss of indigenous knowledge systems.
  • Discuss the loss of language systems on a global scale.
  • Discuss the survival of indigenous cultural systems.
  • Explore the impact of globalization and first-world powers.
  • Explore examples of culture change within a host culture. 

Suggested Texts and Materials

  • Angeloni, E. (2018) Annual Editions in Anthropology, 41st Edition. McGraw Hill.
  • Brown, N., Tubelle de González, L., & McIlwraith, T. (2019). Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, 2nd Edition. American Anthropological Association. (OER)
  • Haviland, W. (2017). Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge, 15th Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
  • Jennifer Hasty, J., Lewis, D.G., & Snipes, M.M. (2022). Introduction to Anthropology. Rice University. (OER)
  • Kottak, C.P., (2017). Cultural Anthropology: Appreciating Cultural Diversity, 17th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.
  • Miller, B. (2017). Cultural Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 4th Edition. Pearson Education.
  • Nanda, S., & Warms, R.L. (2018). Culture Counts: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 4th Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
  • Peoples, J., & Bailey, G. (2018). Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 11th Edition. Cengage Learning Books.
  • Wesch, M. (2018).  The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology. New Prairie Press. (OER)