Mills 169 (A26)
25 June 2016
Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/1002/1.1
This class is an introduction to the study of anthropology. It builds on what many of you started to learn in ANTH 1001, but if you have not yet taken 1001, don't worry. You can also come at anthropology fresh in this class.
Anthropology is a study of human life in all of its forms and so it has had to be very diverse. Social and cultural anthropology is one branch of anthropology. It seeks to explain human behavior by looking at it in context, especially the social and cultural forces which affect how people think and act, and the structures and institutions which guide and control them.
Because anthropology looks at what people do in a larger cultural context, anthropology is relevant to understanding a lot of issues and problems. A broad perspective makes us question and rethink things we might take for granted, the things that everyone thinks are normal.
Take a minute to get to know the people in your class.
Stand up, look around, greet people around you.
Ask each other what you think about this:
What are the biggest problems societies face today?
Take note of what people say. Write some ideas down.
This class consists of lectures on Monday and Wednesday, and one weekly tutorial, starting next week.
Every week, we give you a weekly learning module on Blackboard. This is where we give you an overview of the week's topic, key terms to learn, and “task” to prepare for tutorial discussion that week. Also, you submit a weekly writing assignment on this page.
When you need help with Blackboard, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The required readings can be found:
Recommended supplemental readings can be found in eReadings too.
Lecture, tutorial and the weekly writing assignment all relate to the readings. Readings give you in depth description and explanation of the main ideas of the class. Bring a copy of the readings to class every week.
On Blackboard, you will find weekly learning modules for the whole semester. Each weekly learning module contains a question asking for your interpretation. Some of the questions are quite broad and can be answered many different ways. There are no right answers. They are not tests. The readings help you to think deeply about these questions and come up with your own ideas about them.
You write this and submit it online each week by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Your tutor will send a weekly email giving you a sense of how everyone answered the question.
The main essay of the class is due on September 7 by 4:00 p.m. on Blackboard/Turnitin. (No hard copies are needed.)
We will give you more information about the essay in the coming weeks. Basically you will choose several of the “ethnographic case studies” from the class readings and films, plus one we will give you, and argue for a common pattern among them.
Ethnographic case studies are the main sort of thing anthropologists create. They look up close at a single situation, community or event, and describe it in detail.
During finals week, this class has a final exam scheduled. It will cover the main ideas from the whole class.
Anthropology is not the only way to see this map, or the world. Anthropology looks at the world through a specific set of lenses.
Some key elements of the anthropological perspective are:
Classical anthropology has a bias towards continuity. When things change, it's because something from the outside is interfering with the rules and structures of society.
Yet societies change all the time, and new ways of life come into being all the time, but classical anthropology tends to ignore these facts.
So we have to update some of anthropology's key ideas in order to understand contemporary societies.