ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology

Welcome to anthropology! This is a special supplementary site for ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology. ANTH 1001 is one of two introductory units in anthropology at the University of Sydney. This section of the Anthrocyclopaedia is provided as a supplement to the university sites and online resources for this class. On the pages here, you will find a guide to the class and lecture outlines from Ryan's lectures. All of your writing assignments, other assignments, and the quizzes for lecture are submitted using the class Canvas site. Here is an overview of the class:

ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology—A guide to the unit

General info: The goal of this class | What we will do in this class | Readings, other class requirements, and online resources | A note about attendance | The keys to success in this class | A guide to effective email | The ANTH 1001 class Canvas site (requires USYD login)

Lecture outlines and guides:

Module 1: What makes us human? Weeks 1–3
1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.1, 1.3.2 Ryan Schram
Module 2: Can an anthropologist really leave her culture? Weeks 4–6
2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.0, 2.3.0 Ryan Schram
Module 3: Is family universal? Weeks 7–9
3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 Jadran Mimica
Module 4: Where is the mind? Weeks 10–12
4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.3.1, 4.3.2 Jadran Mimica
Review Week 13
5.1.1, 5.1.2 Ryan Schram

Assignments: Online discussion posts and responses | Weekly reflections | Module 1 concept quiz | Tell me a story...: An analysis of qualitative data | Proposal for a Grade 12 lesson on kinship | Comprehensive (open-book, take-home) essay response assignment


What is anthropology?

Anthropology is unlike any other social science. It is part science, and part art. Anthropologists wish to observe human beings and their social patterns, but we also want to step into the shoes of another person and see the world from that person's point of view. In this way, anthropology straddles what Snow (2017 [1959]) calls the “two cultures”—science and the humanities—of scholarship. We seek to understand people's ways of life, their actions and behaviors in the real world by collecting first-hand, empirical information about what people do every day. Yet we also argue that to understand why people live the ways they do, and why humanity is so wonderfully diverse and why it is always changing in unexpected ways, we have to understand how people think about themselves, their experiences, their relationships, and their larger world, and especially what meaning their life has for them.

Today, there are many problems and issues which affect all societies and people everywhere. We can say that the most important social problems are global in nature. If that's true, then they also affect people in different cultures, each of whom sees the world and other people in a distinct way. Therefore, you cannot understand contemporary trends from a single culture's point of view. The world needs anthropology and anthropologists, namely you.

ANTH 1001 is all new this year

For Semester 1, 2020, the University of Sydney anthropology department has created a new format for this class, based on the successful model of ANTH 1002: Anthropology in the world, which runs in Sem 2. We will work through four three-week modules on different topics that introduce you to the study of culture, cultural difference, and the main perspectives in anthropology as a social science.

Ryan's tutorials

Week 2


Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012 (1959).