ANTH 2301: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
This class explores the basic concepts, theories, and methods of cultural anthropology. It explores variations in cultural values, social practices, religion, rules of law, and worldview in different cultures around the world. It also focuses on understanding the forces that shape cultures and societies, and how they adapt to a rapidly changing world. There will be two field trips during regularly scheduled class periods - one to a local ethnic restaurant and one to the International Museum of Cultures.
Faith Nibbs is a PhD Candidate and Adjunct Lecturer in SMU's Department of Anthropology who has received her Honors BA, MA, and PhD candidacy all within this discipline. Her bio is featured as a recruiting tool on the SMU Graduate Studies webpage (http://smu.edu/graduate/profiles-fnibbs.asp).
Learning Outcomes and Benefits
- Students will be able to recognize and contribute to a culturally diverse world
Distinguish the major figures in cultural anthropology (Boas, Malinowski, Mead, Radcliffe-Brown, Geertz), identify anthropology’s contribution in documenting worldwide cultural diversity, and have an in-depth familiarity with at least one ethnography of a non-Western culture
- Students will be able to utilize the comparative perspective to better understand both their own culture and other cultures
Describe the various kinds of subsistence strategies used around the world, distinguish the many different kinship structures that exist and the role of kinship in culture, and compare and contrast the different forms of political organization that have been documented by anthropologists
- Students will be able to think critically about contemporary social issues and apply anthropological concepts to their everyday lives
Explain the different anthropological perspectives on race and ethnicity (instrumentalism and primordialism), recognize the importance of gender and class in contemporary anthropological work, utilize anthropological concepts (participant observation, cross-cultural perspective, etc.) and interpret a component of their own lives (family, job, neighborhood) using these concepts