CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Ventura College Anth V02 MCE 226 Spring 2013
Mon & Wed 1:00-2:50
Dr. Patricia Taber – [email protected]
Course Website: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/ptaber/AnthV02%20100-250.htm
Anthropology is the study of humanity - how human cultures develop, how people organize themselves, how they
make a living, raise their children, communicate with one another, and imbue their world with meaning. In this
course you will learn what anthropologists do, and how they go about doing it. We will trace the development of
anthropological thought and the various perspectives it has provided to understanding human societies and cultures.
We will study various groups of people in order to gain insights into why and how humans are different and how
and why we are similar. The goal is to understand how culture shapes the way humans view their world, and to
arrive at a broader and deeper understanding of ourselves and others as social beings in a rapidly changing world.
Course Objectives:
- To provide an overview of the discipline of anthropology, with an emphasis on understanding methods,
theoretical frameworks, and history
- To promote "real world" perspectives on the dynamics of cultural diversity, globalization, and cultural
change
- To hone critical thinking and discussion skills
- To explore contemporary issues and controversies from an anthropological perspective
The Student Learning Outcomes for this course are:
1. Identify and characterize the ethnographic method.
2. Compare and contrast social components between cultures, including subsistence strategies,
economics, political organization, marriage, kinship, religion and gender roles.
3. Characterize the function of behaviors in different cultures.
4. Demonstrate the ability to define and apply cultural relativism in cross cultural comparisons.
The Core Competencies for this course can be found at:
http://www.venturacollege.edu/assets/pdf/core_competencies/corecomps_anthropology.pdf
Course Readings:
1. Ferraro, Gary & S. Andreatta. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective, Wadsworth 9th Ed.
2. Lee, Richard, 2012. The Dobe Ju/'hoansi, Wadsworth 4th Edition
3. Articles handed out in class
Two copies of each of the texts will be on 2-hour reserve in the library.
Grades: You will be evaluated on the basis of 3 exams and one ethnographic project, each worth 100 points for a
total of 400. Exams will be short answer and short essay, based on the readings, lectures, AND films. Assessment
will be based upon how well you creatively and critically integrate course concepts with specific examples from the
readings, films, and lectures. Grading will be based on a curve. There will be NO MAKE-UP EXAMS. If you
miss an exam, your score for the missed exam will be 20 points lower than the lowest score on the other two exams.
No exceptions. Late projects will result in a 5-point deduction per day until May 8, after which they will not be
accepted. If for some reason you have difficulty meeting these requirements, it is up to you to seek help from the
instructor BEFORE exams. It is your responsibility to obtain notes from fellow students for missed lectures.
Extra Credit: You may earn extra credit by writing ~2-page (double-spaced, 12-pt) papers for the films we will
see in the course. You may earn between 1 and 6 points for each paper, with a maximum accumulation of 25 extra
credit points for the semester. These papers should include a one-paragraph synopsis or summary of the film's
main ideas and plot. For the rest of the paper you must use anthropological terms and concepts from course
readings and lectures to comment on particular points and issues in the film relevant to topics discussed in the
course. Papers must be handed in one week after the showing of the film. Extra credit can make a significant
difference in your final grade, and you are encouraged to write these papers early in the course.
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Note: Plagiarism is the appropriation of someone else’s ideas, data, or words and submitting them as one’s
own. When the ideas of others are presented, whether from a book, article, lecture, website, or film, they must be
attributed to that source. Plagiarism constitutes theft and deceit and will result in automatic failure of the course.
If you have any questions or doubts about this issue, please consult with the instructor or see the college web page:
http://www.venturacollege.edu/faculty_staff/academic_resources/academic_honesty/index.shtml
Course Website: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/ptaber/AnthV02%20100-250.htm
The Course Website will have 3 components:
1) A copy of this Course Syllabus
2) Weekly Study Questions from which the exam questions will be drawn
3) Notices – announcements, articles, information, schedule changes, exam curves, links to lecture slides.
You are strongly advised to check the Notices page regularly, and to print out lecture slides and study
questions before class.
CLASS CALENDAR
Week 1 (1/28, 1/30): INTRODUCTION – WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY? CONCEPT OF CULTURE,
METHODS
The discipline of Anthropology and its four subfields, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, subjective understanding,
emic/etic, holism, definition(s) and aspects of culture, organic analogy, ethnography, fieldwork, comparison
Read: Ferraro: Chapters 1, 2, 5
Article: Miner
**February 4: LAST DAY TO DROP with REFUND**
**February 6: LAST DAY ADD / LAST DAY TO DROP without a ‘W’**
Week 2 (2/4, 2/6): APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY, GROWTH OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY
Anthropology’s roots, 19th century evolutionists, American historicism, diffusionism, functionalism, psychological
anthropology
Read: Ferraro: Chapters 3, 4
Article: Chagnon
Film: A Man Called Bee
Week 3 (2/11, 2/13): ANTHROPOLOGICAL THEORY, LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION
Neoevolutionism, cultural ecology, French structuralism, ethnoscience, cultural materialism, symbolic
anthropology, interpretive anthropology, feminist anthropology, postmodernism, language and culture, the SapirWhorf hypothesis
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 6
Article: Tannen
Week 4 (2/18):
(2/20):
***PRESIDENTS DAY HOLIDAY, NO CLASS***
*** FIRST EXAM***
Week 5 (2/25, 2/27): SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES, THE JU/’HOANSI
Environments and adaptation, foraging, sustainability, Ju/’hoansi social organization, Inuit foraging
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 7
Lee: Chapters 1, 2
Film: !Nai, Portrait of a !Kung Woman
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Week 6 (3/4, 3/6): SUBSISTENCE - NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION, ECONOMIC EXCHANGE
Horticulture, pastoralism, agriculture, industrialization, division of labor, reciprocity, redistribution
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 8
Lee: Chapters 3, 4
Article: Diamond
Film: The Feast
(3/11- 3/17):
***SPRING BREAK, NO CLASSES ALL WEEK***
*** (3/18) Part One of Mini-Ethnography Project: INFORMATION WORKSHEET DUE ***
Week 7 (3/18, 3/20): ECONOMIC EXCHANGE, KINSHIP AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE
Market exchange, globalization, kinship, descent
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 10
Lee: Chapter 8
Articles: Harris, Cronk
Film: Ongka's Big Moka
Week 8 (3/25, 3/27): KINSHIP AND DESCENT, MARRIAGE & FAMILY
Descent groups, Marriage rules, residence patterns, family structure, economics of marriage
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 9
Lee: Chapter 5
Article: Goldstein
Film: Dadi's Family
Week 9 (4/1): GENDER
Sex and gender, gender roles, ideologies, stratification
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 11
Lee: Chapter 6
Film: Masai Women
(4/3):
*** SECOND EXAM***
Week 10 (4/8, 4/10): POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
Development of political complexity, egalitarian, rank, and stratified societies, bands, tribes, chiefdoms, big-man
systems, states, theories of state formation, modern nation-states
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 13
**April 15: LAST DAY TO DROP CLASS with a ‘W’**
Week 11 (4/15, 4/17): SOCIAL CONTROL, SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
Formal and informal social control, stratified societies, caste, class, race, ethnicity
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 12
Lee: Chapter 10
Article: McIntosh
Film: Dead Birds
Week 12 (4/22, 4/24): BELIEF SYSTEMS, ART
Religion, ritual, witchcraft, sorcery, types of religious organization, myth, art
Read: Ferraro: Chapters 14, 15
Lee: Chapter 9
Articles: Chagnon, Gmelch
Film: Darwin’s Nightmare
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Week 13 (4/29):
***ETHNOGRAPHIC PROJECT DUE***
(4/29, 5/1): CONQUEST, CULTURE CHANGE, GLOBALIZATION
Colonialism, modernization, world systems, globalization, global stratification
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 16
Lee: Chapters 11, 12
Article: Lappé and Collins
Film: The Business of Hunger
Week 14 (5/6): Last Class: DEVELOPMENT, CULTURAL SURVIVAL
Read: Ferraro: Chapter 16
Lee: Chapter 13
Article: Sharp
Film: The Kayapo
(5/8):
*** FINAL EXAM***
Class Attendance: Regular attendance is essential for an understanding of course material and successful
performance in the class. Lectures will cover some things that are not in the readings, and vice-versa. Films,
lectures, and discussion are all essential components of the course. In addition to all required readings, students
will be responsible for all material covered in lectures and films.
Student Conduct: Classroom conduct is expected to be one of courtesy and respect. Do not use personal
electronic devices to text, browse the internet, or update your Facebook page during lectures and films, and be sure
to silence your cell phone. It is important to arrive to class on time, and let me know if you will be leaving early or
missing class. Avoid unnecessary disturbance by walking in and out. If you must exit the classroom during class,
do so quietly. Class will start precisely on time. If you arrive late, you will not only create a distraction, but you
will miss important announcements.
Please consult the college catalog’s Student Conduct Code at:
http://www.venturacollege.edu/current_students/standards_of_student%20_conduct.shtml
Any student who has a learning disability or challenges that may affect their performance in the class should speak
with me as soon as possible. Ventura College has some exceptional people and facilities for assisting you at the
Educational Assistance Center. The phone number is 654-6300. You may arrange for alternative testing
arrangements if necessary. Authorization from EAC is required before any special accommodations can be
made, and you must let me know and make these arrangements well ahead of time. There is also excellent reading
and writing help available at the Reading and Writing Center:
http://www.venturacollege.edu/departments/student_services/tutoring/reading_writing_center/index.shtml
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class calendar - Department of Anthropology