ANT 131 Syllabus - Jackson College

Global economy and the power of media communication are bringing us into direct
contact with peoples of many regions with vastly different values and ways of life. We are,
accordingly, faced with the challenge of tolerating and appreciating other culture systems
in order to avoid the terrible alternative of increased ethnic nationalism and hostility.
Cultural Anthropology is a one semester college-level course in introductory
anthropology. The course focuses on the thesis that every society is based on an
integrated culture, which satisfies human needs and facilitates survival. The course also
explores the ways in which our own culture fits into the broad range of human
Four major goals have been specified for CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY. By the end
of the course, you should be able to:
1. Explain the concept of culture from an anthropological perspective, as the adaptive
mechanism which provides for survival of the human species as well as some of the
concepts, terms and procedures used by anthropologists in studying cultures.
2. Illustrate the similarities and variability of human cultures, and demonstrate that there
are a number of valid "cultural solutions" to living on the earth.
3. Explain the relationship between culture and the individual, and clarify the factors
involved in cultural change.
4. Demonstrate a broad cross-cultural background against which to view your own
culture as well as contemporary social problems
This course will contribute to the following Associate Degree Outcomes:
ADO 5: Understanding human behavior and social systems.
Students will learn to:
Recognize factors that determine and govern human behavior. Distinguish between individual and
external factors.
Understand the methods of analysis and interpretation used by historians to explain events and the
role of personality in history
Understands the connection between the economic, social, and political systems in the entire human
history (specific in US history)
Understand two social and political systems (British and American) and the limitation of each
Characterize the evolution of the "American character" by analyzing the combination of
influences, such as various traditions, environmental conditions, and opportunities.
ADO 7: Critical Thinking
Students will learn to:
Recognizes need for questions and for questioning.
Distinguishes between fact, opinion and inference in reading primary and secondary sources.
Identifies the nature of bias in both primary and secondary historical sources.
Recognizes how the context of information can be manipulated to impact conclusions.
ADO 10: Understand and respect the diversity and interdependence of the world’s peoples and cultures
Students will learn to:
Articulates and evaluates the contributions of individuals from groups other than one’s own
Challenges barriers to understanding and appreciating diversity, or demonstrates behaviors that
promote and defend diversity.
The nature of culture, how cultures are studied, language and communication,
psychological anthropology, patterns of subsistence, marriage and the family, kinship and
descent, political organization, religion and magic, the arts, and culture change.
Each student will spend at least 6 hours per week preparing for class.
1. Read the "Learning Goals" at the beginning of each chapter. (The goals summarize the key points in
the course and provide a guide for studying the information for the examination questions.)
2. Read the textbook chapter at least twice. The first time scan the chapter topics reading the major
points, and then the second time, concentrate on trying to understand the information, which will
require asking yourself questions about what you are reading.
3. Paraphrase the definitions for each term and concept.
4. Complete assignments.
5. Take the examinations.
Learn to become an Active Reader. Don't just read and answer questions. It's important that you take
notes while you are reading. If you have a question about something you've read, write it down. Go back
through the material and find the answer. You might even have questions about concepts in the chapters
that aren't answered to your satisfaction. Post those on the bulletin board to get feedback from the other
class members.