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Cultural Anthropology

Course NumberSOC 231W
Credits3
Lab Hours0
Lecture Hours45
Course DescriptionPrerequisites: LEVEL 2 READING or LEVEL 2 WRITING. Introduces humanity in its cultural setting. Emphasizes the study of diversity of non-industrialized cultures and the implications of that study for understanding our own culture. Credit may be earned in SOC 231 or SOC 231H but not both. (45-0)


Outcomes and Objectives

Identify the scientific method as applied to the study of human cultures and to practice critical thinking using a scientific approach.
Objectives:
  1. Apply the scientific method to the study of human cultures.
  2. Differentiate cultural anthropology from other academic disciplines.
  3. Distinguish among cultural anthropology's basic theoretical approaches (including cultural neoevolutionism, functionalism and cultural materialism) to the analysis of cultures and list the main contributions of influential cultural anthropologists.
  4. Appreciate the applications of the knowledge of cultural anthropology to the understanding of social life, including cultural diversity.
  5. List the main contributions of influential cultural anthropologists.

Employ basic concepts of cultural anthropology in the analysis of social behavior and society.
Objectives:
  1. Define and apply the concept of culture to the analysis of human behavior including its cognitive components (such as knowledge and beliefs), its symbolic components (such as language), and its normative components (such as values and norms).
  2. Differentiate between cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, appreciating cultural relativism as tool to assure objectivity in social research (not mistaking it for value relativism).
  3. Identify and describe the principal types of societies (including hunting and gathering, horticulture, agriculture, pastoralism, and industry), locating them both in terms of modern geography and in the history of human social development.
  4. Assess the principal types of societies for world view, differentiating between human-centered and nature-centered world views.
  5. Distinguish the functions and processes of enculturation and acculturation for the principal types of societies.
  6. Assess the principal types of societies for egalitarianism and stratification.
  7. Distinguish the functions and processes of gender ideologies, gender hierarchies, and gender roles for each of the principal types of societies.

Identify major social institutions, compare and contrast the cross-societal varieties of each of those institutions, and describe the correlations among those varieties and the principal types of societies.
Objectives:
  1. Distinguish the functions and processes of religion and identify general types of belief systems among the principal types of societies.
  2. Compare and contrast the economic functions and processes of reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange for the principal types of societies.
  3. Compare and contrast the functions and processes of central and uncentralized political systems (including bands and tribes; chiefdoms and states) and locate them among the principal types of societies.
  4. Identify the variables that shape marriage and family life and distinguish their functions and processes for the principal types of societies (including extended and nuclear families, unilineal and bilateral descent systems, matrilineality and patrilineality, and polygamy and monogamy).

Use writing tasks to promote learning.
Objectives:
  1. Practice critical writing skills within the subject.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of subject matter.




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