College of Arts and Science
This course is designed for anyone interested in cultural diversity, ranging from the international studies major to the informed citizen. The goal of cultural anthropology is to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. In learning about the lives of others, the student of anthropology gains a deeper insight into their own culture. Students will first learn about the basics of cultural anthropology, including diversity and relativism, language and culture, and the history and variation of the human species. Students will then apply this knowledge to the study of individual societies with an emphasis on small-scale, traditional groups, focusing on various aspects of culture including marriage and kinship, sex and gender, economics, politics, and religion. The course concludes with a section on the rise of colonialism and its lingering consequences, covering topics such caste and class, race and ethnicity, inequality, and globalization. At the end of the semester, students will (1) learn the basic concepts, methods, and theories of cultural anthropology; (2) develop a deeper cultural literacy, becoming more aware and respectful of diversity; and, (3) have a better sense of our interconnected world and their particular place in it.