ANT6220 Theories & Methods of Cultural Anthropology

Course Overview

Educational Level: Graduate, Master
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: STAFF

Course Description:

A reading- and writing-intensive course that introduces major classical and contemporary theories and research methods of cultural anthropology. Students will analyze representative works in social sciences and use practical exercises in ethnographic writing to explore theoretical approaches to thinking about society, culture, and the nature of anthropological writing. Includes evaluation and synthesis of a significant amount of readings through discussions and individual reflection papers.

How This Course Benefits Students:

The Bachelors level course is intended to introduce students to the ways in which anthropologists organize their knowledge in the form of theoretical pronouncements. Theories are apparatuses used for thinking about other cultures, not statements of truth, and as such they provide students with a range of tools to explain different social and cultural phenomena. At this level, the emphasis is given to factual knowledge, thematic organization of ideas, and the basic understanding of anthropological practice (how to prepare for fieldwork, how to collect the material, how to organize it in writing, etc.). The Masters level course encompasses the same range of theories and methods, but it requires of students more engagement in terms of time devoted to reading, the level of complexity, and the depth of analysis.

Why This Course Is Important:

The course provides the basis for cultural anthropology majors to understand anthropology as an academic discipline, a science of human diversity, and exploration of what it means to be a social being. Students in health, justice, and community service learn how social groups interact, exert control, change, or negotiate status in a cross-cultural context.