Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology . . . sample syllabus

Anth 11. Sociocultural Anthropology                          Spring, 2002

Dr. John B. Gatewood                           Patrick Buonincontri, A.T.
Price Hall, Room 10-C                           Office Hour: Tuesdays 3-4
758-3814 / JBG1                                           974-1067 / PTB2


This is a first course in sociocultural anthropology   an introduction
to the study of human culture. There are three main objectives: (1) to
provide you with a basic framework for the comparative study of human
life ways; (2) to acquaint you with a few examples of exotic sociocultural
systems; and (3) to help you see some problems of modern living in a
widened, more global perspective. Generally speaking, we will cover in
one or two class periods topics that fill entire semesters in upper-level
courses. What we lose in detail and depth, we gain in enlarged perspective
and sense of the inter-relatedness of issues.

The course is designed to strike a balance between the particulars of
different cultures and the abstract frameworks constructed by anthropologists
for purposes of comparing different cultures. In studying particular exotic
cultures, you will see (a) that humans can and do live in different
situations and in different ways than yourself and (b) that their ways of
living are not simply collections of quaint customs, but rather "make sense"
in their own terms. Furthermore, in learning anthropological typologies, you
will see that human beings, despite their differences, respond to life's
challenges and problems in a limited number of ways, that is, human life ways
are not totally unconstrained and free to vary.

Class periods will be a mixture of lectures, discussion of readings, and films.
Occasionally, I may provide xeroxed reading materials to supplement your texts
on particular topics, but for the most part, the books, below, constitute
virtually all of the reading material for the course.


There are three required books for this course, all available in the
university bookstore. The book by Conrad Kottak is our "main text." The books
by Nicola Tannenbaum and Steven Lansing are ethnographies of particular
peoples and cultures.


Kottak, Conrad (1999) Mirror for Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural
Anthropology, 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.


Tannenbaum, Nicola (1995) Who Can Compete against the World? Power-Protection
and Buddhism in Shan Worldview. Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Asian Studies,

Lansing, J. Steven (1991) Priets and Programmers: Technologies of Power in
the Engineered Landscape of Bali. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


EXAMS: three exams, each worth 25% of your course grade. The exams are mostly
multiple choice, with some questions in other formats, such as diagraming,
listing, matching, and short essay. You are responsible for taking exams
during their scheduled times. Any exception must be approved by me
(John Gatewood) IN ADVANCE. Talking with the T.A., sending an e-mail, calling
and leaving a message, etc., is not sufficient   you must obtain my verbal
permission beforehand to re-schedule an exam. Failure to take an exam as
scheduled will result in an automatic "F" in the course, irrespective of what
grades you may have earned on other requirements.

eHRAF ASSIGNMENTS: eight assignments, collectively worth 25% of your course
grade. You will learn how to use the eHRAF and begin to build expertise in
one exotic culture by collecting information for the ethnographic outline of
your assigned culture. The nine assignments are due at the beginning of the
classes indicated on the Schedule of Topics, below. Late assignments will
not be accepted. Late work is simply "not turned in;" hence, it will be given
a zero, which is much more damaging than an F.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is required, and I think you will find that coming to
class regularly is most helpful in understanding course materials. Also, please
note that the exams cover lectures, readings, and films.

                            SCHEDULE OF TOPICS

1. Jan 16 (W)       Introductory Remarks
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 1

2. Jan 18 (F)       Film. "Anthropologists at Work: Careers Making a
                    Difference" (36 min.)

3. Jan 21 (M)       Biological Perspective on Cultural Capacity
                         Readings: (none)

4. Jan 23 (W)       The Nature of Culture [Prof. Tannenbaum]
                          Readings: Kottak, chapter 2

5. Jan 25 (F)       Demonstration of eHRAF Materials
	       [eHRAF Assignment #1 done during class]

6. Jan 28 (M)       Film. "Discovery of Language: Colorless Green
                    Ideas" (50 min.)

7. Jan 30 (W)       Human Communication and Language
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 4

8. Feb 1 (F)        Language Structure
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 4

9. Feb 4 (M)        Language Use
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 4

10. Feb 6 (W)       Human Ecology
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 5

11. Feb 8 (F)       Assignment of eHRAF of cultures to students
                    Film. "Bitter Melons" (30 min.)
               [eHRAF Assignment #2 is due]

12. Feb 13 (W)      Production
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 5

13. Feb 15 (F)      Reproduction
               [eHRAF Assignment #3 is due]
                         Readings: (none)

14. Feb 18 (M)      Human Sexuality
                         Readings: (none)

15. Feb 20 (W)      Economic Organization
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 5

16. Feb 22 (F)      Film. "A Man Called 'Bee': Studying the Yanomamo"
                    (40 min.)
               [eHRAF Assignment #4 is due]

17. Feb 25 (M)      - - - - - FIRST EXAM - - - - -

18. Feb 27 (W)      Domestic Life
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 6

19. Mar 1 (F)       Kinship Systems
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 6

20. Mar 11 (M)      Kinship Systems
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 6

21. Mar 13 (W)      Kinship Systems
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 6

22. Mar 15 (F)      Film. "Masai Women" (52 min.)
               [eHRAF Assignment #5 is due]

23. Mar 18 (M)      Politics and Social Order in Non-State Systems
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 7

24. Mar 20 (W)      Origins and Anatomy of the State
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 8

25. Mar 22 (F)      Class and Caste
               [eHRAF Assignment #6 is due]
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 8

26. Mar 25 (M)      Ethnicity, Race, and Racism
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 3

27. Mar 27 (W)      Gender Roles and Gender Hierarchies
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 9

28. Apr 3 (W)       Culture and the Individual
                         Readings: (none)

29. Apr 5 (F)       - - - - - SECOND EXAM - - - - -

30. Apr 8 (M)       Religion and Worldview
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 10

31. Apr 10 (W)      Religion and Worldview
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 10

32. Apr 12 (F)      Discussion. Shan Religion, #1
               [eHRAF Assignment #7 is due]
                         Readings: Tannenbaum, Who Can Compete against the
                              World?, pp. 1-121

33. Apr 15 (M)      Discussion. Shan Religion, #2
                         Readings: Tannenbaum, Who Can Compete against the
                              World?, pp. 123-211

34. Apr 17 (W)      The World System
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 11

35. Apr 19 (F)      Film. "First Contact" (54 min.)

36. Apr 22 (M)      Cultural Exchange and Survival
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 12

37. Apr 24 (W)      Development and Innovation
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 13

38. Apr 26 (F)      Film. "Anthropology on Trial" (57 min.)
               [eHRAF Assignment #8 is due]

39. Apr 29 (M)      Discussion. Balinese Irrigation, #1
                         Readings: Lansing, Priests and Programmers, pp. 1-72

40. May 1 (W)       Discussion. Balinese Irrigation, #2
                         Readings: Lansing, Priests and Programmers, pp. 73-133

41. May 3 (F)       Other Kinds of Applied Anthropology
                         Readings: Kottak, chapter 14

42. May 6 (M)       Course Summary and Student Evaluations

      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

The THIRD EXAM will be held during the time assigned us in the "Final Exam
Period." The third exam is not cumulative, but rather just another hour exam.