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HSC_Syllabus_Final_2012Stout - ANTHROPOLOGY 1-UA HUMAN...

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1 ANTHROPOLOGY 1-UA: HUMAN SOCIETY & CULTURE Fall 2012 MW 12:30-1:45 pm Rm: SILV 405 Professor Noelle Stout Email: [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesday 1:45 – 3:00 pm Rufus Hall, Rm 604 25 Waverly Pl Teaching Assistants: Narges Bajoghli Dwai Banerjee Irina Levin [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] COURSE DESCRIPTION: Cultural anthropology explores the everyday practices and values of people living in a diverse array of contexts. More than a fixed set of ideas, cultural anthropology provides a way to interpret the world. This means that one can apply an anthropological framework to nearly any topic—from macroeconomic processes such as globalization to the intimate practices of sexual desire. Across this diversity of topics, cultural anthropologists have a keen interest in how people make sense of their experiences. Drawing on local meanings and understandings, anthropologists take seriously people’s own interpretations as a source of authority and knowledge. While many social scientific disciplines apply large scale theories to people’s lives, anthropologists believe that theories should respond to people’s lived experiences. This makes anthropology a self-reflexive discipline in which constructive criticism drives innovation and spurs intellectual debates. In this course, students will be introduced to classic topics in US anthropology including kinship, economics, religion, race and ethnicity, conflict and violence, and gender and sexuality. Weekly readings will pair introductory materials from our textbook with advanced theoretical articles and ethnographies, through which we will discover a variety of cultural practices in settings from Samoa to Spanish Harlem. Instead of memorizing discrete cultural facts, students will be asked to acquire and use critical thinking skills to investigate germane social issues such as inequality, power, and conflict in a globalized world. Through field research in New York City students will experience the benefits and ethical dilemmas of participant observation first-hand. Readings, lectures, films, and discussion sections will encourage students to reflect on current events and to question our most deeply held assumptions about what is natural, normal, and true. OBJECTIVES: Students who fulfill the requirements of this course should be able to: Appreciate how differences are shaped by local and global patterns. Articulate anthropology’s history and primary schools of thought. Acknowledge ethnocentrism and its consequences. Analyze contemporary social, economic, and political issues through an anthropological lens. Define and utilize key terms and ideas fundamental to sociocultural anthropology.
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2 COURSE MATERIALS: Required Texts Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 9 th Edition Coming of Age in Samoa , Margaret Mead In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, Philippe Bourgois Articles All articles are available on Blackboard under “Course Documents.” Films
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