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120.10S.syl - CSULB Instructor Dr George M Scott Spring...

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1 CSULB Spring Semester, 2010 Instructor: Dr. George M. Scott Section 8: TTh: 2:00-3:15; LA1-302 Section 12: TTh: 12:30-1:45; LA5-165 Section 13: TTh: 11:00-12:15; LA5-165 ANTHROPOLOGY 120 INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY COURSE SYLLABUS I. COURSE BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION The question of the nature of humankind and its cultural existence has occupied scholarly thought for many centuries. Today, the pursuit of this question lies largely within the various fields of social science. Prominent among these is anthropology. The main aim of this course is to acquaint you with the basic assumptions, concepts, theories, and methods of cultural anthropology (leaving to courses on physical anthropology the important questions of human evolution and biology and to those on archeology the problem of reconstructing past cultures through an interpretation of their material remains). Accordingly, such questions will be entertained as: What is the cultural anthropological perspective on humanity? What are the main characteristics of anthropology and how do they distinguish it from other social science disciplines? What does it mean to say that humans are cultural animals, and what are the basic attributes of culture? How can we account for the diversity and similarity that exists in the range of world cultures? How do cultural anthropologists go about studying these and related problems, in their own culture as well as in those markedly different? What is the relevance of cultural anthropology to everyday life? II. COURSE METHODOLOGY Throughout the course a dialogue will be maintained between the abstract and the empirical, between general statements and specific examples, and between the theoretical and practical so that the one may help to illuminate the other. Toward this general pedagogic end, the following specific means will be employed: A). A text will explicate the various concepts, theories, and methods of cultural anthropology, using a visual approach.
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