Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
FDU-Florham, Spring 2008
Professor Jason J. Price
Room 103, New Academic Building
2 – 3 pm, Monday & Thursday
Dining Room, New Academic Building
This is an introduction to the field of cultural
anthropology, that maddening discipline (part
humanity, part social science) that attempts to
interpret human social life.
Like any social science course, students will
develop their critical thinking skills and analytical
writing abilities and articulate their ideas in
collaboration with other students as well as on
Students will also be introduced to
anthropological modes of thinking - this entails
thinking deeply about similarity and difference
across human social life in the hope of achieving a
certain level of tolerance that will mediate cross-
cultural understandings, it also means learning to
think holistically and critically about the nature of
social and economic inequality.
In the end, students will be encouraged to
consider how social and cultural forces determine
their own identities, behaviors, and ways of
With some hard work, students should
come out of the course with a greater
understanding of themselves and the world around
them, and be more equipped to act conscientiously
Though the curriculum will be wide (both
thematically and geographically), we will go into
depth on one topic – the cultural dimensions of
health and healing, particularly within the contexts
of rationality and cosmology.
Participate. Be punctual. Be discreet with food,
drink, and gadgets. Be respectful of your peers.
If extenuating circumstances prevent you from
attending class or threatens the quality of your
work, inform me as soon as possible.
This class is a seminar.
It is important that each
member prepares to discuss the readings in depth
and with specific reference to the texts.
student will be required to participate in discussions
in every class.
To facilitate discussions, be prepared to
provide: (1) economical summaries of each
reading: (2) general responses to the assumptions,
premises, conclusions, analyses, writing style and
structure, and goals of each reading; (3) a quotation
from the text that illustrates the central
argument/purpose of the reading; and (4) a
quotation from the text that you find problematic
(i.e. indiscernible or objectionable).