This course introduces the field of anthropology as a way to consider humanity in its numerous manifestations and in its intricate complexities. In trying to account for the social and cultural variation in the world, it explores our own everyday practices and ideas and relates them to alien and seemingly exotic practices in far-away places. The course thus helps transform ‘the strange’ into ‘the ordinary’, and ‘the ordinary’ into ‘the exotic’. In the process, students will gain a general, though comprehensive, introduction to the aims, scope, methods, and history of anthropology. In particular, we explore three complementary avenues to the comparative study of human society and culture: ethnographic description and analysis of particular societies and cultures; the comparative study of social institutions; and different theoretical approaches involved in description, analysis and comparison.
The course is divided into two parts. In Part I, we introduce anthropology, its history and key concepts, and notions of identity and difference, i.e. ways of categorizing people in relation to others. In Part II, we turn toward aspects of anthropological research, while we also will investigate some anthropological sub-disciplines.
In most instances, there are two hours of lecture and two hours of group discussion per week. Each class meeting usually contains both a lecture and discussion. Students are required to complete writing exercises and prepare two discussion sessions in teamwork with colleagues. Students are also expected to participate fully in all discussions and to read in preparation for each meeting.
1. Course Outline - SSCANTH101 Introduction to Anthropology - Fall 2019.pdf1. Course Outline - SSCANTH101 Introduction to Anthropology - Fall 2019.pdf