SOAN 102

Introduction to Anthropology

This course introduces students to the discipline of anthropology, with an intent focus on the sub-discipline of cultural anthropology. Students gain an understanding of the methods, theories, and debates that characterize cultural anthropology through a critical exploration of the concept of culture, the central frame through which anthropologists grapple with gender, ethnicity, politics, economics, religion, tradition, technology, identity, globalization, and much more. The fundamentally cross-cultural, cross-temporal, holistic orientation of anthropology makes it unique among the disciplines, and its practitioners try to broaden any discussion of human beliefs and practices to include examples that are as diverse and varied as possible, while insisting on a singular, underlying, and universal ?humanity.? The course draws on ethnography, a term that applies to both the immersive field research that anthropologists engage in, as well as the written analyses of cultures that anthropologists produce to better understand how culture and representations of culture structure relationships of power and inequality in the contemporary world.

Prerequisites: Students who have SOAN 102 transfer credit may not take this course.