Anthropology | Culture and Society
E105 | 10857 | Suslak

How can we learn to understand peoples and cultures different from or
unfamiliar to us, and how can we apply this understanding to think
more clearly and critically about our own culture? Sociocultural
anthropology studies the complexity of human experiences around the
world. While other disciplines focus on either the local or the
global, the past or the present, the individual or the group,
sociocultural anthropologists seek out what links these all together.
Because sociocultural anthropology looks at human societies in a
holistic manner it offers a unique vantage point from which to analyze
and address current social problems and age-old challenges. In this
course we will learn about the basic concepts and methods of
sociocultural anthropology and use them to examine a series of themes
that are basic and common to people everywhere: community,
subsistence, social structure, politics and power, consumption,
globalization, religion, tradition, family and kinship, ritual,
identity, gender, race, and ethnicity, to name but a few. We will be
studying how people are affected by the larger forces around
them—political, economic,historical—yet still manage to shape their
own lives and make sense of their circumstances. We will also be
exploring how anthropological knowledge and methods can be applied in
a principled way to real-world issues with real-world consequences.