Anthropology | Culture and Society
E105 | 0379 | Brondizio


E105 Culture and Society

Anthropology seeks to study the diversity of human societies in time and
space, while looking for commonalities across them. Different from other
social sciences - like economics and psychology - anthropology does not
look at a single aspect of human life, but the complexity of human
experiences around the world, including our own. It looks at the
interactions between individuals and communities, and between communities
and wider societies. By looking at human societies in a holistic manner,
anthropology offers a series of tools for applied contemporary problems.
In this course while presenting and discussing several aspects of
anthropological inquiry (including its 4 sub-fields of archeology,
bio-anthropology, socio-cultural, and liguistics) our emphasis will be on
its practical side, that is, how anthropology findings and tools can help
us to have a better understanding of social problems. Particularly, we
will focus on the sub-field of socio-cultural anthropology. Some of the
topics we will be looking at include:

-to understand and appreciate cultural diversity;
-to acquire tools/methods to study different aspects of human societies;
-to explore the applications of these "tools" to contemporary issues, such
as economic development, health, resource use and environmental problems;

The course combines weekly lectures (2) and discussion sessions (1). We
will use a textbook, ethnographic accounts, and examples of applied
anthropological work. We will also learn from ethnographic films and
invited speakers to share their experiences while covering their areas of
expertise. Grading will include: 1 mid-term, 1 final, 4 quizzes, and 1
short project on the student's topic of interest.