CULTURE AND SOCIETY
DR. RICHARD WILK
1:25-2:15 PM, Jordan Hall
Anthropology asks the questions "Who are we? Where did we come from? How did we get where we are today? Why are we different from each other? How can we better understand people who are different from us? Unlike other social sciences, anthropology does not single out one aspect of human life as the most important or essential (like economics, or psychology, for example). Instead anthropologists seek to understand human beings and the human experience in all their complexity, combining the best of different disciplines, of the sciences and humanities.
Anthropology is a thriving, complex discipline that studies almost everything in human culture and history. Anthropology provides a different point of view in understanding the human experience. This course provides a basic introduction to two of the four sub-fields of Anthropology: anthropological linguistics and socio-cultural anthropology. The other introductory course, A105, covers the other two.
The course has three major goals. First, it presents the state of knowledge in the discipline today and shows how anthropology has changed and grown through discovery, research and self-criticism. Second, it will show you some of the variety of human cultures on this planet, emphasizing their diversity and richness, as well as the common threads that tie all human societies together. Finally, the course will show you that anthropology is much more than an "ivory tower" academic discipline. Anthropologists are actively engaged -- they apply what they know, working in real-world settings as diverse as hospital operating rooms and the Tucson municipal landfill.
Required Texts: R. C. Kottak, Mirror For Humanity. 2nd edition. McGraw Hill.
M. Ward, Nest in the Wind. Waveland Press.
B. Anderson, First Fieldwork. Waveland Press..
All are available in bookstores on and off campus.
In addition there are several recommended readings for this course available in the bookstores, all in the "New Immigrants" series. You will need to buy and read one of these to complete a written assignment for the class.
The course has two major parts, the lecture and the discussion sections. The lectures present basic course material that you will be tested on in midterm and final exams. The discussion section helps you review the lecture material, guides you through the two other course readings, and presents additional material in films and discussions that will be the subject of written essay assignments.
There will be two 50-minute lectures each week, on the attached schedule. The lectures coordinate loosely with the readings in the Kottak text, but there will be little duplication. Lectures will not just repeat the readings, they will build on those readings. In order to get the maximum from lectures, you must keep up with the reading schedule and come to each class prepared. We will often take attendance at lectures, and coming regularly is a course requirement. I strive to make the lectures interesting and to make sure you are understanding the key points, but if I am falling short in any way, I would like to hear from you as quickly as possible, either in person, through a note, or by email with the ONCOURSE system.
Questions about Lectures:
I try to be clear in lectures and to go along at a moderate pace - not too fast or too slow. But there will be times when I go too quickly, or don't explain something clearly. In a class this size it is hard to stop and take questions, so there are four things you can do to get something cleared up, to ask a question, or to let me know I got something confused or mixed up.
1. Write a note. Put your question or comment on a piece of paper and leave it on the counter in front of the class or give it to the professor before the next lecture. He will make every effort to respond at the beginning of the class.
2. Send an Email message. If you don't think the whole class needs to hear an answer to your question, send Email to me or your AI through ONCOURSE, or by direct email.
3. Wait and ask your AI during the discussion section. This will allow you to discuss the issue at more length, but you may also find that your AI does not agree completely with the professor (yes, there is room for disagreement and controversy in anthropology).
4. Raise your hand and interrupt the lecture. Reserve this one for important comments ("speak louder" or "I can't see the slide"), requests ("spell that", "repeat that") or serious problems with the lecture ("You just said it was Margaret Mead and now you are saying it was Ruth Benedict").
The discussion sections has three main purposes:
-To give you a chance to discuss
and question the material presented in -lectures and the text, and to review
that material for the exams.
-To expand on issues raised in the lectures by exposing you to a wider range of anthropological writing, and by presenting topical films.
-To give you the chance to put what you are learning into practice through short writing and inquiry projects.
The discussion section is your place
to think about, and take issue with- the ideas and information presented
in the text and lectures. Remember, your AI is a professional anthropologist,
with experience in another culture. Draw on their knowledge and experience
to get the most out of the course. Spend some time learning the name of
Your discussion section will accomplish these goals through reading and discussion of two books about other cultures, by regularly showing videos in class, by bringing up topical current events and issues for discussion, and through eight short writing assignments.
Your AI will assign you regular readings and writing assignments. These are a basic part of the course. Regular attendance at discussion sections is a requirement of the course, not an option. You can miss two discussions during the semester, but after that you will have points taken off your final- grade for every discussion section which you miss, unless you have a valid, written medical excuse. Your discussion section AI will be responsible for your grading in the course, and will keep track of your point total, which will always be available to you through ONCOURSE.
Grading: Your final grade will be based on your semester total; an A grade requires a minimum of 900 points out of a total of 1200 possible points. There will be two exams, a midterm worth 350 and a final worth 400. The final exam is cumulative - -it will concentrate on the second half of the course, but will also include material from the readings and the most important material from the first half of the semester. The exams are multiple-choice, true-false, and computer graded, given to the entire class at once. These are not easy exams, and the average grade is about a 78%, which translates to about 590 points out of 700.
9 short assignments will be handed out by your AIs in discussion sections. They will be worth 25 to 100 points each, for a total possible score of 400 points from the assignments alone. You do not have to do these assignments, but you can do all 9 if you want; they will all count towards your grade.
Assignments will generally be short, asking you to review a film, read articles and think about them, or do some actual research of your own. They will be graded simply – Full points, ¾ points, half points, or no points. All assignments will come with a due date attached, and they can only be handed in, in person, during your discussion section. Do not bother turning in- late assignments, since they will not be counted. This means that you cannot leave all of your assignments for the end of the semester; they must be turned in as they become due. Assignments should all be typed or word processed. Handwritten assignments automatically get a 10 point deduction. Illegible or extremely messy writing and work that shows little effort will get no credit at all. In general, attendance at discussion sections is very important if you are going to get full points on these assignments.
There will also be 10 class lecture response cards worth 5 points each. You must have a supply of 3x5 cards at every class in order to fill these in. During the day’s lecture, I will ask you to answer a question, or ask a question, based on what you have heard. These cards also serve to monitor your attendance at lectures. You will lose 50 points from your total semester score if you miss four or more of these lecture responses.
lose 15 points from your total semester score for every discussion
section you miss after the first two absences. If you have a valid
medical excuse you must present it to your AI within a week of the absence.
Finally, your AI can choose to award an extra 20 points towards your final grade if you have made outstanding and sustained contributions to discussion, have done additional work, or have brought useful resources into discussion. These points are made entirely at the discretion of the AI - you are not eligible for them if you have more than two unexcused absences from the section.
Final grades will be based on the following point totals:
970 -1000= A+
870 - 899 = B+ 770 - 799 = C+
670 - 699 = D+
0 - 600 = F
930 - 969 = A 830 - 869 = B 730 - 769 = C 630 - 669 = D
900 - 929 = A- 800 - 829 = B- 700 - 729 = C- 600 - 629 = D-
Notice that you can get an B in this
course if you get perfect scores on the -exams (750) and a full score on
just one assignment worth 50 points, if you have no deductions. Or
you could get Ds on both exams- (say 500 out of 750 points) and still get
an A in the course. You could go- into the final exam with as many as 800
points - knowing that all you need is- another 100 points to get an A.
The choice is up to you; what are your best- skills? How much work are
you willing to put into the class? Would you rather study hard for exams
and not worry about assignments all the time? Or do all the assignments
and study less for exams?
Anything concerned with the class can be discussed privately with the AI or with Professor Wilk during office hours or by appointment. If you are having trouble with course content or assignments, don't wait until the very end of the semester to go see your AI. While it is usually best to talk with an AI first, any problem or issue can be discussed with Dr. Wilk directly. Email is a good way to start. The important thing is to make your concerns known early in the semester while we can do something about it!
Our obligations to each other:
Nobody has forced me to become an anthropology teacher; and nobody has forced you to become an anthropology student either. These facts form the basis of our obligations to each other in the classroom situation. I consider it my obligation to listen carefully to your questions and answer them as well as possible given the need to finish the lecture. I also feel obligated to present material in an interesting and understandable way: if you don't understand what I am saying speak up! I will try again. Finally, I am obligated to be fair and explicit about grades, and about what to expect on exams.
The other side of the story is your obligation as a student to me and to the other students in the class. The most important is not to disrupt the class by your behavior; try to get there on time, and make a quiet entrance if you are late. Getting up and leaving in the middle of a lecture is also disruptive. Don't distract other students by talking during the lecture or films. You are also obligated to think ahead about grades and exams: if you are going to miss an exam, you must come and arrange a makeup at least two weeks before the exam date. You are also obligated to attend lectures regularly; showing up and listening is a basic form of respect for the content of the education you are paying for!
Make-ups and Incompletes:
Makeup exams must be arranged two weeks in advance of the scheduled exam date. Makeup exams will only be -given if you have a very strong excuse backed up with documentation. The makeup -exam will be more difficult than the regular one, and will combine essays, short- answers and definitions. Incompletes will only be given with a medical excuse or in cases of documented family- emergencies. You must speak with an AI in advance of the final about getting an incomplete. Late work for assignment, response cards, or other class work is not accepted, even with a medical excuse. We expect you to make up the work with other assignments.
All cases of cheating will be handled
according to the rules stated in the University Bulletin. In particular,
in this course you must provide original work on all assignments
- you are not allowed to work together with other students in writing the
assignment, unless you are expressly asked to do so. All written work must
be your own, and should not be copied or paraphrased from other sources.
If you quote someone you must tell the source of the quote. If you have
any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, ask your AI. You are required
to attend discussion sections and lectures, even if there is no attendance
taken. Because of past problems we monitor the exams very closely. Be aware
that it is not permitted either to copy another student's work or to
knowingly allow your own work to be copied.Violation of these rules
can get you thrown out of the University !!!
SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS
|Date||Topic||Text Chapter||Assignment #|
|January 8||Course Introduction||Look over book|
|January 10||Anthropology and Cultural Relativism||Chapter 1|
|January 17||What Cultural Anthropologists Do|
|January 22||Biology and Culture: Race, Racism and Ethnicity||Chapter 3||1|
|January 24||Race and Difference among Americans|
|January 29||Culture is the key concept||Chapter 2||2|
|January 31||Why so Many Different Cultures???|
|February 5||Human Communication||Chapter 4||3|
|February 7||Language and Culture|
|February 12||Language & Cosmos: Space and Time||4|
|February 14||Personality and Culture|
|February 19||Ecological Anthropology||Chapter 5||5|
|February 21||Life in the Rainforest|
|February 26||Economic Anthro.|
|February 28||MID TERM EXAM|
|March 5||Art and Expressive Culture||Chapter 10||6|
|March 7||Varieties of Religious experience|
|March 12-14||SPRING BREAK|
|March 19||Religion and Mythology|
|March 21||Marriage, Families and Kinship||Chapter 6|
|March 26||Different kinds of Families||7|
|March 28||Kinship and Politics||Chapter 7&8|
|April 2||Sex and Gender||Chapter 9||8|
|April 4||Culture Change||Chapter 9|
|April 9||Global Culture||Chapter 11||9|
|April 11||Cultural Survival||Chapter 12|
|April 16||Economic and Cultural Development||Chapter 13|
|April 18||Applied Anthropology||Chapter 14|
|April 23||Case Study in Applied Anthropology|
|April 25||Course wrap-up and evaluation|
|May 4, Friday||FINAL EXAM: 2:45-4:45|
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