Peoples and Cultures: Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology (Northeastern University Department of Sociology and Anthropology)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2012

This course is an introduction to the discipline of Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Using diverse readings, as well as film and audio, the course emphasizes the role that anthropology has played in shaping our understanding of common ideas such as culture, class, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and globalization. While presenting information about the history of the discipline, it encourages students to think critically (and sometimes skeptically) about anthropological truth-claims. The course also takes a hard look at the ways that anthropology has sometimes played a role in creating and supporting colonial regimes and racist ideologies—yet has also helped to dismantle them. Most importantly, the course encourages students to consider how anthropology can help us better understand our lived experiences, particularly of love, aesthetic pleasure, spiritual longing, economic stratification, sickness, aging, mortality, loss, violence, dislocation, ecological imbalance, foreignness, and radical change. Examples are drawn from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and many places in between.

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