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Anthropology 3

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Winter 2009
105 Dartmouth Hall
M, W, F 10:00-11:05; X-hours: Th. 12-12:50
Instructor: Prof. Lourdes Gutirrez Njera
Office: 303 Silsby Hall
Office Hours: M 3-5 and by appointment
The goal of cultural anthropology is to understand human diversity in all its various
manifestations around the world. Cultural anthropologists are interested in how societies and
cultures work how people in different places adapt to their environment, the various symbolic
systems they use to communicate with each other, the political and religious systems that
regulate their lives, the ways families are structured, and the ways they make a living. During
this class we will learn about peoples practices around the world, both to broaden our
understanding of how culture structures and patterns the lives of different groups, and to gain a
better understanding of ourselves. In an increasingly global world, we need to know who our
neighbors are and what our neighbors see when they look at us.
We will begin by looking closely at the concept of culture as the central theme in anthropology,
and how culture patterns human behavior. We will explore various aspects of life including
our perceptions of time and space, race, gender, marriage, sexuality, and family to uncover
how what we assume to be natural ways of living are made meaningful and are given value
through culture. We will also look at the historical development of social and economic systems,
the role of language in culture, and various systems of political power. We will conclude by
looking at globalization, the lingering effects of colonialism on power relations across the globe,
and we will critically examine projects of international development.

This class will prepare you to develop your awareness of culture and society by comprehending
how different people and ourselves express societal norms and values. It will prepare you to
integrate and interpret information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and
diversity, and to think critically. This course will further help you better understand and live in
our increasingly globalized world.
To understand how different people understand the world around them.
To gain a better understanding of ourselves through the comparative study of other
To understand how our experiences, values, and social systems differ from those of
To gain exposure to anthropological research, methods, and analysis.
To become familiar with the basic analytic concepts, techniques, and vocabulary of the
discipline of cultural anthropology.
To foster critical thinking skills through reading, writing, and discussion.
The dates listed on the syllabus are the dates for which the reading is to be completed. Class will
be primarily lecture based, though there will be some discussion also integrated into the course.
Lectures will draw upon the readings due that day. You are responsible for all material assigned
and covered, and much of your grade will depend on how well you are prepared for class.
We have an opportunity to learn about some very interesting and important topics in
anthropology this term. Homework assignments and in-class discussions will provide a time for
you to work through material presented in the readings and lectures, and your participation is
essential for success. I will do my best to make the material clear and as relevant to you as I can.
Your part is to come prepared to class with an open mind and a desire to learn.
I expect that each of you will be on time and prepared for class.
Turn off all pagers and cell phones before entering the classroom.
Students are responsible for reading the syllabus, and completing the reading assignments
and homework on time.
You are expected to respect your fellow students and your professor. We want to
encourage alternative perspectives by creating a space of tolerance in the classroom, by
being respectful of each others opinions and listening carefully before reacting. When
we have open discussion, please allow students to finish speaking before jumping in or
offering an alternative viewpoint.
Stereotypes and prejudices naturally exist when we deal with material that is new,
unusual, and foreign. Our challenge is to become aware of these stereotypes and to
question our assumptions so that our ability to analyze and understand new material is not
impaired by our biases.


Garrick Bailey and James Peoples. 2002. Essentials of Cultural Anthropology. Belmont, CA:
Thompson Learning/Wadsworth.
William A. Haviland, Robert J. Gordon, and Luis A. Vivanco. 2006. Talking About People:
Readings in Contemporary Cultural Anthropology. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.
**Additional required readings and resources will be provided through blackboard**
Your grade will be calculated on the following criteria:
Ethnographic Exerices
Exam #1
Exam #2
Final Exam
Ethnographic Exercises (15%)
The purpose of the exercises is to give you an opportunity to put your knowledge from class to
practice. The exercises are posted on blackboard and the due dates are posted on the syllabus.
You are expected to complete each assignment and hand them in at the beginning of the class on
the day they are due. These exercises should be completed carefully and thoughtfully. Each
exercises will count 5 points and you will be penalized for failing to turn in your exercises on
time. No late exceptions will be made.
Exams (85%)
There will be three exams throughout the term. The first two exams will be administered during
class time; the last exam during week of finals. Each will cover approximately one-third of the
course, and each will be counted equally in determining your final grade. The format of the
exams may include diagrams, matching, definitions, short answers, and essays. Exam questions
will be drawn from the readings, class lectures, films and discussion. If you complete the
reading assignments but do not attend the classes it will not be possible to pass the exams.

Honor Principle
All students must abide by the rules for academic honesty set forth by the
College. In particular, cheating, plagiarism, or academic dishonesty of any sort will be met with
severe sanctions. You should familiarize yourself with Dartmouth Colleges Academic Honor
Principle regarding honesty in completing all course examinations, papers, and exercises (see
online Academic Honor under the Registrar Regulations, plus the Standards of Conduct
regulations on computing resources and library privileges). This Principle commits each of us to
individual responsibility and fairness in all course work; and prohibits cheating on exams,
fabricating research, plagiarizing papers, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses

without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, engaging in computing

abuses and forging signatures.
Late Submissions
Assignments are expected on the indicated due date and by the end of
that days class session (unless otherwise stated). Requests for changes in a submission
deadlines or make-up exercises should be made prior to the due date. However, late work will
generally be penalized unless there is a documented illness or emergency. Late work will be
penalized by one half grade for every 12 hours after the deadline.
Religious Observances
Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that
occur during the term. If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation
in the course, please meet with me before the end of the second week of the term to discuss
appropriate accommodations.
Note for Students with Disabilities Students with learning or other disabilities as well as
chronic health conditions that may disrupt your studies are encouraged to meet with the professor
during the first two weeks of the term to discuss any academic assistance or accommodations
you may require. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Disabilities
coordinator or other College officials may be consulted.
Blitz-mail policy
Course assignments, examinations, and research papers may not be
submitted by blitz, mail or fax (unless otherwise instructed and approved). Please note that I
typically read and answer my blitz mail once a day during the week (i.e. Monday-Friday). As a
rule, I am not accessible via email during the weekends.
Cell phones, PDAs, iPods, & MP3s The use of these and other electronic communication
devices and/or software (i.e. text messaging) are prohibited during class sessions.
Laptop policy I discourage the use of laptops in the classrooms since they can be distracting to
both the professor and other students. However, if you choose to take notes on a laptop, I expect
you to turn off your wireless function. If you violate this rule, you will not be allowed further
use of your laptop in class.



Part One: Aims and scope of cultural anthropology


Jan. 5

What is anthropology?

The Rac [will hand out first day of class]
Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 1 (pp.1-12)

Defining culture and understanding differences

Jan. 7

Culture and culture change

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 2 (pp. 14-26)
Engle Merry, Human Rights and the Demonization of Culture (pp. 42-44)
Mulcock, Ethnography in Awkward Spaces (pp. 45-49)
Jan. 9

The cultural patterning of reality

Hall, Space Speaks (pp. 117-125) [available on blackboard]
Ojeda, Growing Up American (pp. 74-76)
Jan. 12

Cultures influence on tastes, desires, and opportunities

Film: People Like Us


Williams, Owning Places and Buying Time (pp. 181-190)

Check out the website for more information on the ways that class shapes our
lived experiences.

The anthropological approach to the study of culture

Jan. 14

Anthropological Explanation/Theory in Anthropology

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 4 (pp. 48-61)
Nader, Anthropology! Distinguished Lecture2000 (pp. 4-16)
Jan. 16

Doing anthropology: fieldwork and other methods

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 4, (pp. 61-68)
Benedict, Fact versus Fiction: An Ethnographic Paradox in the Seychelles (pp.1720)

Garland, Doing Fieldwork (pp. 197-200)

Klausner, Going Native (pp. 21-23)
Jan. 19

January 19 Martin Luther King Jr. day, no classes

Jan. 21

The Limits of Relativism and Ethical Considerations

De Waal, In the Disaster Zone (pp. 263-266)
Fleuhr-Lobban, Cultural Relativism and Universal Rights (pp. 33-35) [available
on blackboard]
Starret, Culture Never Dies: Anthropology at Abu Ghraib, (pp. 24-26)
Jan. 22

Ethical Considerations (X-Hour Meeting)

Film: Anthropology on Trial

Jan. 23


Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 3 (pp.28-46)
Mufwene, Forms of Address: How Their Social Functions May Vary (pp. 56-58)
Jan. 26


Hill, Language, Race, and White Public Space (pp. 59-68)
Stavenhagen, Language and Social Identity (pp. 58-60) [on Blackboard]

Urla, Euskara: The Terror of a European Minority Language (pp. 69-71)

Jan. 28


Part Two: Cultural Identifications

Jan. 30

The Cultural Construction of Race

AAA Official Statement on Race
Haney Lpez, The Social Construction of Race (pp. 191-200)
McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack(pp. 25-128)
Feb. 2

Race: The Power of an Illusion

Race Website Exercise Due

Feb. 4


De Waal, The Genocidal State (pp. 191-196)
Jenkins, Imagined but not Imaginary, (pp. 114-128) [available on blackboard]
Kottak, Chapter 4, pp. 72-84. [available on blackboard]
Feb. 6

Gender, Sex and Sexuality

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 9 (pp. 147-171)
Lancaster, The Place of Anthropology in a Public Culture Reshaped by
Bioreductivism (pp. 127-129)
Williams, Why Women Feed their Husband Tamales (pp. 150-157)
Feb. 9

Gender, Sex and Sexuality

Bennett, Hanky Panky and Spanky Wanky (pp. 130-133)
Stephen, Sexualities and Genders in Zapotec Oaxaca (pp. 41-59) [available on
Film: Blossoms of Fire

Part Three: Diversity in Social Organization

Feb. 11

Life Passages and the Ritual Process

Morgan, When Does Life Begin? (pp. 30-41)
Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage (pp. 189-194) [available on blackboard]

Feb. 12

Its all Relatives: Kinship and Descent (X-Hour Meeting)

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 8 (pp. 127-146)
Feb. 16

What is Marriage For?


Peter Wood versus Ellen Lewin, Gay and Lesbian Marriage (pp. 134-140)
Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 7 (pp. 110-126)
Egen, The Persistance of Polygamy (pp. 161-165)
Nanda, Arranging a Marriage in India (pp. 145-149)
Yuan and Mitchell, Land of the Walking Marriage (158-160)

Feb. 18
Feb. 20

Exam # 2
Political Stratification and Social Order

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 10 (pp. 173-194)
Colchester, Conservation Policy and Indigenous People (pp. 103-108)
Whitehead and Ferguson, Deceptive Stereotypes about Tribal Warfare
(pp. 218-220)
Feb. 23

Political Stratification and Social Order

Azoy, Waaseta (pp. 207-208)
Shearing and Stenning, Say Cheese!: The Disney Order That is not so Mickey
Mouse (pp. 203-206)
Van den Berghe, The Modern State: Nationa Builder or Nation Killer (pp. 209217)
Film: Ongkas Big Moka
Feb. 25

Economic Systems: Production and Exchange


Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 6 (pp. 96-108)

McNamara, Learning How to Bribe a Policeman (pp. 101-113)
Feb. 27

Adaptive Strategies

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 5 (pp. 71-93)
Bourgois, Crack in Spanish Harlem (pp. 114-120)
Stiles, Nomads on Notice (pp. 89-91)

r. 2

Part Four: The Changing Scope of Culture

Globalization From Above and Below

Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 14 (pp. 250-260)
Gutmann, For Whom the Taco Bells Toll (pp. 170-180)
Sennett, Cities without Care or Connection (pp. 121-124)
Mar. 4

Mar. 6

The Politics of Development and Post-Development

Apfel-Marglin, Counter-Development in the Andes (pp. 258-262)
Bailey and Peoples, Chapter 13 (pp. 234-248)
De Waal, In the Disaster Zone (pp. 263-267)
Ferguson, The Anti-Politics Machine (pp. 251-257)
Rubenstein, Shuar Migrants and Shrunken Heads Face to Face in a New York
Museum (pp. 269-274)
Indigenous Activism and Resistance

Turner, The Kayapo Resistance [available on blackboard]
Film: Blowpipes and Bulldozers
Mar. 9
Mar. 10

Studying the Movement of People, Goods, and Ideas

Last Day of Class

Final Examination: TBA