Curriculum Guideline

Introduction to Social & Cultural Anthropology

Effective Date:
Course Code
ANTH 1100
Introduction to Social & Cultural Anthropology
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, videos/films, small group discussions, research papers, and research projects.

Course Description
An introduction to the science and humanities study of the human species in relation to that which makes it what it is, human culture. By examining the various interacting sub-systems of culture, the student will come to a broader understanding of what makes us what we are, and how we make sense out of our human experience. Topics include family and kinship, economic endeavours, social and political organization, religion, sexuality, and symbolic communication. The methodological approach is cross-cultural and comparative, theoretical framework is social construction of reality.
Course Content

  1. The Anthropological Perspective
  2. Culture as Specific to the Human Species
  3. Adaptation and Continuity Over Time
  4. Foraging, the Original Lifestyle
  5. Humans and Plants:  Basic Plant Production and Subsistence Agriculture
  6. Humans and Animals:  Pastoralism and Social Organization
  7. Kinship, Marriage and the Household
  8. Women, Men and Work:  The Division of Labor and Stratification
  9. Production, Exchange and Access to Resources
  10. Politics, Social Control and Political Organization
  11. Myth, Magic and Religion:  Making Meaning in Human Life
  12. Anthropology and the Developing World

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the concept of human culture and its importance in understanding human life and the social system composed of the three main subsystems:  Technology, Social Organization and Ideology.
  2. Describe the major forms of technological human adaptation cross-culturally.
  3. Explain the concepts of major forms of Social Organization and their connection to the forms of adaptation.
  4. Define the concept of Ideology and discuss the ways in which human beings use ideologies to explain and justify their societies.
  5. Analyze the historical and social factors in the relations of the developed world to the developing world.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will include some of the following:  quizzes, term paper, class participation and attendance, oral presentation, multiple choice exams, film/video diaries, field projects.

The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester, in consultation with the class.  A typical evaluation scheme might be: 

Multiple choice quizzes (five or more at 10% - 25% each)  70%
Research paper  20%
Seminar attendance/participation  10%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically.  Typical examples are:

  • Bailey, G. & Peoples, J. (2002). Essential Cultural Anthropology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson       Learning. 
  • Angeloni, E. (Ed.). (2004). Annual Editions:  Anthropology ‘04/’05. Guildford, Conn: McGraw-Hill/Duskin.

Which Prerequisite