This course offers a general introduction to the subject of cultural anthropology. Anthropologists aim to understand the principles of diversity in human beliefs and behaviors and how such values affect the natural environment. In order to reach this goal, anthropologists engage in field research; intensive, on-site investigations into various societies around the world. Anthropologists use such data to explain observed patterns of behavior.
In this course, we will be reviewing classical anthropological methods of interpreting and understanding human behavior in a host of societies. This information may assist with the process of understanding your own culture as well as the diversity represented in Los Angeles.
Arenson & Thayer-Miller, Cultures of the United States (Required text)
Angeloni, Annual Editions: 2006-07
Accessing the Course:
After the mandatory meeting, this course will be offered in its entirety on-line. Thus, all class meetings, lectures, assignments/exams as well as office hours will take place over the internet. Students can visit the site at any time and all graded assignments must be posted by Sunday at 5pm (unless otherwise specified) in order to get credit. Due to the nature of the course, no late assignments will be accepted. To access the course, go to: larenson.pageout.net and click on the course entitled “Online Cultural Anthropology.” The first week you must officially register for the course by visiting the ‘student registration’ section of the program. Be sure that you utilize the initial of your first name, followed by last name (for example, larenson) for your user name. Otherwise, I am unable to figure out who is posting a message and where to grant proper credit. Also in the student registration section, be sure to offer your e-mail. I will be sending you reminders of due dates throughout the course of the semester.
Reminder: you will only have one week to register in the student registration section for the class. After that time, the section will be closed and there will be no way to access the class.
Next, begin surfing. You will see a discussion board for weekly postings, a gradebook (where all of your exams will take place and where course grades will be updated weekly), and course content. Class notes and practice tests will be in the course content section of the computer program.
The best way to learn to navigate the program is just by using the system!! Best of all, you can’t break it.
Each student will be monitored on the basis of their responsiveness to due dates for exams, homework assignments and critical thinking reaction papers as well as postings to discussion comments.
Discussion Topics and Homework Assignments:
There will be many opportunities for you to share your opinions on a variety of subjects, many of which are controversial. In doing so, always be courteous toward your classmates and respect their right to express their ideas. Please make an effort to participate regularly. Regular reactions to discussion topics will be expected from you, along with your reactions to the postings of your classmates. I will not be able to comment on all responses to discussion topics, but I will comment regularly. Monday of each week I will post a discussion topic in the discussion area of the web site. You should respond to 10 of my postings, and you should respond to your classmates 10 times over the course of the semester. Each week, you may be given credit for a maximum of one response to the professor and one to your classmates. In other words, posting 10 responses in a week is fine-but you will only receive credit for one response. Each posting is to be a minimum of onepage in length to receive credit.
Please remember that we will all read your postings. If you need to send something to me that you do not wish the class to read my email address is email@example.com.
There will be 3 equally weighted exams for this course. No make-up exams will be given. The final exam will not be cumulative. You may use your notes and your books, but you should know that if you are not well prepared for the exams you will not pass. Each exam will be worth 50 points and you will have only 75 minutes to complete each exam.
Critical Thinking Reaction Papers:
You are to write 1 Critical Thinking Reaction Paper over the course of the semester. This assignment is also in response to the discussion topics that I post in the discussion section of the web site. Make sure that you choose a topic that you are really interested in because you will be writing three to five full typed pages. The papers will be due one week from the day that I post the discussion topic and will not be accepted if they are not 3 full typed pages (font 12, times new roman, 1 inch margins) and they will also not be accepted if they are late. This assignment is worth 100 points of credit toward your grade.
A critical thinking reaction paper is your personal application of the textbook material to your life or to the course content. You must also make a cross-cultural comparison when writing each paper, in order to fulfill this assignment. Thus, you may wish to explain how your culture is similar to or different from another culture. You may also use a culture described in either book to make the comparison. Please do not summarize the chapter or any other material in print; instead, demonstrate your understanding of the material and how you apply the concepts presented to everyday living in two distinct societies.
Reaction papers should be first written in a word processing format so you can be sure that they are spell checked and checked for correct syntax. You should then take the entire body of your paper and paste into an email that you send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please no attachments.
Grades are based upon the following percentages:
A = 100-90%
B = 89-80%
F= 54% and below
Reaction Paper worth 100 points
Discussion Topics and Homework are worth 100 points (5 points each)
Exams are (worth 50 points each) 150 points.
The total points possible are 350 points.
Extra Credit assignments may be offered throughout the course of the semester. This is at the discretion of the Professor. Book summaries are the best way to get such credit.
Academic Dishonesty Policy:
College study is the process of becoming an independent scholar. All students are expected to do their own work. Students found to be using unauthorized materials on exams, copying off other student papers, copying other written materials without proper credit to the original author or any other form of cheating will have that assignment marked F for failure and may receive a failing grade for the course, depending upon the seriousness of the violation. Incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Vice President of Instruction and will become part of the student’s permanent academic record.
This document may require changes during the course of the semester, at the discretion of the professor. Students will be notified in advance of any changes.