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Coeur d'Alene · Social & Behavioral Sciences · Anthropology

Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Spring 2012
  • Section 2
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 01/09/2012 to 05/10/2012
  • Modified 01/10/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Marian Ackerman

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, FSQ 107
  • Tuesday, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, FSQ 107

I am also available by appointment.  Please send me an email to schedule an appointment.

Meeting Times


  • Monday, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, SBT 209


ANTH 102 is a study of human culture which involves the information and techniques people use to survive and get along with each other. Included are examples from exotic peoples around the world in the areas of religion, magic, kinship, coming of age ceremonies, marriage rituals, economic activities, hunting techniques, etc. The course is desirable for students seeking a broad understanding of how human beings live, and how human customs vary throughout the world. This class satisfies a social science course requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week


Textbook: Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge

Author: Haviland, Prins, McBride, and Walrath
Publisher: Wadsworth
Edition: 13th
ISBN: 13: 978-0-495-81082-7

# 2 Pencil and 4 (full-size) Scantron Answer Sheets



By the end of the course the student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cultural and historical context for understanding people and their behaviors.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of anthropological terminology, concepts, principles, perspectives, theories, and methodologies.
3. Critically assess the theories and methods of cultural anthropology.
4. Demonstrate a broad overview of different cultures around the world and how they can be compared cross-culturally.
5. Analyze and demonstrate an understanding of the significance of cultural diversity.
6. Understand the rationale behind the concept that "studying other cultures can help us to better understand ourselves," and that this understanding can help provide solutions to societal problems in our multi-cultural society.


You will demonstrate that you have achieved these skills through exams,  class participation, and discussions. 

Exams will test your comprehension of the readings, lectures, and videos, knowledge of the concepts, methods and theories related to social/cultural anthropology as described in your text and through lectures/discussions.  Knowledge pertaining to specific cultural traits and social systems will be tested.  (4 Exams worth 50 points each.)

Your Class Participation and Discussions will test your critical/creative thinking processes through your ability to reason, evaluate, and communicate on historical, cultural, environmental, and global levels your personal reflections regarding the course information.  (100 points.)

Course Policies


Attendance/Class Participation: 100 points.  Due to the nature of anthropology, its instruction requires more than formal presentation; it requires participation in discussions of concepts and a sharing of ideas.  Groups will present on various sites discussed in the text.  Lack of attendance will adversely affect your grade in this course!

Absences:  Research informs us that attendance is important to student academic success.  Your instructor expects your attendance.  Therefore:

If you have more than 1 week of absences (1 class), your grade will be impacted; you will lose 40 points for each additional absence.

If you miss 4 or more classes, you will fail this course and a grade of 'F' will be assigned.


Students arriving late for class or who leave before class is dismissed create an unnecessary disruption in the classroom and will be marked tardy.  Three tardy count as one absence.

 Extra-Credit: You will have the opportunity to turn in two extra-credit papers worth 20 points each.


Since we are all in the same boat together (as human beings), we all have something valuable to contribute.  Ask questions, offer critically based perspectives, share experiences, and have fun. 

I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO FORM STUDY GROUPS.  In my experience, it is THE BEST WAY (and the most fun way) to do well in college.

Occasionally, announcements will be made in class that alters this syllabus; if you are not here, you are still responsible for those announcements.

CLASS SCHEDULE                       SPRING 2012

1/9: Introduction to the class, course expectations, reading of syllabus, etc.

Chapter 1: The Essence of Anthropology.  Introduction to the four sub-fields of anthropology.  Applied Anthropology.

Chapter 2: Characteristics of Culture.

Central concepts and methodologies used in anthropology.

Holistic Perspective, Ethnocentrism, Cultural Relativism, Cultural Universals, Culture Defined.

Video clip: “The Goddess and the Computer.”

Teacher’s questions/class discussions.

1/16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.  Campus Closed.

 1/23: Chapter 3: Ethnographic Research: History, Methods, and Theories.

Terms, concepts, methods, ethical issues, problems and problem- solving related to fieldwork.  The Research Design.

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

1/30: Chapter 5: Language and Communication.

Symbolic Communication

Transmission of Culture

Articulated Speech

Non-verbal Communication

Situational Communication


Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (Linguistic Relativism)


Stages of Language Acquisition

Creole Languages

Koko and Friends


Morphemes and Phonemes

Language Universals

Teacher's question/class discussions

Video: “A conversation with Koko.”

2/6: Exam 1: Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5.

Chapter 6: Social Identity, Personality, and Gender.

Students will explain the chapter concepts, with personal examples, to the instructor.  Be prepared!

2/22: Instructor will be absent.  Class cancelled.

2/13: Chapter 7: Patterns of Subsistence.

Food Getting Strategies

Pressures on Peasant Societies

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

2/20: Presidents Day Holiday.  Campus Closed.

 2/27: Chapter 8: Economic Systems

Allocation of natural resources, production, and exchange

Division of labor, cooperation, specialization

Distribution of wealth

Theories: Substantivists’/Formalists’

Teacher’s Question: “If you could de-invent one machine, product, or idea, which would it be, and why? Could you and/or the world live without this “invention?”

Class discussion

Video: “Ongka’s Big Moka”

 3/5: Chapter 9: Sex and Marriage

Control of Sexual Relations

Forms of Marriage

Economic aspects of marriage

Postpartum and other sexual taboos


Video: "Strange Relations"

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

3/12: Exam 2: Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Chapter 10: Kinship and Descent.

Descent groups: forms and functions

Kinship systems and terminology

Charting Kinship Systems

3/19: Chapter 11: Grouping by Gender, Age, Common Interest, and Class.

Social stratification

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

3/26-3/30: Spring Break.

4/2: Chapter 12: Politics, Power, and Violence

Political Organization and Social Control Within: Small-scale (Band), Large-scale (Chiefdoms), and Complex (technological/state) societies.

Socialization, social control, religion and law

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

(4/5: Advising Day - make appt. with your advisor!  Classes that meet at 4:00PM or later are in session.)

 4/9: Chapter 13: Spirituality, Religion, and the Supernatural

Universal beliefs in the Supernatural

Various Belief Systems

Social functions of religion

Psychological functions of religion

Types of religious organizations

Cargo Cults

Revitalization Movements

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

4/16: EXAM 3: Chapters 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Chapter 14: The Arts

Defining Art

Psychological Functions

Social Integration

As Symbolic Statement

Differences in Art Forms Cross-Culturally

Teacher’s questions/class discussions

Video: “New Orleans’ Black Indians”

4/23: Chapter 15: Processes of Change

Mechanisms of change

Repressive Change and the reactions of such change


4/30: Chapter 16: Global Challenges, Local Responses, and the Role of Anthropology.


Video: “Advertising and the End of the World”

Teacher's questions/class discussions


5/7:  7:00PM-9:00PM  Final: EXAM 4: Chapters 14, 15, and 16.

Caveat: “The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.”

Additional Items

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.