El Camino College

Anthropology Department

Anthropology 2 - Dr. Blair Gibson

Anthropology 2
Dr. Blair Gibson

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Class Information:

Anthropology 2, Section 2073 Room: ArtB 305; TTH 9:30-10:55 

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Fall 2018                   Anthropology 2:  Cultural Anthropology                Dr. Blair Gibson     Office: BSSci 330 D                         Phone: 532-3670 x3580             email: dbgibson@elcamino.edu         

Office hrs: MWFri 1-2 PM; T, Th 8:15-9:15 AM 

Faculty web page: www.elcamino.edu/faculty/dbgibson/ 


3 units; 3 hours lecture; Recommended Preparation: eligibility for English 1A credit; Degree applicable Transfer CSU, UC  


Important Note: This is a hybrid course. All quizzes and objective exams will be taken online via Canvas.

Course description: This course represents a survey of the subject matter of various subfields of cultural anthropology, largely through case analyses drawn from specific regions. The aim of the course is to impart an impression of the subject matter and accomplishments of the discipline, as well as the concepts and methodologies employed by cultural anthropologists in doing their work.


Course Texts: Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective, 9th ed., Raymond Scupin

                        Friend by Day, Enemy by Night, Lincoln Keiser                       

My Samoan Chief, Fay G. Calkins  

***** Course resources: Syllabi, handouts, and Powerpoint lectures can be viewed on the class web page, accessed through my faculty index page. Copies of the textbook and the two case studies are on reserve in the library in the reserve reading area. The instructor has older editions for lending.********             

Course Objectives 1. Identify the fields of anthropology and major subfields of cultural anthropology and explain which aspect of the human condition each field addresses. 2. Identify and explain each of the major concepts that make up the anthropological perspective. 3. List and assess the different methodologies utilized by cultural anthropologists in the field. 4. Analyze the changes exhibited in the ethnographic description of non-Western social groups from the 19th century to the present. 5. Analyze each aspect of culture (learned, shared, symbolic, patterned, adaptive, ever-changing) and discuss the major theoretical schools associated with each perspective. 6. Assess the importance of language in human communication and outline and explain each of the approaches used to the study of human languages. 7. Compare and contrast the various subsistence strategies (modes of production) utilized by human societies as they interact with the environment. 8. Compare and contrast the systems of exchange typical of foragers, pastoralists, horticulturalists, and agriculturalists. 9. Assess the importance of surplus in the development of social stratification. 10. Describe and analyze the major kinship systems and types of marriages present in human societies, and reflected by cross-cultural studies. 11. Evaluate the importance of gender studies in anthropology and identify the socioeconomic factors that influence the status of women in societies around the world. 12. Describe and analyze the various levels of sociopolitical organization achieved by human societies. 13. Assess the criteria for social stratification and the potential for social mobility. 14. Compare and contrast the characteristics and functions of religious beliefs and practices by making reference to the level of political organization (band, tribe, chiefdom, state) achieved by a society. 15. Evaluate the factors that account for the emergence of Movements of Revitalization in modern as well as in traditional societies. 16. Assess the effects of European expansion and colonization, industrialism, and globalization on developing nations in general and on indigenous groups in particular.  

Student Learning Outcomes: SLO #1 Holism: On an objective exam students will demonstrate an understanding of the holistic approach in anthropology by identifying the appropriate definition. SLO #2 Subsistence Strategies: In an in-class objective assignment, students will demonstrate their understanding of subsistence strategies by identifying three of the four types recognized by anthropologists and by explaining five features that correspond to each. SLO #3 Political Organization: In an in-class objective assignment, students will demonstrate their understanding of political organization by identifying the four types recognized by anthropologists and by explaining three features that correspond to each.

Course requirements: 2 exams, 5 quizzes, final exam. Grading: quizzes 20%, exams 80%

Point breakdown : quizzes: 70 pts., exams 160 pts., final 80 pts. = 310 pts. 

Extra credit: Earning points through extra-credit assignments are permitted in this class up to a cap of 40 points. The privilege of earning extra credit points will be lost if students accrue tardies and absences exceeding two weeks of instruction. All extra credit work must be performed or submitted by Tuesday of the 14th week. See guidelines and below for limitations.    

The tests and quizzes: these are multiple choice and, with the exception of the quizzes, non-cumulative. The tests cover the information from the lectures, texts, and films that will be shown. Quizzes cover just the reserve and ethnography readings. 

Class Policies and Student Responsibilities Full participation is expected from the participants in this course. This responsibility entails attending class meetings and reading the assigned materials. There are consequences for not living up to these responsibilities: 

Attendance - I take attendance at the beginning of the period. I don't adjust attendance retroactively, so if a student misses roll, it is the student's responsibility to seek a correction on the day of the tardy. A tardy counts as ½ of a class period. A student who is absent on a given day is still responsible for what transpired in class on that day. The student is to come to the instructor's office during the office hour to obtain any handout or unclaimed work a student has missed due to an absence. Attendance will figure into my grading at the end of term if the grade is borderline, that is, within 3% of the boundary of a higher grade. The college considers absences exceeding a week’s worth of classes in a regular term (=3 hrs) to be excessive. Students who have not gone over this limit and are within 3% of an upper boundary will automatically receive the higher grade. Missing in excess of two-week’s worth of classes will result in the ending of the privilege to submit work for extra credit. Three consecutive absences will result in the student being dropped unless the instructor is notified.     

Make-ups: Make-ups are not allowed on quizzes. An exam may be made up only under extraordinary circumstances that are capable of independent verification through documentation.

Cheating: I don't fool around with those who cheat. Cheating includes copying off another's test or lifting material from a source, especially the internet. Academic dishonesty with regard to extra credit work will result not only in the loss of the privilege of performing extra credit work, but of all extra credit points.

Unrighteous behavior – The following behaviors are disruptive and contribute to poor student performance:  1) Leaving the classroom while lecture is in progress, and for added effect, cross directly in front of me to make sure I lose my train of thought. This guarantees an unexcused absence for that day.  2) Laptop computers – using a laptop in the classroom has not proven to be a study aid to students, but has proven to be a major source of distraction for everyone in the vicinity, especially me. Their use is not permitted with the exception of people with disabilities! 3)  Cell phones. Use of a cell phone for any purpose while a lecture or film is in progress is not allowed. A student will be asked to leave the class for the day if this policy is violated. Leaving for the bathroom with a cell phone in hand falls under both this directive, as well as 1) above.  

Drops - Generally speaking, I will automatically drop anyone with three consecutive absences up to the final drop deadline. Oversights do occur, so ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to withdraw from the class if the student wishes to do so. Please contact the instructor to discuss any situation that contributes to excessive absences to avoid being dropped.  

Incompletes - an incomplete will only be given to a student caught in the throes of a crisis not related to class performance. 

Gradebook warning: I use Gradebook to post your grades and as a means of communication.

ADA Statement: El Camino College is committed to providing educational accommodations for students with disabilities upon the timely request by the student to the instructor. A student with a disability, who would like to request an academic accommodation, is responsible for identifying herself/himself to the instructor and to the Special Resources Center. To make arrangements for academic accommodations contact the Special Resources Center. 

****A student who has a special situation or challenge that could impede their participation in the class should discuss it with me at the beginning of the semester, not at the end********** 

Week      Topics                                                              Readings     

(1)           Anthropology: the nature of the field.              Scupin: Chpt. 1

(2)           Culture: what is it?                                           Scupin: Chpts. 3, 6 & 7; Asian Values

                                                                                       From Catcalls to Kidnapping; Keiser: Chpt.8  

                                                                                       Reserve readings: Culture Shock

 (3)          Quiz #1  Tuesday September 11th on class policies (syllabus), Culture Shock, Asian Values, From Catcalls to Kidnapping, & Keiser Chpt. 8 (The politics of fieldwork).

               Research design, research methodologies,           

(4 & 5)    The anthropology of the mind                         Scupin: Chpts. 4 & 6   

(6 & 7)  Linguistic anthropology                                    Scupin: Chpt. 5     

Test #1   Tuesday October 2nd on Scupin chpts. 1 – 4, 6 and reserve readings (incl. Keiser). 

 (8)  Family-level foragers & horticulturalists                  Scupin: Chpts. 7 - 12       

(9 - 11)    The local group                                                Scupin: Chpts. 7 - 12;

                                                                                       Keiser: the entire book

(10)         Quiz #2 on Tuesday October 30th on Keiser Chpts. 1-4

(11)         Quiz #3 on Tuesday November 1st on Keiser Chpts. 5-7

               Test #2 on Thursday November 8th                                             

(12 - 14)  Chiefdoms                                          Scuping: Chpts. 7-12: Calkins: The entire book   

(13)         Quiz #4 on Tuesday November 20th on Calkins Chpts 1-9

(14)         Quiz #5 on Tuesday November 27th on Calkins Chpts. 10-19

(15)         Historic and modern Hawaii                            Scupin: Chpt. 13

                                                                                       Article: Ancient Steps

(16)         State level organization                                    Scupin: Chpts. 7 - 12

(16)         Final Friday December 14th          



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Extra Credit Guidelines     Dr. Gibson


     As I value a strong work ethic, students are encouraged to improve their scores through extra-credit work. I keep a running tally of extra credit points at the far column of my grade book. These are added to a student’s point total after I have calculated the semester grade scale. I don’t log extra credit submissions individually in my book or in Gradebook due to the varied forms that they may take, so students should retain items that have been handed back to them in case there is a dispute concerning what the student has done. The effect that extra credit points have on a student’s grade depends upon where they stand with respect to grade boundaries, and how much extra credit work has been done. There is an overall cap on extra credit for every class – consult your syllabus.


No presentations or any other submissions will be allowed during the final two weeks of class.


There are three ways to earn extra credit:


1) I believe that rather than being a purely solitary exercise - the knowledge that the student gains should be shared with the class. Extra credit can therefore take the form of a short (c. 5 min.) oral presentation on something the student has come across in the media that is relevant to the course material. This exercise benefits both the student (gaining confidence in public speaking), and the class. Yes, this also means that written reports are not acceptable. Any of the following may be turned to as a source: a recent newspaper or magazine article, a book, a film or TV program, a relevant museum exhibit, or a public lecture on a topic relevant to the class. Things culled from internet media outlets are ok, too, except as noted below




     It is not a term paper or research project. This means that reports on old books, chapters from textbooks, or on a topic that you have researched will not be allowed. Please don't go to the library or online and dig up something arcane or obscure from a scientific journal. It should be something that the class can easily relate to, and relevant to some aspect of the course material; e.g. in the case of physical anthropology, no dinosaurs, please. The article must be from a publication that appeared this year, preferably within the last few months. Promotional internet press releases, internet summaries of full length articles appearing in print elsewhere, informational texts from institutional web sites, and Wikipedia or other online encyclopedia entries are not ok. Anything from the web should be about four printed pages long minimum. Finally, extra credit means doing extra work, so reports drawn from your life experiences, however interesting, are not allowed.


     Please clear whatever it is you are considering with me prior to class, and give me an idea what you are going to say or do. Please, no DVD’s. The presentation should ideally be 5 minutes or under. Please retain a copy of the article you presented, initialed by myself, in case there is a question about your extra-credit points at the end of term


Points and limitations:  I will give 10 points per presentation. Students are limited to 1 presentation per class meeting, and no more than three presentations total will be allowed. Students may not duplicate the presentation of another student.


2) An officially sanctioned visit or excursion to a relevant museum exhibit, conference, symposium, ritual gathering, public lecture, collection of primates, or archaeological site. Trips made by the anthropology club often do fall into this category, and can earn the participant points.


   Unless the visit is to an institution listed at the back of this handout or to a lecture or conference announced in class, the visit must be sanctioned by myself before points will be allocated. Do not go to something and expect it to be retroactively sanctioned. Sanctioning depends upon its relevance to the class. The number of points awarded is variable, depending upon the distance the student traveled in order to participate, and the cost of the event to the student. Visits to most museums are worth 10 pts.


If you visit a large museum, make certain that you view an exhibit relevant to the class’ subject matter. If you go to a conference where multiple presentations are made, briefly describe each presentation that you witnessed to ensure full credit.


Submit a one-page, typed description of the museum exhibit with the ticket attached. Your report must convince me that you viewed exhibits at the institution, and yes, I do check their websites.


3) Attending a free department-sponsored lecture or anthropology club fundraiser. As the former are free and occur on campus. 5 pts. are awarded per lecture. In order to gain credit, the student must submit a 1 page typed summary of the lecture. This summary must reach me within a week of the event. A receipt with your name on it suffices for a fundraiser.   


A word of advice: Don't wait until the last minute to do extra credit. The reasons are: 1) the instructor may be absent on the last day when presentations are allowed. 2) Many other people do this, and they may have the same article to read, and only one person can present any one article. 3) articles don't always conveniently present themselves in moments of desperation, 4) you may not make it to the target institution in time for admittance, and 5) by the time you’ve gotten around to performing extra credit, you may have lost your privilege to do extra credit due to attendance issues.


5) Finally, extra credit is meant to be an assist to students who are otherwise making an effort to do well in the class, it is not meant to be a means of compensating for poor attendance. Therefore, students with an excess of two week’s worth of unexcused absences will be barred from acquiring additional extra credit points. Students will also be barred from earning extra credit if they disrupt class with tardies – arriving at class after role taking has ended. Each tardy will count as ½ unexcused absence.


Relevant Institutions (by discipline). You may only visit an institution for credit that corresponds to the class that you are enrolled in. The credit is earned for the visit to the facility, one does not earn separate allotments of credit for separate exhibits or artifacts within the facility.  


Physical Anthropology (Anthropology 1):

San Diego Museum of Man – Credit only for viewing the physical anthropology exhibits on the second floor (ticket is absolutely required to obtain credit).

Southern California Primate Research Forum (scprf.ucsc.edu)

            Gibbon Conservation Center (gibboncenter.org). Note: You cannot visit this institution for credit after the exam which concerns non-human primates.

            Natural History Museum – small exhibition on hominin evolution in the Age of Mammals Hall - 5 pts. Only. You must describe the hominin exhibit, not the exhibits of other mammals.


Cultural Anthropology (Anthropology 2):

Fowler Museum of Cultural History/ Fowler Museum at UCLA

            Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (www.bowers.org). Address: 2002 N. Main St.

 Santa Ana

            San Diego Museum of Man

            Autry National Center (non-cowboy exhibits only).

            Pacific Asia Museum

            Japanese American Museum & Chinese American Museum - both in downtown LA.

Skirball Museum (cultural exhibits only, no history or pop-culture exhibits)

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Native American exhibits only)


Archaeology (Anthropology 3) see also institutions listed below under Ancient Civilizations:

UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology   (www.ioa.ucla.edu).

            Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (archaeology exhibits 5 pts. only).

            Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (call ahead to enquire about archaeology-themed exhibits).

Getty Center in Malibu (not the one in the Sepulveda pass, unless there is an archaeology

exhibit). You will receive 12 pts. if you had to pay for parking – you must submit parking receipt.

Pacific Asia Museum, Los Robles Ave, Pasadena.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (archaeological exhibits only – e.g the pre-Columbian art in the Art of the Americas Hall, exhibits on ancient SE Asian art)

Chen Art Gallery (in the Sunrider Corporate headquarters on Carson, you must call ahead for an appointment to see it (310) 781-3808).


Ancient Civilizations of the World/ of the Americas (Anthropology 12 & 8)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), archaeological exhibits only (e.g. pre

-Columbian works in their Art of the Americas gallery. See their website for relevant lectures

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (archaeology exhibits only: 5 pts.)

            Bowers Museum of Cultural Art (call ahead to enquire about archaeology-themed exhibits,

or go on to their website).

            San Diego Museum of Man – Small permanent exhibit on the Maya, only for Anthro. 8

students (10 pts. only unless there is a relevant special exhibit).

            Getty Center in Malibu (Anthro. 12 only, except for temporary exhibits).

            Chen Art Gallery (Anthro. 12 only).

             Mesoamerican Network – Now based at CSULA, visit their website for details on the

 biannual conference.

Skirball Museum: mostly does exhibits on Jewish history, but has a small permanent archaeology exhibit. Thursday is their free day.

Mesoamerican Society – Also based at CSULA. Mesoamericansocietycsula.blogspot.com

            Archaeological Institute of America – sponsors talks primarily on Old World Archaeology

around the southland, but occasionally on the New World as well. Check their website for

information under the Los Angeles or Orange Co. Chapters.



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Course Material

Anthropology 2                             Study Guide for Test #1                                  Dr. Gibson


Study tips: I do tend to stress the material in the texts that I cover in class. There will be questions on the films that have been shown.


Reserve readings: Culture Shock; Keiser Chpt. 8. 

 Films: Margaret Mead, the Observer Observed; Do You Speak American? In Search of the First Language.

 Handouts: Asian Values Meets Western Realities, From Catcalls to Kidnapping, Streamlining a Sacred Text, Gaelic? What Gall!


Scupin Chpt. 1 terminology: holism/holistic, humanism/humanity, science, participant observation, ethnology, ethnography, ethnocentrism, cross-cultural perspective.

 In which ways does anthropology owe its character and organization to holism?

 Know the 4/5 traditional fields of anthropology. What are some of the major sub-fields of these fields? What is their character with regard to the distinctions between a physical science, a social science, and a humanity?

 What is a humanity? Are ethnopoetics and ethnomusicology humanistic or scientific subfields?


Scupin Chpt. 3 Terminology: culture, society, enculturation, social learning, symbols, scale, values, beliefs including pollution beliefs, numerology, cosmology, cosmography, norms, folkways, mores, ideal and real culture, ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, historical particularism, ethnicity, colonics.

 Symbols: what are the qualities of a symbol?

 Norms: be able to relate the norm concept to Tylor’s definition of culture. What is the contrast between mores and folkways?

 Cultural cognitive categories: how do they function with regard to norms?

 Values: filial piety, secularism (laïcité), equality (egalité), Frenchness (francité), diversity,  independence, personal autonomy, career advancement, privacy, self-reliance, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, diversity.

 What is the current definition of culture? How do scientific scholars and humanistic scholars differently perceive the culture concept?

 What is the distinction between ideal and real culture? How does this relate to the distinction between norms and values?

 What are the problems with cultural relativism?

How do differences in values result in significant differences in how France and the United States have reacted to Islam and muslim immigrants? Are freedom of expression and freedom of religion the same values in the US, England, and France? How do Korean and US “family values” differ?


Scupin Chpt. 7 and Keiser and Brink and Saunders articles (Politics of Fieldwork, Culture Shock, From Catcalls to Kidnapping)

 Terminology: research design, participant observation, culture, informant, actor, formal and informal (structured and unstructured) interviews, quantitative and qualitative data, cross-cultural research, culture shock

 Concepts: types of political systems related to the concept of scale: band, tribe, sodality, chiefdom.biome, emic, etic.

 Study: Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics Nancy Scheper Hughes

 Be familiar with the stages of culture shock. What factors contribute to culture shock? To what degree?

 What are the stages of an anthropological study? What work must be done to enable the creation of a research design? Why is drafting a research design a practical necessity? How much time does it typically take to get through the various stages?

 Read the section on postmodernism (pg. 124-126) and be aware of the approach of postmodernists to fieldwork.


Problems associated with fieldwork

 What unavoidable problems will the anthropologist encounter who tries to do fieldwork? How are they related to the sex, social status, national background, ethnic background of the anthropologist?

 What poses the greatest danger to anthropologists working in the field?

 Which problems did Keiser, Gifford, and Hall-Clifford encounter when pursuing their fieldwork? Which factors relevant to the background of the anthropologist work against them when they are doing fieldwork? Are all problems avoidable? What are the best strategies to adopt for coping with potential problems?


Ethics: What are the chief areas of ethical concern of anthropologists? How did Nancy Scheper-Hughes’ publication constitute a violation of anthropological ethics?


Scupin Chpts. 4 & 6 (to pg. 116). Terminology: sex, temperament, gender, sex roles, psychiatry, psychology, drives, instincts, enculturation, socialization, oral, anal, phallic, Oedipus complex, incest taboo, deviance, anomie, projective tests (TAT, Rohrshack, draw-a-person)

 Schools: Culture and Personality, Freudianism/Neo-Freudianism, Durkheim, Sociobiology/evolutionary psychology.

 Concepts: personality, culture types (Apollonian, Dionysian, paranoid, megalomaniac, stoic, group-oriented, shame, guilt), national character, libido, cultural relativism, cultural determinism, common consciousness, mechanical and organic solidarity, anomie, amaeru, giro, on, schizophrenia, double-bind.

 People: F. Boas, R. Benedict, M. Mead, D. Freeman, S. Freud, M. Spiro, N. Scheper-Hughes, E. Durkheim

 Topics: Incest avoidance, codes of sexual behavior, homosexual behavior, culture and mental illness

 Studies: Coming of Age in Samoa, Growing Up in New Guinea, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, Patterns of Culture, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword; Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics/Inis Beag, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making of an Anthropological Myth’ Not Even Wrong, Suicide,’Why more elderly Asian women kill themselves.’ ‘Making sense of a senseless act.’  

 Japanese Childhood enculturation (pp. 66-67).

 Examples discussed in class: Japan in WWII and today, 1970’s rural Ireland.

 What do psychocultural anthropologists study? Know the difference between enculturation (formal and informal) and socialization. Which thinkers thought that personality is shaped by culture? What motivated them to accept this position? What were the specific weaknesses of Mead’s Samoan study? What are the tendencies and weaknesses in the work of Mead and Benedict? How did members of the Culture and Personality school view norms and deviance? How did Freud think that a personality was formed? What did he identify as the chief factors in this process? Are there universal human psychological traits? Has the idea of national character stood the test of time? What was the pattern for suicide that Durkheim perceived in his data? How did he explain this pattern? What contrast did he draw with “primitive” societies. What is the pattern for suicide among US women? Does this pattern correspond to the expectations of Durkheim’s model? What is the pattern of suicide in modern China? How does Jia Zhang explain it?

  Scheper-Hughes: Which factors did Scheper-Hughes think contributed to the particular pattern of rural Irish schizophrenia? Which schools of thought within psychology informed her study? Which mistakes with regard to ethics did she make?



 Study Guide #2                             Anthropology 2                                                           Dr. Gibson


Textbook: Chpts. 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;  (earlier editions: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8)        

Helpful hint: if you don't do the readings you will fail the test. If you don't study the readings, you won't do well. The test will cover the readings in the proportion of time spent discussing them.


Chpt. 4.  Terminology: anomie, familism, EEC, “the double bind,”projective tests (TAT, Rohrshack, draw-a-person).


Article: For Whites Without a College Degree, a “Sea of Despair.”


Study: Nancy Scheper-Hughes: Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics.


Schools: Freudianism/Neo-Freudianism, Durkheim.


Scheper-Hughes: What kind of community did Nancy Scheper-Hughes investigate? How was it being affected? What was significant about the composition of its households? Which are the prominent characteristics of Irish Catholicism that sets it apart from the mainstream?  Which factors did Scheper-Hughes think contributed to the particular pattern of rural Irish schizophrenia? Which schools of thought within psychology informed her study? How? Which techniques did she apply to gain insights into the psychological inner states of her informants? What are the common features of these tests? What were some weaknesses in her study?


Chpt. 5 Terminology: language, dialect, intelligibility, grapholect, orthography, non-standard dialects, prestige dialect, slang (non-standard English), phone, phoneme, morpheme, dialect, language, conserved, semantics, grammar, syntax, deep structure, surface structure, generative grammar, Indo-European, language isolate, creolized languages and creolization, pidgin languages, language family, kernel/core vocabulary, diacritical marks, prescriptive attitude, aspirational speakers.


Articles: Perchance to Understand, Gaelic, What Gall!


Subfields: descriptive linguistics including phonology and morphology, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, structural linguistics


Topics: language survival, dialect change, language change.


Read the box: Saving Languages (pg. 98)


Languages: Salish, Thai, Irish


Dialects: Northeast, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, New York, Midland, International English, “Larchmont Lockjaw” aka “Locust Valley Lockjaw,” Ebonics, Gullah, West African pidgin


Concepts: phonetics, morphology, kernel vocabulary, language family, proto-languages, proto-Nostratic, ultra-conserved words, Sapir-Worf hypothesis, syntax, prepared brain


People: William Jones. Colin Renfrew, Joseph Greenberg, Luigi Cavali-Sforza, William Labov, B. Worf, E. Sapir, Berlin and Kay, Donald Trump.


What is the subject matter of linguistic anthropology? What are the means by which humans (and non-human primates) communicate? What are the characteristics of human vocal communication? What is the difference between a language and a dialect, or a dialect and slang? What is Ebonics?


How are historical relationships between languages discovered? By what processes do languages change through time? What in a language is least likely to change? How long does it take for the language of one generation to become unintelligible to a subsequent generation? What kinds of people influence language change? Can language divergences be timed? Does language shape our view of reality? How are things like time, gender, ethnicity and social class reflected in language? Which processes and attitudes have contributed to the demise of Irish?


Chpt. 6:118-19 - Julian Steward and Cultural Ecology.


Chpt 7:134-37 Sections on foragers/hunter gatherers and tribal societies.


Chpt. 8:144-55; Chpt. 9: 165-73Chpt.10: 189-206; Chpt. 11: 229-39; Chpt 12: 251-62


Terminology: egalitarian, band, family-level society, general reciprocity, ecology, productivity, carrying capacity, home range, "dialect/language tribe," camps, bands, seniority, horticulture, swidden, slash and burn, shaman, cross-cousin, parallel cousin, ego, affinal, agnatic, consanguinal.


Concepts: marginal environments, scheduling, mobility, situational leadership, home range, reciprocity, egalitarianism, original affluent society, achieved status, ad hoc ceremonialism, animism, fictive kinship, restricted marital exchange, generalized reciprocity, sexual division of labor, totem.


Film: Nomads of the Rainforest


Peoples: Ju/'hoansi, Shoshonean speakers (incl. Paiutes), Waorani


Scholars: Julian Steward, Marshall Sahlins  


Schools: Cultural or Human Ecology


Topics: ecology of Shoshonean foragers, ecology of horticulturalists, diet of foragers, demography of foragers and horticulturalists, technology of foragers and horticulturalists, economics of foragers, social organization of family-level societies, social organization and security, level of health, productivity and risk of the forager economy.


Relevant subsistence strategies: foraging, horticulture


Social structure: extended families, "owners"


Questions:  Why were Shoshonean and Waorani populations so sparse? What bearing does the ecology of foragers and horticulturalists have on their demographic structure? Which strategies are employed by these peoples in order to avoid risk in their environments? What are the social and material consequences of a mobile lifestyle? What factors are involved in social status? What are the chief values of foragers? How do foragers and horticulturalists regard property? What does a shaman do for a living? How does one become a shaman? What are the qualities of the belief system that underlies the practices of shamans? How do family-level societies regard the dead?


Other issues: conflict resolution, violence.


If foragers fight, what do they fight about? Why do foragers trade?


Cultural Anthropology                       Study Guide No. 3


Scupin: Chpts. 6-12 (only those parts concerned with “tribal” societies; older editions Chpt. 9).


Peoples: Waorani, Yąnomamö, Nuer, Pashtuns/Pukhtuns/Pathans etc.


Scholars: Jacob Black-Michaud, E. Evans-Pritchard, Napoleon Chagnon, Clayton and Carole Robarchek, Robert Kelly, R. Brian Ferguson


Schools: Structural Functionalism, Cultural Ecology, Marxism, Sociobiology


Movies: Warriors of the Rainforest, The Return of the Taliban, Honorable Murder (if time permits)


Terms: shabono, teri


Topics: impulse control


Concepts: soul, animism, shaman, spirit familiar, shamanic death, ‘heroic’ age, acephalous society, homicide, feud, warfare, lineage, complimentary opposition, achieved status, fitness, political economy, inheritance rules, cross cousin, parallel-cousin, bridewealth, brideservice, balanced reciprocity, conflict resolution, sorcery, headman.


Subsistence economies: horticulture (arborculture), agriculture.


Know how a segmentary society is organized.


Questions concerned with the Yąnomämö: What is the shaman’s principal role in society? What is the typical source of illness to those who embrace an animistic belief system? Why do the Yąnomämö trade? What person is a man’s most desired ally in Yąnomämö society? How does the headman get people to do what he wants? What strategies are employed by leaders to gain or enhance their social status? What is the status of women in these kinds of societies? How is feasting related to warfare? How do attitudes towards death change in an environment permeated by warfare?


Be knowledgeable of the process of alliance formation among the Yanomamö. What role does reciprocity play? Is violence within a Yanomamö teri spontaneous and uncontrolled? How is within-group violence regarded by them?


General textbook questions: How do concepts about property and resources of segmentary (aka local group or “tribal”) societies differ from those of family- level societies?


What is the contrast in women’s roles between family-level and segmentary societies? In what kinds of societies do they fare better or worse (e.g. matrilineal or patrilineal)? Which beliefs and attitudes within Islamic societies lead to honor killings? What are the manifestations of purdah?


What are the prevalent theories concerning the decline in female status with the rise in social complexity?


How do leaders emerge in segmentary societies? What is the basis of leadership? What is the extent of their influence?


Box: Human aggression: Biological or Cultural?


Be familiar with the competing theories of violence discussed in the readings and in class.



Relevant material in Chpt. 15: 336-39; 346-50; 356-61


Terminology: colonialism, peasant, Qur'an, the "Great Game," globalization, hamula, sheik, polygyny, patriarchy, parallel-cousin marriage, purdah, revitalization, imamate, jihad, Muhajideen, talib, pukhtunwali/pakhtunwali, mullah.


Concepts: the five pillars of Islam. What are the values embedded within these concepts?


Individuals: the prophet Muhammad (peace be on him)


Islamic sects: Sunn’i, Shi'a, Wahabi, Sufi.


Political movements: the Taliban


      Concentrate on Middle Eastern social structure and culture. Be knowledgeable about the effects of colonization and superpower conflicts on the cultures of the Middle East and Afghanistan.





In general: be very familiar with the terms in the glossary


Chpt. 1


Theories about warfare: American folk, sociobiological, functionalist, historical, cultural ecological, Marxist.


Theorists: E. Evans-Pritchard, N. Chagnon, Robert Howard, Jacob Black-Michaud, Michael Meeker, R. Brian Ferguson.


Concepts: fitness; acephalous societies


History of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thull and the Kohistanis: be broadly familiar with its outlines. What were the circumstances surrounding the origins of the Taliban and al-Qaeda? Why wouldn’t the Taliban give up al-Qaeda? Why did al-Qaeda mount attacks on the USA. Was support for the Taliban broad within Afghanistan? Where in Pakistan is support for the Taliban the strongest?


Terms: Indo-Iranian, Yusufzai, Pakhtun/Pukthun/Pathan, Kohistani, the "Great Game"


What is Thull? In the past, how did Kohistani’s make a living? How do the values of Pakhtunwali impel and structure the behavior of the principals during a feud? What are the characteristics of a hero within American culture? Be familiar with the major theories that scholars have posed to explain violence, specifically feuding. What is the difference between warfare and feuding?

Chpt. 2


States: roshagat, maxilaf, mar dushmani


Rituals: Ramazan


See glossary and Scupin chpt. 9 social concepts, like lineage, ghrairat, baghrairat, dushman, maxilaf, dala, malik


Know how feuds start and how they progress. How are they structured?


Chpt. 3


Terms: du’a, namaz, iman, Kalima, hajj


What are the four essential features of Islam in Thull. What are the pillars of Orthodox Islam? What is it's relationship to dushmani?...to Pakhtunwali? How does orthodox Islam regard feuding? How does Islam regard women? What is the Tablighi Jamma'at?


Chpt. 4


Term: lamo aman, badal, ghrairat,  aizzat


Concept: parallel cousin marriage


How did Dushmani come to Thull?

How are the two forms of honor distinguished? To which institutions are they important?


Chpt. 5


Term: lud


Know the facts of their economic system, and how it relates to the social system. What are the important facts of the subsistence economy? How does the structure of the house correspond to their social and value system? How is it affected by dushmani? How has dushmani changed the economy? How are lumber profits allocated?


Chpt. 6


Term: quom, gan dum,  lukut dum, babtani, montani, isotani


Segmentary opposition and Thull politics. How are history and Islamic principles used to explain the structure of the system?

Apart from the segmentary system, what other social relationships organize people into networks?


Chpt. 7


jihad (lesser and greater), dala, jirga, conflict resolution and maliks.





Reserve readings (not required but helpful): Chiefdoms, confederacies and statehood in early Ireland; Celtic Democracy


Helpful hint: if you don't read the book, you will fail the test. If you don't study the book and textbook readings, you won't do well. The test will cover the readings in the proportion of time spent discussing them

Movie: A Chief in Two Worlds


Terms: descent, chieftains, political economy, succession, patron, client, honor price, polity, chieftain, paramount chieftain, aristocracy, ramage/conical clan, fine, derbfine, túath, féis, composite chiefdom, chiefdom confederacy, tulach/cairn, , rí ruirech, tohunga (or kahuna), achieved and ascribed status, mana, nemed, gessa, tapu, first fruits, feeding (biad), ahupua'a, agricultural intensification.

Concepts: corporate group, usufruct, office, power, prestige, ancestor veneration,  subsistence economies, including agro-pastoralism and intensive horticulture, political economy including clientship, sumptuary rules, redistribution, staple finance, first fruits, primitive valuables, primogeniture, ascribed status, endogamy, exogamy, craft specialization, impersonal power, ritual of legitimization, conflict resolution, common property, personal property, private property, overlapping stewardship, demesne territory, prestige goods, spheres of exchange, ambipatrilineal (aka ambilineal) descent, democratic form of succession.

Acts: the Great Mehele.

Places: Polynesia (Tikopia, Hawaii, Samoa), Medieval Co. Clare (Ireland).

Persons: Timothy Earle

Topics: genealogies and social ranking, "gifts" to chief; property ownership, chiefly succession in Polynesia and Ireland, agricultural intensification in Hawaii, religion in Medieval Ireland and Hawaii, the rise and fall of the Hawaiian monarchy.

How do various types of goods function in the political economy of chiefdoms? How do chiefs appropriate food, goods and labor given the various ecological contexts in which they are found (Polynesia vs. Ireland)? What were the limits on chiefly power? What are the common attributes of prestige goods? What kind of craftsman made them?

Why do chiefdoms exist? How does a chieftain differ from a big man or headman? How are chiefdoms organized - what kinds of social classes existed?

The organization and religion of chiefdoms: What is the relationship between ancestor veneration and impersonal power? Which role did warfare play in the formation and organization of chiefdoms? Why did the Irish raid for cattle, and what roles did chieftains play in the warfare? How did chieftains get people to obey them?

What is the relationship between the descent system of a chiefdom and social rank? How do genealogies reflect and maintain the political structure of chiefdoms? What were the elements of the political economy in medieval Ireland? How did the religious concepts of Polynesia support social inequality?

How did Hawaiian commoners loose land and the nobility power? What is the status of native Hawaiians in Hawaii today?

My Samoan Chief

Samoan vocabulary: (see handout) musu, tafa'ifa, papā, amauga, fale, aiga

Anthropological terms: primogeniture, classificatory and descriptive kinship terminology.

Historical and archaeological background: Lapita culture, oral traditions

Be acquainted with the cultural and historical background of the book. What are the differences between Samoa and the other high Polynesian islands? What was the political system like before the arrival of Europeans? Why are there two Samoas? Who administered them? How did Western Samoa transition to statehood?

Behavior: How do Samoans cope with the demands of their culture or "handling Samoans" as Vai says?

Economics: What happened to the economic ventures initiated by Fay? Which Samoan values, concepts and practices undermined them? How do households support themselves? What are Samoan attitudes towards work? Do American/European notions of property and theft apply to Samoa? In which circumstances? How and by whom is land controlled and allocated? What was the ultimate cause of the disputes over land that the book describes?

Feasting: On what occasions does feasting occur? What are the rules of feasting? What is to be gained by feasting? Who organizes feasts? How do Samoans rate feasts?

Visiting: What are the various forms of visiting?

Religion: What is the status of the village parson? What role does the parson and his wife play in the village? What form of Christianity is practiced by Samoans? How is Christianity reconciled with Samoan culture?

Sexuality: Does the data related by Calkins square with Margaret Mead's depiction of easy- going permissive Samoans? In which contexts do sexual encounters occur? Are there any rules or boundaries? Did the institution of marriage and tolerance for transgressions change under the influence of Christianity? How?

The Family: What is a Samoan family? What is the relationship of parents to offspring, and children to adults? How and why do children circulate within the family and community? What choices did Fay make with regard to her children and children under her care?

Values: What do Samoans value? How do they regard American values?  

Social Structure: What is a Samoan clan? What were/are the various grades of chieftain of Samoa? What are the various circumstances which would lead one to becoming a chief? Can Samoan chieftains always compel people to do what they want? Are they more important than parsons? What is the distinction between prestige and power? What happened to the indigenous political system with colonization and then the creation of the Samoan state?

Primitive states and empires  Chpt. 11

Films: The Last Royals

Terms: intensive agriculture, commoner, peasant, aristocracy, court, tutsi, hutu, twa, abechwezi.

Institutions: kingship and its qualities, royal family, the royal court, taxation, succession, the caste system, slavery, the bureaucracy, the military, state religion including divine rulers.  

Concepts: ideology (superstructure), ethnic stratification, ceremonial center, termination ritual, rite of legitimization, ecclesiastical religions, ethnicity, command economy/tributary mode, tribute, feudalism, ritual homicide, dowry, bride-price, staple finance.

Topics: the power of the king, warfare, ritual homicide, and control. Stratification within and between castes, caste endogamy, and capital location.

Places: United Kingdom, Tonga, Nepal, England, Baganda.

Which attributes define a primitive or archaic state? How does a primitive state differ from a chiefdom? How does it resemble a chiefdom? How do states pursue warfare differently than chiefdoms? How does a king/queen maintain himself in power? Why are modern monarchies so fragile? Why did Idi Amin try to kill the king of Buganda and keep him from returning? Why wasn't Kate Middleton elevated to royalty? How common is it for royalty to marry commoners? Where monarchies are still strong, what kinds of social classes and economy do you find?

How do state religions function to reinforce or maintain states? What is the quality of the relationship of territorial administrators to the king? How are primitive states financed? How and why does the structure of a religion often reflect state structure? What is a caste? What is the feudal system of land ownership? By what means did kings maintain order in a kingdom? How did kings distinguish themselves from the base population and the rest of the aristocracy?

How was the Rwandan state organized before colonization? How did the Rwandan caste system and the experiences of the country under Belgian colonial administration set the stage for genocide? What was the basis of caste distinctions in Rwanda? How do Tutsis and Hutus regard each other? 

Chpt. 14 Gobalization in Latin America 

Film: Mayan Cofradia Fiesta

Terms: syncretism, closed peasant community, open peasant community, dyadic contract, fictive kinship, patron-client relationships, dependent and independent peasants, encomienda system, cofradia/cargo, monstrance, compadre, -madre, hacienda

Concepts: debt peonage, subsistence agriculture, folk saint

Case study: historic and modern Maya, the caste war in Yucatan, Dia de los Muertos.

What is a peasant? What role did the Catholic church play in exploiting Mayas? What limited the Spanish in their attempts to use Mayan labor? What are the characteristics of the modern Maya social system and religion?

Focus in particular on those sections in the textbook dealing with Latin America.



















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Online Resources: (list related websites as links)

Analytical Concepts in Cultural Anthropology 

Research Designs, Fieldwork and Ethics    

The Problem with Margaret 


Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics

Indo-European Migrations

Family-Level Societies     

Patterns of Descent

Afghanistan/Pakistan Historical Background


Medieval Irish Chiefdoms

Celtic Democracy

Ancestor Veneration and the Heroic Biography

Revitalization Movements      

18th - 19th Century Hawaii  

Ancient Steps   

The Kingdom of Ruanda 

Historic and Modern Maya  

Welcome to Anthropology 2   




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