Eastern Michigan University
ANTH 135 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
E. L. Cerroni-Long, D.Lit., Ph.D. (Professor of Anthropology)
What is the place of humankind in the natural world? How can we explain the differences and similarities that are typically found across cultures? What do we mean by the word "culture"? What can anthropology teach us about our behavior and that of other peoples inhabiting our planet? Why is the anthropological, cross-cultural perspective so important in the modern world? This course addresses these and similar questions and, through the analysis of a rich repertoire of ethnographic examples, it aims at encouraging a better understanding of human variation and of the way culture molds perception, cognition, and action.
What makes this course unique is that it fosters "cultural reflexivity"--through which students can acquire new insights into the characteristics of American culture, and develop in the process the foundations of Intercultural Competence (IC).
Encouraging the development of IC skills is the major aim of the course, which incorporates the small-group dynamics of the Honors classroom toward the development of cultural empathy.
We shall engage in the decoding of culture-specific behavior at so many levels that, by the end of the course, students will fully understand why the illustration given above is captioned with the motto: "Know your niche!"