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ANTH 1230 (formerly SOCI 1120) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ANTH 1230 (formerly SOCI 1120) - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course introduces the study of human culture. It gives an overview of different aspects of social life and introduces problems that are most often addressed by anthropologists, such as beliefs and practices, political organization, forms of kinship, economy, subsistence and conflict.

Course Outcomes:

Having completed this course, students should be aware of the diversity of human culture and organization. Material in this course is organized around some specific problems that are meant to encourage students to think about their role in the contemporary global society and to introduce them to diverse points of view, different practices and beliefs of people around the world.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

All developmental courses in reading and writing/composition must be completed.

Course Topics:

1. Culture and Meaning

2. Ethics of Fieldwork

3. The Meaning of Progress and Development

4. Globalization, Neoliberalism, and the Nation-State

5. The Social and Cultural Construction of Reality

6. Patterns of Family Relations

7. The Cultural Construction of Identity

8. Communication

9. The Cultural Construction of Social Hierarchy

10. The Cultural Construction of Violent Conflict

11. Artistic Expressions

12. Thinking Anthropologically

Specific Course Requirements:

In this course the student must be able to use D2L, email and have access to MSWord for transmitting written assignments to the instructor. Timing for due dates is Central Time. Students in other time zones must allow for the difference in order to meet deadlines. Tests are timed for 75 minutes. Students should keep in mind that while some servers are slower than others there is no extra time allowed for taking the test.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:


Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

There are two tests in this course. The tests will be taken online and will be accessible at announced times. The times will be limited and only one access can be made. If the server or internet connection being used is slow the student must plan for that delay in completing the test. Students with disabilities should contact the Disability Services Office ahead of time for the necessary accommodations. Discussions, Exercises, Interview and Essay: Students must contribute and respond to the postings of other students on a weekly basis during the semester. Please, read the topic "How to Participate in the Discussions" for further details. Also, students must submit weekly exercises during the semester. Review the topic "How to Submit the Exercises" for further details. One interview with a foreigner and one three-part comparative essay will be required. You will find the full description of this assignment in the Module "Getting Started." Due dates are listed on the Calendar.

Grading Procedures:

Letter grades are based on accumulated points. In this course there are two tests graded for 100 points each (200 points). Each discussion participation is worth 15 points. There are twelve discussions. Total discussion points are 180. Each exercise is worth 5 points. There are twelve exercises. Total exercise points are 60. There is one interview to be conducted that will be graded for 75 points. There is one comparative cultures essay that will be graded for 160 points. The essay has three parts and each must be completed by the due dates. The total number of points for the semester letter grade will be 675 points.

Notice 1: At the beginning of the course students are required to take a Course Content Quiz. It can be taken as many times as necessary in order to get the maximum points. This is a pass/fail quiz and it must be passed for the student to continue the coursework.

Notice 2: Before each discussion students need to take a self-grading quiz. Submission of the quiz results allows students to participate in the discussion. These quizzes do not count into the final grade. They are only intended to help students to prepare for the discussion.

Grading Scale:

675 - 620 points...A

619 - 540 points...B

539 - 470 points...C

469 - 405 points...D

404 or fewer points ...F


Assignments and Projects:
Schedule and Assignments:     
You may also find these due dates on the Calendar.Due Dates of Course Work   
Module:Read / Watch / PostEssayTestInterview
Module 1 Getting StartedRead all topics in Module 1. Post your Welcome post. Complete Virtual Library orientation. Take Course Content Quiz   
Module 2 Culture and MeaningRead Chapter 1 Post Discussion 1 / Exercise 1   
Module 3 Ethics of FieldworkRead chapter on Fieldwork from Gary Ferraro's Cultural    
 Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Watch "Who Owns the Past?" Read the American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics. Start working on the Interview. Post Discussion 2 / Exercise 2   
Module 4 The Meaning of Progress and DevelopmentRead Chapter 2 Watch "Kalahari Bushmen: The End of A Myth." Post Discussion 3 / Exercise 3  Interview due
Module 5 Globalization, Neoliberalism, and the Nation-StateRead Chapter 3 Watch Keith Hart speak on nation-state and its role in the process of globalization. Post Discussion 4 / Exercise 4 Work on Essay 1   
Module 6 The Social and Cultural Construction of RealityRead Chapter 4 Watch the clip on hijab. Post Discussion 5 / Exercise 5Essay Part 1 due  
Module 7 CommunicationRead chapter on Communication from Gary Ferraro's Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Read the article "Silence in Western Apache Culture." Post Discussion 6 / Exercise 6   
Module 8Study for and take Test 1 Work on Essay 2 Test 1 
Module 9 Patterns of Family RelationsRead Chapter 5 Read the article Essay Part 2 due  
 "Computer Khatbas." Post Discussion 7 / Exercise 7   
Module 10 The Cultural Construction of IdentityRead Chapter 6 Read the article "A Proposal I Never Thought I'd Consider." Post Discussion 8 / Exercise 8 Work on Essay 3   
Module 11 The Cultural Construction of Social HierarchyRead Chapter 7 Read the article on the History of the concept of race. Post Discussion 9 / Exercise 9   
Module 12 The Cultural Construction of Violent ConflictRead Chapter 8 Watch "Control Room." Post Discussion 10 / Exercise 10Essay Part 3 due  
Module 13 Artistic ExpressionsRead chapter on Art from Gary Ferraro's Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Read the article "Some Properties of Art and Culture." Post Discussion 11/ Exercise 11   
Module 14 Thinking AnthropologicallyRead Discussion 12 / Exercise 12 Study for Test 2   
Module 15Study for and take Test 2   








Class Participation:

Students must sign in on a weekly basis to keep up-to-date with the content of the course. Additionally, students should post questions about the material on the public Discussion board or contact the instructor through private email. Since we are not in a traditional classroom setting where verbal exchanges help to clarify the material of the course, students must indicate where additional help is needed.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 26, 2018