Offerings | Anthropology/Sociology
Division of Social Studies
Endre Nyerges (chair), Andrea Abrams, Gareth Barkin, Sarah Goodrum, Phyllis Passariello, Carey Ruiz, Beau Weston; students: Sara DeSanctis, Andrea Heckman, Exra Howard, Annie Maggard, Erin Murphy
The Anthropology and
Sociology Program explores the common intellectual foundations of these
disciplines as well as noting where their emphases diverge. Certain core
questions are at the base of this interdisciplinary program: What makes
us human? How are we different from other creatures? What is the range of
human diversity and why is it important? Can we make value distinctions
between societies, and how can we understand and assess our own? Anthropology
and sociology deal with philosophical concepts as well as with particular
cultural details to bridge the gap between life sciences and humanities.
The diversity of courses in this interdisciplinary program provides a unifying
framework for understanding the totality of the human condition and experience.
ANT 110, 120;
SOC 110, 120
Requirements for the Major
ANT 110 and SOC 110;
ANT 120 or SOC 120;
ANT 301/SOC 301 or ANT 302/SOC 302 or ANT/SOC 305 or ANT 380;
ANT 304 or SOC 303 or SOC 306;
ANT 500/SOC 500;
Four additional anthropology or sociology
courses (at least three numbered 300 or above). (GNS 210 may be applied toward this requirement.)
Requirements for the Anthropology Minor
ANT 110 and 120;
ANT 301 or 302 or 305 or 380;
Three additional anthropology courses numbered 300 or above.
Requirements for the Sociology Minor
SOC 110 and 120;
SOC 303 or 305 or 306;
Three additional sociology courses, at least two of which must be numbered
300 or above.
(MAT 130 or GNS 210 may substitute for one of the elective courses; the MAT 130 substitution is strongly recommended .)
ANT 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the perspectives and methods of cultural anthropology.
Topics covered include the nature of culture; the relation of culture
to language; the importance of the environment for human societies; and
a cross-cultural examination of family structure, social organization,
political and economic systems, religion, arts and folklore, and the impact
of social and cultural change.
ANT 120 Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
An introduction to major topics in physical anthropology and archaeology,
including studies of human biological and cultural evolution, conflicting
theories over the genetic and cultural bases of human behavior, history
and methodology of archaeology, and on-going debates and new directions
in these areas of anthropology.
ANT 301/SOC 301 Qualitative Field Methods
An introduction to the research process. Students are prepared to conduct
research, including fieldwork, to evaluate and present research in a scholarly
manner, and to critically evaluate the research of others. Basic techniques
such as participant-observation, interviewing, and the use of documents
are practiced in the field and evaluated. Prerequisite: ANT 11 or SOC
ANT 302/SOC 302 Classics of Ethnography
An examination of classic anthropological field studies, focusing on the
works and lives of key figures in the field. Course readings show how
ethnographic data are gathered and how these findings are analyzed and
interpreted. In this course, the interpretive search for meaning confronts
the scientific quest for truth. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110.
ANT 304 History of Anthropological Thought
A critical analysis of the history of anthropological theory and method,
tracing the development of this Western discipline through its various
understandings of humankind in general, and of non-Western cultures in
particular. Prerequisite: ANT 11 or SOC 11 or permission of the instructor.
ANT/SOC 305 Research Methods
An introduction to the process of social research, data collection,
and data analysis, with a focus on survey research methods. Prerequisite:
ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 310 Cultural Linguistics
A methods course designed for anthropology majors and others interested in the structure and organization of language. Students begin with the repertoire of human vocalizations and learn to transcribe spoken language via the International Phonetic Alphabet. The other systems of linguistic organization—lexemes, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics—are explored within diverse world languages, including English. Students have opportunities throughout the semester to do field work, such as interviewing, conducting surveys, and researching linguistic phenomena that interests them, such as Japanese dialects, American Sign Language, urban slang, etc. Prerequisite: junior standing
or permission of the instructor.
ANT 320 The Anthropology of Tourism
The course includes an examination of the cultural, structural, and psychological
aspects of the phenomenon of tourism, concentrating on its history, meaning,
and growth cross-culturally, and its relationships to other types of recreation,
pilgrimages, lifestyles, and world views. Other concerns are the social,
cultural, ecological, and economic impacts of tourism on host communities
and consideration in general of the relationships between tourism and
acculturation. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 321 Anthropology of Development
An introduction to the concept, practice, and discourse of ‘development.' Using the perspective of anthropology, the course critiques the ‘development' ideology of the Western powers and examines its role in institutionalizing the so-called Third World . Several cross-cultural situations are compared, exemplifying a continuum of the successes and failures of various development projects. Alternative, indigenous versions of development possibilities are highlighted as offering potential paths for sustainable development, cultural survival, and human dignity.
ANT 325 Anthropology of Media
This course is a seminar on the roles played by media in culture and society, focusing on ethnographic studies of mass media production and consumption. We will examine media interactions with real people and take an anthropological approach that sees mass media as grounded in broader social contexts. From that perspective, we will look at how mass media may have a homogenizing effect on world culture, or how it can alternately exacerbate differences among groups. Topics include indigenous media, cultural globalization, reception theory, Islamic media, and online communities. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 326 Islam and the Media
This course asks how Muslim cultures and Islamic practice are represented on evening news broadcasts, talk radio and in popular film, and also how the Islamic world has itself been transformed by the advent of new media technologies. In its first half, the course explores how news and entertainment media in the U.S. and Europe have represented the Islamic world as well as Muslims at home and abroad, including the changing awareness of Islam in Western nations that followed the September 11 th attacks, and the subsequent U.S. ‘war on terror. In its second half, the course explores the rise of mass media in the Islamic world, focusing on the powerful role that Arabic-language satellite TV channels have played in the ongoing Iraq war and in shaping perceptions of the West's confrontation with militant Islam. Attention is paid to the prominence of Islamic websites and Internet communication in subverting global media hierarchies. This course includes a three-day trip to Washington D.C. where students will tour the studios of U.S.-funded Al Hurra satellite television and speak with journalists from Arab-language news media.
ANT 327 Visual Anthropology
This course focuses on visual anthropology in its primary and original form: as a research practice. Specifically, we will investigate and practically explore the use of visual media as a tool for anthropological research and presentation. We will discuss visual anthropology both as a supplement to textually-focused ethnography, and as an end in itself, in the creation of a visual product that explicates cultural realities. The class will explore the three modes through which visual anthropologists have attempted to do this: still photography, motion film and video, and computer-based media. The class will combine the discussion of theoretical and ethical issues, film and video screenings, and practical assignments in visual ethnography, using a variety of available media. Prerequisite: ANT 110. Requires evening film screenings every other week.
ANT 340 Introduction to Folklore
A cross-cultural survey of the major forms of folklore and a consideration
of the methodological and theoretical approaches used by anthropologists
and folklorists in the study of folklore. Major genres of folklore are
identified, methods for collecting folklore are discussed and analyzed,
and folklore theory of the 19th and 20th centuries is identified and assessed.
The place of folklore in the study of anthropology is explored. Prerequisite:
ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 345 Southeast Asia
This course introduces students to the history and cultural diversity of Southeast Asia , from prehistoric to contemporary times. It examines the distinctive character of the region, its broad range of ethnic and linguistic groups, and how these have changed over time. Lectures and discussions focus on the broad themes of unity and diversity in examining key indigenous cultural groups, and their ongoing struggles with religious, economic, and political influences from China, India, the Arabian Peninsula, and the West. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 350 Ecological Anthropology
A study of interrelationships between populations, organization, environment,
technology, and symbols. Established materialist paradigms in anthropology
are critiqued and evaluated. New approaches to understanding issues of
environmental degradation, world hunger, and Third World development and
change are addressed, including historical ecology, political ecology,
the ecology of practice, and remote sensing analysis. Prerequisite: ANT
110 or ANT 120.
ANT 360 GIS and the Environment
An introduction to the basic concepts and applications of Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) as used in environmental studies. Students in the course
receive hands-on training in the use of ArcView, the industry-standard
GIS software, and the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.
Students also learn how to integrate data into GIS from sources such as
maps, aerial photographs, and Landsat satellite images.
ANT 380 Archaeology: Theory and Practice
This course integrates the concepts of both research and cultural resource
management, and prehistoric and historic archaeology. Utilizing classroom
and field experience, new technologies and traditional methods of archaeological
site excavation and interpretation are presented. Prerequisite: ANT 120.
ANT 381 Archaeology, Prehistory and Ancient Civilizations
An introduction to the methods and practice of archaeology as one of four subfields of anthropology, concentrating on world prehistory and the rise of ancient civilizations. The course includes a brief historical survey of archaeology as well as an overview of contemporary archaeological techniques. A focus on archaeological evidence for the major turning points in human history such as the domestication of animals and plants, the rise of agriculture and sedentary life, the relates rise of cities and, ultimately, ancient civilizations, underlies the organization of the course. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or 120 or permission of the instructor.
ANT 391 Native Peoples of North America
An introductory cultural survey of the native peoples of North America
from their arrival in the New World to the present. Focus is on several
selected native groups of the United States and Canada, exploring the
complexity and diversity of their cultures, and their relationships with
the "white" culture. Particular concerns are survival, change,
identity, perceptions of self and others, and the Native American cultures
of today. Prerequisite: ANT 110 and 120.
ANT 393 The Maya
An ethnohistoric, archaeological, and contemporary survey of Mayan culture.
Emphasis is on the prehistory and history of the Maya, the traditional
culture of the Maya including intensive examination of Mayan art and architecture,
and the vital Mayan culture present in Mesoamerica today. Prerequisite:
ANT 110 and 120.
ANT 500/SOC 500 Advanced Seminar
A seminar study of important works in anthropology and sociology. Topics change with the instructor; this course may be repeated. Prerequisite: Major or minor in anthropology/sociology and 15 hours of anthropology/sociology courses, or permission of the program.
Special Topic Courses Offered 2006-2007
ANT 451 Ancient Maya Culture
Students learn the principals and processes behind the development of universal high culture as seen among the ancient Maya. The course follows the cultural development of the Maya prior to their conquest by Europeans in the sixteenth century. Primary focus centers on understanding ancient Maya society as being shaped by a combination of internal cultural processes and interactions with other ethnic groups of ancient Mexico . The explanation of the ancient Maya is seen as the result of the events and processes that underlie the general growth of human culture throughout the world, particularly those that develop the kind of complexity referred to as civilization. Offered in Mexico.
ANT 452 Topics in Historical Archaeology
A study of historical archaeology, including coverage of the history of the discipline and its specialized techniques of combining historical texts with archaeological materials. The course highlights the study of African-American sites and Utopian community sites, examines the position of these studies within the discipline and explores the differing perspectives and contributions that an archaeological approach has brough to our knowledge of these groups. Prerequisite: sophomore standing; ANT 110 or ANT 120 or SOC 110.
SOC 103 Introduction to Family Life
An introduction to marriage and family life, focusing on the contemporary
SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
A survey of sociological concerns, including explorations of social solidarity and social conflict at the macro and micro levels, through classic texts and field research.
SOC 120 Social Structure
The backbone of society is made by stratified layers of power. The large structures of social relations, based on race, class, gender, religion, and other factors, shape the lives of individuals, families, communities and whole nations. This course studies how society is structured by these social forces and how leadership groups work within the social structure to direct society as a whole.
SOC 301 Field Methods
(See ANT 301.)
SOC 302 Classics of Ethnography
(See ANT 302.)
SOC 303 Macrosociological Theory
An examination of the major theoretical traditions and some classical
theoretical texts of sociology. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission
of the instructor.
SOC 305 Research Methods
(See ANT 305.)
SOC 306 Microsociological Theory
An examination of the major microsociological theories in sociology. These theoretical perspectives attempt to interpret and explain the social behaviors that arise in face-to-face settings. Prerequisite: SOC 11, ANT 110, or permission of the instructor.
SOC 310 Sociology of Family Life
A study of the structures and functions of family life as they have changed
over time and varied from culture to culture. Special attention is given
to the role of marriage and of gender relations in family life. Prerequisite:
SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.
SOC 320 Race and Ethnicity
A study of the concept of "race" and the impact of that concept
on the relations of ethnic groups. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or
permission of the instructor.
SOC 341 Calvinism and Modern Culture
Calvinism, the Reformed Christian tradition that includes Presbyterianism, has had a pivotal role in shaping modern culture. The “Protestant work ethic” laid the foundations for modern capitalism. The “revolution of the saints” of the Puritans promoted a new idea of democratic citizenship. Reformed scientists sought to read the divine order in the “book of nature.” The Presbyterian mission to educate the laity led to the creation of many schools and colleges. This course explores the several ways in which the Reformed tradition shaped modern society, including a case study of the history of Centre College . Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or REL 120 or permission of the instructor. (also listed as REL 325.)
SOC 344 Sociology of American Religion
A survey of the main religions and denominations found in the United States . The course examines the competition of denominations and religions in the “religious marketplace.” It further examine how a generalized Judeo-Christian or Biblical religious tradition, as well as the idea of the competition of all the “disestablished” religious institutions itself, becomes part of a broad American civil religion. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or REL 120 or permission of the instructor.
SOC 350 Criminology
This course provides an introduction to the field of criminology. The course includes material on sociological theories of crime, research methods used to study crime, and empirical research on the predictors of crime and criminal behavior. Additional course topics include criminal law, the distribution of crime, explanations for criminal behavior, and selected types of crime (e.g., robbery, assault, homicide, white-collar). Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.
SOC 351 Sociology of Law
An examination of the theoretical approaches to understanding law-in-society and a review of the empirical research on the relationship between law and society, including research on juries, criminal justice (e.g., police, courts, prisons), civil justice, and social change. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
SOC 360 Social Psychology
A study of individuals in their social and cultural settings. Emphasis
is placed on empirical research into the social factors involved in perceptual-cognitive
processes, attitude organization and change, intergroup relations, group
productivity, the socializing process, and the effects of culture on personality.
Students perform laboratory and field experiments designed to investigate
basic processes of social psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 110 or senior
standing and permission of the instructor. PSY 210 and 220 are recommended.
(Also listed as PSY 360.)
SOC 380 Death and Dying
sociological overview of death and dying. Topics include definitions of death, social epidemiology, the demographics of health and mortality, the social meaning of death and dying, and survivors' experiences with grief and bereavement. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.
SOC 393 Mexican Society And History
This course is planned to provide the students a compact but relevant knowledge of the more representative events of Mexican history and the current shape of Mexican society. The course proposes a chronological view in order to facilitate a working understanding of Mexico's past, as well as the ways these events continue to reshape this country. The course will examine current Mexican social institutions, including its political parties, economic institutions, class structure, ethnic mix, religion, and gender relations. Conducted in Mexico.
500 Advanced Seminar
(See ANT 500.)
Special Topic Courses Offered 2006-2007
SOC 250 Defining the South
Led by Humana Visiting Professor John Shelton Reed, this course examines persistent cultural differences between Southerners and other Americans. Reed, Kenan Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill and best-selling author of over a dozen books about the South, is noted both for his humor and his insights about southern institutions. His course will explore questions of regional identity and consciousness, regional stereotypes, representations of Southerners in the mass media, localism, attitudes toward violence, and religious behavior and belief. Finally, the course will look briefly at two areas of dramatic cultural convergence during the past half century: black-white relations and voting behavior.