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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Jan 17, 2018
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

ANTH 001. Foundations: Culture, Power and Meaning (Req)

This course offers students a foundation in the theories, methods, and history of the discipline of cultural anthropology. Anthropology is a comparative study of culture, practice, and human diversity. This course will introduce students to some of the discipline's key conceptual innovations, theoretical approaches, and past and present debates. Anthropologists study various societies to understand how meaning is constituted and circulated, how daily practices are structured by social norms and power systems, and how people resist, subvert, and transform inequalities and common modes of identification. Drawing on deep engagement with specific groups, communities, and processes, anthropology offers unique insights into pressing questions of our time, such as the effects of the global circulation of capital and people and how social structures, cultural-political ideologies, and everyday life interact. Topics to be covered include ritual and religion, kinship and family, gift and exchange, citizenship and nationalism, gender and sexuality, medicine and healing, media and circulation, and food and consumption. Students will gain familiarity with ethnography, anthropology's flagship genre. We will also explore the discipline's key field research methods and the ethical issues related to its goals to understand, interpret, and represent the lived experiences of people in diverse contexts.
Required course.
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Fall 2017. Schuetze.
Spring 2019. Nadkarni.
Catalog chapter: Sociology and Anthropology
Department website:

Check the Fall 2017 Schedule of Courses

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses