Course Objectives:

Anthropology 3913 is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of ethnographic research. This course has one main focus: to introduce, to discuss, evaluate and apply the practical aspects of conducting research in the field. This course is taught in accordance with student-oriented learning requiring in-depth student involvement in individual projects (the details of which are outlined below).

Course Objectives:

-       To introduce you to the subject matter of sociocultural anthropology. As you will see practical use can be made of knowledge in all of the four sub-fields of sociocultural anthropology. Job opportunities within the four subfields will be referred to throughout the course. This course is designed to allow you to discover your own areas of interest within the broad sub-fields of the discipline.

-       To foster understanding of the ways of thought and lifestyles different from our own. By learning about other societies, we learn about ourselves. You will be exposed to a frame of reference that can lead to greater insight into your own way of life and a deeper appreciation of ways of life in other societies.

-        Our core text Guest, Kenneth J.  2014. Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age. 2nd ed. W. W. Norton and Company Ltd. together with lectures will show how anthropologists isolate and interpretthe patterns and structures humans reproduce in their daily lives as members of communities, societies and cultures. Readings in the on reserve in the Harriet Irving Library will illustrate the use of anthropological methods and concepts in the analysis of human life.

 -       Through lectures, case studies, reading materials and assignments you will learn to critically apply what you have learned.


This course focuses on the question: What role do media play in cultural production and maintenance? Our primary concern will be to analyze the ways people engage with communications media to confer cultural meanings on their surroundings, to forge social relations, and to negotiate power. We will deal with questions of coding and decoding, the manipulation of audiences, audience reception, class relations maintained through media and examine the notion of cultural imperialism and consumption among others. We will also address some of the practical and theoretical issues anthropological media research poses looking to media production, circulation and reception in various parts of the world. This course reviews the burgeoning literature in media and new-media anthropology and draws on specific cases throughout the world and across media to highlight methodological and conceptual challenges. The general aim is to promote interest and independent inquiry into this relatively new field of anthropological study.