Sep 15, 2009


Due to many requests I am posting the two-part assignment you have to do to complete the course. The assignment will be discussed also during the last day of lectures. So here you go:

Assignment for ICSP301 Basics of Cultural Anthropology (4 credits) 2009

1.1. Essay: What, how and why is cultural anthropology?

Based mainly on the lectures and to some extent on related sources describe the research subject of cultural anthropology, the methods by which it is approached, and the meaning or reason of existence of cultural anthropology. In other words, use what you have learned during lectures plus at least one book, Internet site or similar, and write about what is studied in anthropology, how information is obtained and why the discipline is significant. Especially on discussing the why feel free to add personal reflection. Please mention the source(s) in the end. Length of the essay: ca. 4-6 pages.

1.2. Fieldwork: Observing a social situation

Observe a certain social situation and space. Write a summarizing and reflective report. The purpose is to rehearse observation and what it is like to describe and analyze a social setting. To do this, choose a social situation (it’s up to you!), describe the space, participants, events and other significant factors, including date/time, duration of observation (½ hr minim.), location etc. and observe how people in it behave (e.g. in appearance, interaction, movement etc.). Find out if there are any differences between different groups or categories of people (e.g. in terms of age, gender, social status etc.) in the situation. Finally, reflect on your observations. Feel free to modify the rehearsal to fit your interests or style. Length of the report: ca. 2-5 pages.

Send both assignments in a single .doc, .rtf or .pdf file to The deadline is 11:59 PM Wednesday 28th of October 2009.

Sep 8, 2009

Hello students!

In this blog you can find more information about cultural anthropology and upload the lecture slides (left column). Later on you can also find your assignments posted here. Feel free to write and/or comment if you have something to share.

Links to Anthropology Sites

American Anthropological Association
Anthropology SuperSite
Anthropology at Oxford University
Cultural anthropology tutorial at Palomar College
Engaging with the World (Thomas Hylland Eriksen's site)
Society for Cultural Anthropology
The European Association of Social Anthropology
Wikipedia: Cultural Anthropology

Anthropological literature

In case you want to dig deeper into anthropology, here's a list of books to choose from. If you can think of other interesting books on the subject feel free to comment here.

BOHANNAN: High Points in Anthropology
BOROFSKY (ED.): Assessing Cultural Anthropology
CRAPO: Cultural Anthropology: Understanding Ourselves and Others
ERIKSEN: Small Places, Large Issues
GEERTZ: Local Knowledge
GUPTA & FERGUSON (EDS.): Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science
HARRIS: Cultural Anthropology
HONIGMAN (ED.): Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology
HOWARD: Contemporary Cultural Anthropology
KEESING & STRATHERN: Cultural Anthropology
KEESING: Cultural Anthropology: a Contemporary Perspective
MURPHY: Cultural & Social Anthropology
STOCKING: The Ethnographer's Magic