Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
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Course code
HIA6321.HT
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Sissejuhatus kultuurantropoloogiasse
Course title in English
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ECTS credits
6.0
Assessment form
Examination
lecturer of 2021/2022 Autumn semester
Polina Tšerkassova (language of instruction:English)
lecturer of 2021/2022 Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
Anthropology has been historically associated with the comparative study of culture – of studying how notions and concepts that define a reality in one particular place contrasts and complements with similar notions in other contexts. Given the diversity of social realities in the world, anthropologists have promoted the methodology of “cultural relativism” - the notion that there are a variety of forms to live in the world and that these forms must be understood in their cultural context – as a means to understand differences and commonalities across cultures.
In this course, we'll be examining particular theoretical and ethnographic cases where we'll be able to appreciate various levels of anthropological thought and its implications. Some of the questions that we will be addressing throughout the semester will be:
What are the main ideas about social and cultural life that have been promoted by sociocultural anthropology?
What perspectives and contributions has sociocultural anthropology done to the study of social relations, with a special emphasis on a global perspective?
To what degree should cultural relativism influence our moral and political decisions?
Brief description of the course
Anthropology has been historically associated with the comparative study of culture – of studying how notions and concepts that define a reality in one particular place contrasts and complements with similar notions in other contexts. Given the diversity of social realities in the world, anthropologists have promoted the methodology of “cultural relativism” - the notion that there are a variety of forms to live in the world and that these forms must be understood in their cultural context – as a means to understand differences and commonalities across cultures.
In this course, we'll be examining particular theoretical and ethnographic cases where we'll be able to appreciate various levels of anthropological thought and its implications. Some of the questions that we will be addressing throughout the semester will be:
What are the main ideas about social and cultural life that have been promoted by sociocultural anthropology?
What perspectives and contributions has sociocultural anthropology done to the study of social relations, with a special emphasis on a global perspective?
To what degree should cultural relativism influence our moral and political decisions?
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- has been offered an introduction to sociocultural anthropology to those researchers that have not covered basic issues of anthropology and to offer an advanced over view of concepts to those that are already familiar with the possibilities of the discipline;
- is able to explore the impacts that anthropological concepts have had to the study of societies, particularly its connections to other human sciences;
- has been offered a study environment that stimulates disciplined intellectual analysis, organised research, discussion skills, writing skills in a spirit of critical thinking;
- is able to use anthropological methods and theoretical approaches to critically observe and analyse societal and cultural environment;
- is able to see the society as a whole and to understand the value of comprehending societal issues contextually;
- is able to work both independently and as part of a team and express oneself both orally and in written form.
Teacher
Polina Tšerkassova
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