AP/ANTH 1140 6.00
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN? INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOCULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
What is culture and how does it vary over time? What shapes people’s ideas and experiences of belonging and identity? How are people propelled to imagine who they are how they belong? In this full-year course, students are introduced to key concepts, theories and debates in anthropology. We will address topics covering the social construction of ‘race’, the relationship between sex and gender, and various kinds of social organization, such as family relations, political and economic partnerships, nation-building strategies, and citizenship. We will also attend to the role of language, belief systems, and affect in shaping human experiences, motivations, and actions. Through ethnographic readings, films, experiential learning, guest speakers, and virtual field trips, we will familiarize ourselves with the conceptual and practical tools of anthropology for analyzing, understanding and reflecting on power and systems of inequality. In the Fall term, we will focus on anthropology’s big ideas and in the Winter term, we will learn how to apply and develop these ideas to the multicultural and multiracial context of the Greater Toronto Area. The aim of this course is to move beyond rote memorization and to sharpen our capacity to question taken-for-granted assumptions and common-sense beliefs and to help us realize the potential of anthropology to engage with the world around us.