ANTH206/Cultural Anthropology








Instructor: Mohammad al-Madani

Office: BE4116A.
Hours: 12:00-12:50 Daily or by appointment 

206 934 2039

11:00 to 11:50 am. Daily   Room BE4105
01:00 to 02:30 pm. MWF Room BE4118

Course Description:   
This course provides an evolutionary, global, and comparative perspective for understanding the origin, causes, and dynamics of culture change. Emphasis will be placed on the comparison of various non-Western and Western life-ways in relation to kinship, marriage and family systems, economic and political structures, religious and philosophical systems, and gender and sexuality. Students will be introduced to basic theories, methods, and vocabulary used in the field. Additionally, this course explores the causes and consequences of contemporary issues such as alienation, inequality and the concentration of wealth, racism, ageism, hetrosexism and sexism.  

Course Objectives: 
1. Introduce the discipline of anthropology in terms of its history, goals, theories, and methodology.
2. Introduce evolutionary, comparative, and interdisciplinary description and analysis of human biological and sociocultural evolution.
3. Provide knowledge of the economic, ecological, social, and political factors shaping human sociocultural systems
4. Develop skills of critical thinking, effective communication, and collaboration
5. Develop skills of Integrative Learning
6. Provide understanding of personal and social responsibility in a democratic society and the importance of life-long learning.
7. Provide the context for understanding and respecting the multi-faceted dimensions of diversity and transculturation as manifested in various cultural expressions.

Student Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate ability to critically utilize anthropological analysis as a means of linking distant events with their contemporary effects.
2. Demonstrate ability to connect individual experiences to institutional patterns in relation to race & ethnicity, gender & sexuality, class & caste, religion & worldviews.
3. Articulate a basic understanding of the economic, ecological, social, and political factors shaping human sociocultural systems
4. Demonstrate basic knowledge of human biological and sociocultural evolution.
5. Demonstrate ability to communicate effectively in oral, written and/or visual media.
6. Demonstrate ability to collaborate effectively in a context of diversity 
7. Demonstrate understanding of individual and social responsibility through identifying and envisioning alternatives to contemporary global social structures.
8. Demonstrate ability to integrate information from multiple venues of information such as readings, viewings, lectures, and guest speakers.

Grade Requirements:  Click here to view assignments' instructions and descriptions

 Integrative Papers (9 assignments)


11:00 am. Class: Starting Thursday 10/8/2015
Drafts Due on Thursdays
Papers Due
on Fridays

01:00 pm. Class: Staring Friday 10/9/2015
Drafts Due on Fridays
Papers Due
on Mondays

In-class Assignments (9 assignments)


Throughout the quarter

Acadamic Misconduct Paper


Due on 10/2/2015

Final Self-evaluation


Due on 12/11/2015


Harris, Marvin.
1989 Our Kind:The Evolution of Human Life and Culture. New York: Harper Perennial.

ISBN 13: 978-0-07-814000-6

Course Schedule:


Our Kind




Introduction. Assumptions. Academe


Pages 1-59

Human Biological Evolution


Pages 62-99

Language. Universal Grammar


Pages 102-168

Categorization: Race & Ethnicity.
Sociocultural Systems:
(Modes of Production and Reproduction)



Sociocultural Systems:
: The Domestic Economy (Gender. Marriage. Sexuality, Family and Kinship)


Pages 235-341 

Sociocultural Systems:
: The Domestic Economy (Gender. Marriage. Sexuality, Family and Kinship)


Pages 343-395   

Sociocultural Systems:
: The Political Economy (Economic & Political Organization)


Pages 343-395

Sociocultural Systems:
: The Political Economy (Economic & Political Organization)


Pages 398-465

Sociocultural Systems:
: Secular & Religious Ideologies (Religions & Worldvies)


Pages 468-498

Did History Repeat Itself?


Pages 500-502

Will Our Kind Survive?


Making a Difference: Hope and the Responsibility of the Individual in a Democratic Society

Course Policies:

Attendance/Participation: Attendance by every student member is imperative. Likewise, participation is important. These are not only requirements but also responsibilities, for an absence or failure to complete an assignment may result in delaying everyone's progress. You are expected to read all the assigned material before class meetings, participate in class discussions, and express your opinion and understanding. Group discussions are an integral component of this course.. Additionally, we will watch relevant films and listen to guest-speakers. You are encouraged to cooperate, rather than compete, with your classmates. Your attendance is very important. Late assignments will not be accepted unless 1) prior arrangements are made with instructor or 2) verifiable proof of emergency is presented.

SCC Students Code of Conduct : Please check SCC code of conduct and procedures at Policy and Procedures

Syllabus Changes:
Changes to the syllabus and schedule updates will be posted on the course website. Announcements will be made at the beginning of class. However, it is your responsibility to check the course website and with fellow students for announcements of updates.

If you need course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with your instructor, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with your instructor as soon as possible.   


Anthropology is only in the broadest way what the textbook and the instructor say it is. Intimately, it is what students make it mean to them. Kutsche, 1998.