Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ANT 202

       Course Name: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces subfield of social and cultural anthropology, which studies living cultures. Content includes cultural behavior, language, kinship and social structure, political and economic anthropology, religion and world view, and topics related to applied anthropology and modern cultures.

IV.   Learning Objectives

General education objectives
The student will:

  1. gather and analyze anthropological data using appropriate research methods and / or secondary analysis, and use theory to interpret these data.
  2. critically read anthropological materials in order to compare and evaluate alternative explanations of cultural behavior.
  3. communicate anthropological research and theory effectively in written assignments.

Course Objectives
The student will:

  1. use the anthropological perspective to explain the concept of culture, its components, and significance.
  2. demonstrate familiarity with the specific cultures studied in the course.
  3. identify the basic processes involved in ethnographic fieldwork methods.
  4. understand a culture’s historical context.
  5. write about current cultural issues and evaluate solutions to problems affecting cultures today.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Theory and Method of Anthropology
  2. Concept of Culture
  3. Origins of Humans and Culture
  4. Language and Culture
  5. Psychological Anthropology: Culture and Personality
  6. Subsistence Patterns
  7. Economic Anthropology
  8. Kinship and Family
  9. Political Anthropology
  10. Religion
  11. Art and Expressive Culture
  12. Culture Change
  13. Applied Anthropology

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, recording of observations, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Peoples, James, (2018).  Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (11th Edition).  Wadsworth Publishing.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be given on the basis of a student's written work.

XI.   Other Course Information

Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.
Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.