The course has two main aims: to give new anthropology majors the information and skills needed to be a successful student in the Department of Anthropology, and to prepare them to use their anthropology degree productively after graduation. Students will learn from guest speakers about the different sub-disciplines of anthropology and how to use them professionally, and about the research and career advising opportunities offered by the University.
Why are men masculine, women feminine, and sometimes vice versa? In this course we use a bio-cultural perspective to understand differences in the behavior of women and men. We begin with the biology of development and the hormonal bases of sex differences in behavior. We then consider how these physiological factors interact with socialization pressures to produce differences between girls and boys. Next, we look at how evolution has shaped human patterns of mating and parenting. Mealey, a psychologist whose text we will read in this section, focuses on cross-cultural similarities. Yet the anthropological literature documents considerable variation in mating and parenting cross-culturally. We will conclude the course, therefore, by addressing this cross-cultural variation and trying to explain it.
Evolutionary psychology is a new inter-disciplinary field that studies how our preferences, emotions, and ways of thinking and behaving have been shaped by natural selection. In this course we will learn how human nature has evolved to cope with problems of survival, mating, parenting, cooperation, and competition.
This course is designed to introduce students to methods for collecting ethnographic data. We will devote the first half of the term to learning techniques of behavior observation and interviewing. Systematic behavior observation and interviewing techniques will be learned in the context of class projects..
During the remaining weeks of the term, students will work on fieldwork projects of their own choice. Class time during this period will be devoted to (a) discussion about the progress and problems that students are facing with their projects, and (b) lectures about other fieldwork methods, the specific topics to depend on student interests. There will be light reading assignments during the last part of the class, and maybe a few exercises, depending on topics chosen.