Thinking Like an Anthropologist

July 8 – 19, 2024
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Philosophy and Society
Nooshin Sadegh-Samimi

Anthropology is the study of people, past and present. It “makes the strange familiar” by seeking to understand different cultures and “makes the familiar strange” by encouraging us to think more critically about our own. In this introductory course, we will explore cultural, genetic, and linguistic variation across time and space and reflect on what makes us human. We will survey anthropological concepts, methods, and case studies, and learn about the discipline’s important applications for policy, understanding history, and even solving crime. What can we infer about social and cultural values from a candy wrapper or the symbols on a tombstone? Students will gain an understanding of research methods including participant observation, interviews, discourse analysis, and analysis of material culture, and have an opportunity to conduct their own ethnographic research. To “think like an anthropologist” means seeking to understand other points of view while learning something about ourselves.