Introduction to Cultural Anthropology


  2. A. Course Title: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    B. Course Number: AN 123 - 30195
    C. Semester: Fall 2017
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Murphy, Thomas
    G. Office: none
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: none
    J. Office Hours:
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: Virtual

    This course is a brief history of the growth of the sciences of anthropology and archaeology. It examines in a holistic approach, the aspects of culture including technology, ecology, economics, family structure, political structure, religion, linguistics, the arts, and education. This is a three credit hour course.


    This course serves as an introduction to Cultural Anthropology. The class is designed for the student who is merely gaining knowledge of cultures. It also provides the basis for further study of cultures or a social science requirement for a student's degree program.

    This course is a general education course with transferability to New Mexico schools, but it is always advisable to check with the receiving four-year school.



    Haviland, William A. Anthropology: The Human Challenge.15th ed. Cengage Learning, 2014.

    ISBN: 978-1-133-95742-3


    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Grading Scale: We will cover approximately fifteen chapters worth of material in this course … maybe a bit more or less depending on the schedule. Each chapter normally has a possible 45 points … 25 for the quiz; 10 for the discussion; and 10 for the short written assignment. This works out to around 675 points total for the semester.

    Again, this may change a bit one way or the other … but it will be very close!

    So … the following scale is approximately what you can expect …

    675 to 608 = A

    607 to 540 = B

    539 to 473 = C

    472 to 405 = D

    404 or below … well, let’s not think about that situation!

    *If my math is erroneous please let me know! I am an anthropologist not a mathematician!! Thanks!

    The following details what you need to complete for this course:


    *For each chapter of the text (modules are divided into several chapters) there will be a discussion session that you must complete for points. Each session will open at a certain time and close at a certain time ... any participation after the session closes will not count for points!!

    *For each discussion session I will post a question for you to think about and post a response/comment. Each posting must be at least 25 words long and must contain some original thought(s) = 5 points.

    *Then, after some or all of your classmates have posted a response/comment you must post a reply to at least one of their ideas ... again at least 25 words long = 5 points.

    *Therefore, each discussion session will be worth a maximum of 10 points towards your final grade. To receive the maximum of 10 points you must make your postings within the time limits, your postings must be within the designated number of words, and you must put some thought into your postings (this will be up to my discretion!).

    *You are free to share your ideas as long as they don't involve slurs based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, physical ability, religion etc. When replying to others' posts, please be respectful. You don't have to agree with your classmates. In fact I encourage a little controversy, but keep in mind that the person you are responding to is a human being sitting at some computer out there! Some of the things you read about may challenge your existing beliefs. It is perfectly fine to have your own beliefs but I ask that you consider alternative perspectives in the spirit of learning and engaging in the material. I expect you to follow the rules of netiquette (Links to an external site.) in this course.

    Quizzes: There will be a brief quiz at the end of each module. Each quiz will be worth 25 points each (one point per question).

    *Again, there will be specific opening and closing dates for completion of the quizzes ... late work will not be counted so please pay attention to the dates and times for each quiz!!

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's Social/Behavioral Sciences Department endorses the Core Competencies as established by the State of New Mexico. Within our respective fields, as appropriate, students should:

    * A. identify, describe, and explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of complex and diverse communities.
    (Critical Thinking)

    B. articulate how beliefs, assumptions, and values are influenced by factors such as politics, geography, economics, culture, biology, history, and social institutions.

    C. describe ongoing reciprocal interactions among self, society, and the environment.

    * D. apply the knowledge base of the social and behavioral sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate relevant issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments. (Critical Thinking)

    Those General Course Objectives marked with an asterisk satisfy the Institutional Outcome of Critical Thinking within the Department of Social/Behavioral Sciences. Data will be collected by the department to support this institutional outcome.

    Selected Specific Competencies will be used to demonstrate mastery of the above.


    After completing this course the student should be able to:

    --Define and apply the following terms: anthropology, physical and cultural anthropology, forensic anthropology, culture-bound, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, ethnology, ethnography, field work or participant observation, holistic perspective, cultural relativism, and ethno-history.

    --Define the major divisions of anthropology.

    --Identify the goals of Cultural Anthropology.

    --Define and apply the various terms used in Cultural Anthropology.

    --Analyze the power of language and the factors that determine personality.

    --Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between cultural and abnormal behavior.

    --Define the concepts of cultural personality, national character, and group personality.

    --Define the correlation between culture and mental illness.

    --Demonstrate knowledge of the universal basis for the incest taboo.

    --Explain the reasons why polygamy is a common form of marriage.

    --Demonstrate knowledge of the functions of marriage and family across cultures.

    --Identify the functions and significance of family, kinship, and descent.

    --Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of AIDs on

    --Demonstrate knowledge of various naming systems.

    --Describe the major theories in relation to religions.

    --Demonstrate knowledge of the ways humankind interacts with the supernatural.

    --Define the common aspects found in religions.

    --Define and apply the following terms, giving purposes of: art expressive culture, folklore, folkloristics, myth, rock art, legend, epic, tale, motif, ethnomusicology, and body adornment.

    --Define and apply the terms genocide and cultural pluralism.

    --Describe the classification of nations.

    --Synthesize available information to answer the question, "Will humankind survive?"


    Student Requirements
    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.

    Check first-time login page for instructions at

    Canvas Assistance

    You must have access, on a regular basis, to a computer that supports the Canvas minimum specifications and has an active connection to the Internet. See the minimum computer specification requirements at


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Semester Outline:

    Week 1: Chapter One

    Week 2 : Chapter Two

    Week 3: Chapter Three

    Week 4: Chapter Four

    Week 5: Chapter Five

    Week 6: Chapter Six

    Midterm Exam ………………

    Week 7: Chapter Seven

    Week 8: Chapter Eight

    Week 9: Chapter Nine

    Week 10: Chapter Ten

    Week 11: Chapter Eleven

    Week 12: Chapter Twelve

    Week 13: Chapter Thirteen

    Week 14: Chapter Fourteen

    Week 15: Chapter Fifteen

    Week 16: Chapter Sixteen

    Final Exam …………………..