Skyline College

Lori Slicton
Anthropology 110: Cultural Anthropology


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Course Information


Course Description

Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL 836.
Transfer: UC/CSU (D3). CAN ANTH 4
3 units

This course helps to satisfy the social sciences requirement for the AA degree, or for preparing students for transfer to a four-year institution. This course will to provide students with some understanding of different cultural practices regarding rituals, politics, subsistence, and technology, among others. Students will be exposed to the anthropological point of view—the concepts of cultural relativism and the cultural “real and ideal”, an appreciation of our human origins, cultural evolution, and societal variability.

This course also fulfills a requirement for the International Studies Major at Skyline College. For information, contact: Social Science Division

V: 650-738-4121
F: 650-738-4404

Syllabus download Microsoft Word version here

Students are responsible for all information contained in the course syllabus and calendar

Course Description:  Recommended eligibility for ENGL 100, 105 or equivalent.  A comparative analysis of human cultures with an emphasis on core concepts such as kinship, religion, politics, technology, and an appreciation of our societal variability.   NOTE:  This section is designed primarily for students in the Honors Transfer Program, but is open to all students.  All students enrolling in this section will be required to do Honors level work.  Transfer:  UC/CSU (D3) ANTH 4.
            This course also fulfills a requirement for the International Studies Major.
Required Texts:

  1. Cultural Anthropology, 10th ed., William Haviland, Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 2002.
  2. Conformity and Conflict:  Readings in Cultural Anthropology, 11th ed., Spradley and McCurdy, editors, Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
  3. Nest in the Wind:  Adventures in Anthroplogy on a Tropical Island, 2nd ed., Martha Ward, Waveland Press, 2005

There may be additional readings as assigned by the instructor.
Grading Standard:
            Tests:  There will be three exams each worth one hundred points.  The format of the tests may vary.
            Annotated Bibliography:  Students will choose (and have approved by the instructor) an area of field research and develop an annotated bibliography specific to their topic.  The details of this will be discussed in class.  This out of class assignment is worth 100 points.
            Field Research Proposal:  Students will develop a field research proposal on their approved topic.  The details of this assignment will be discussed in class.  This out of class assignment is worth 50 points.

Reflections: Five one-full page reflections of your thoughts pertaining to the subject of cultural anthropology. These papers are un-graded but are worth ten points each. The instructor may assign refection topics. Due dates are posted in your syllabus.

Introductory Notes


Anthropology is a new subject to many college students. Much of the material covered in the various anthropology courses at Skyline College is useful both in and out of class—concepts of race, ethnic diversity, conflict resolution, and gender roles are some of the themes covered that students find helpful in their personal and professional lives. While there are topics that overlap into other fields such as history, biology, geography, psychology, religion, et cetera, anthropology addresses these in a unique way.


In this class you're expected to:

  • Attend class regularly
    Be alert
  • Be prepared for class
    • Read and re-read assigned material before class (refer to course syllabus/course calendar)
    • Bring necessary supplies to class including your text(s), paper, pens/pencils, stylus, chisel
    • Take notes—each student should leave each class session with a minimum of a full page of notes whether they are from the lecture, discussion or film
  • Participate in Class:
    • Student participation is essential to a rich and dynamic learning environment but can only take place when students come to class prepared.
    • Ask questions and make comments germane to the topic at hand
  • Outside study:
    • Students should spend a few hours each week outside of class reading and re-reading their assignments and notes
    • Some students find it helpful to study and discuss the course material with other students from the class
  • Each student should consider and assess their own learning process and ask for help when needed.

The Learning Center (Skyline Campus, Building 5) provides a broad range of tutorial services free to students. I strongly encourage students to use this excellent resource as soon as they anticipate the need.


Text: Cultural Anthropology, 10th edition by Haviland

Reader: Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, 11th edition, by Spradley and McCurdy

Refer to the on-line Skyline Bookstore listings.



Check out my Useful Links page Student Resources


Grading Information

Your semester grade will be based on:

Grading Scale: Five hundred points are available in each class.
Grade Total Semester Points %

  • A = 450-500 90-100
  • B =400-449 80-89
  • C =350-399 70-79
  • D =300-349 60-69
  • F =299 and fewer 0-59

Class Attendance and Grading:

Attendance will be taken ONCE at the BEGINNING of each class session.  Students who arrive to class after their name has been called will be marked absent.  Repeated lateness is the equivalent of poor attendance.  Likewise, students who routinely leave the class early will be considered absent.  Students with poor attendance may be dropped from the course.  CELL PHONES and PAGERS should NOT BE SEEN in CLASS and their use will not be tolerated unless it is a valid emergency. Out of courtesy to your classmates and instructor and to promote the best learning environment possible, cell phones and pagers must be kept inaudible. Thank you.                        
Lectures, class discussions and videos are as much a part of the course content as is the assigned reading and will be including in exam questions.  Regular, punctual attendance is of vital importance since there is no way of making up the audiovisual materials or class discussions.  Contact me if you miss a class due to illness, etc.

Making Up Missed Exams:

Students are expected to take exams on scheduled dates.  Make-up exams are only given in the case of a valid and documented emergency and must be made up the following week of their return during my office hour.  Do not schedule vacations, routine appointments or errands on exam dates.  It is each student’s responsibility to arrange a make-up with the instructor.  Students who wait longer than one week after their return to classes will not be permitted to take the test and will receive a zero on that assignment.  Extra credit is not accepted from students who have missed an exam or any assignment.

Cheating and Plagiarism:

Plagiarism and or cheating are taken very seriously at Skyline College and will not be tolerated.  All students should read the Student Handbook so that each of you is aware of your rights and responsibilities while attending Skyline College..