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CCOG for ATH 207 Fall 2022

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Course Number:
ATH 207
Course Title:
Anthropological Theories, Methods, and Fieldwork
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines different schools of anthropological thought from a historical perspective. Covers the work of pioneering anthropologists and their contributions to the discipline. Analyzes and describes theories and methods of anthropological fieldwork used by contemporary anthropologists. Covers concepts of culture and the process of cultural marginalization. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Describe how systems or issues of power, race, gender, class, and sexuality impact anthropological fieldwork experience and theory from an anthropological perspective.
  2. Describe and demonstrate different anthropological methods, such as interviewing, surveying, or observation.
  3. Analyze and compare the ideology, social organization, power structures, technology, and economics of different cultures from an anthropological perspective.
  4. Discuss how culture shapes personal identity and social values.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Philosophy Statement This course complements the basic concepts, theories and methods covered in introductory cultural anthropology classes by focusing in more detail on the theories and methods of anthropological research, the history of fieldwork and the work of pioneering and contemporary anthropologists. The course also covers how systems or issues of power, race, gender, sexuality impact fieldworker experience and influence their ethnographic research. By taking this course, students will develop critical and analytical skills by examining how the concept of culture has changed over time. They will also gain experience in intellectual problem solving by studying how anthropologists work and solve problems in the field. Students will also expand their knowledge of anthropological concepts, theories and methods by examining the theories and fieldwork experiences of pioneering anthropologists. Another important aspect of the course is the study of the history of anthropology and how traditional knowledge and perspectives about cultural bias, cultural relativism and cultural diversity are integrated into new theoretical or ideological perspectives emerging in the discipline. Students will also critically reflect on their own values, identity and experience by examining systems of power or ethical issues related to race, gender or economic class. This class also encourages students to develop more cultural awareness and appreciation for the diversity of human thought and experience.

Aspirational Goals

  • Prepare students for upper division course work in anthropology
  • Increase cultural awareness and appreciation of other societies
  • Contribute to internationalization efforts across the curriculum

Course Activities and Design

  Course activities may include any of the following:

  • small group discussions or exercises
  • lectures
  • speed culturing or other events
  • online discussion forums
  • participant-observation exercises
  • collection of life histories
  • ethnographic film viewing and analysis

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies may include any of the following:

  • exams
  • quizzes
  • student presentations
  • short papers
  • term papers
  • research projects
  • guest speakers
  • class discussions

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • culture as a concept that changes over time
  • the history and development of different anthropological theories
  • highlight the lives and ethnographic research of pioneering anthropologists
  • examine the lives and ethnographic research of contemporary anthropologists and the continuing development of anthropological theory


  • ongoing controversies within anthropology
  • effect of enculturation on personality development
  • analysis of different anthropological methods
  • ethical issues in ethnography
  • cultural differences in political power and the impact of colonialism
  • influence of race, class, gender and sexuality on fieldwork experience and theory development


  • cultural evolution
  • cultural relativism
  • cultural ecology
  • culture and personality


  • read and write at the college level
  • participate in class discussion and group work
  • engage in brief field experiences