CCOG for ATH 209 Spring 2024

Course Number:
ATH 209
Course Title:
Culture, Change, and the Individual
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Describes the processes of cultural growth, change and complexity in different societies. Covers the fields of economic anthropology and applied anthropology. Applies ethnographic theory and method to study cultural change cross-culturally and evaluate its effects on women and other marginalized groups. Examines the impact of systems of power and social justice issues related to culture change and applied anthropology. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course examines the field of applied anthropology and the effects of culture change from an anthropological perspective. The course reviews examples of recent culture change, changes in cultural values, and the effects of globalization. An assessment of the positive and negative impacts of cultural change and growth at collective and individual levels is considered for both traditional and contemporary  groups or societies. Students should read and write at the college level.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Describe basic concepts, theories and methods in economic or applied anthropology.
  2. Discuss systems of power and social justice issues related to social change from a cross-cultural and anthropological perspective.
  3. Explain how cultural identity and values are shaped by culture and change over time.
  4. Discuss the role acculturation, assimilation or colonialism plays in promoting cultural change and their effects on societies and individuals at local, regional, national, and global levels.

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 information gained from introductory anthropology classes and focuses on the field of applied anthropology; particularly on cultural change and its impact on the individual. The course also covers the effects of globalization and its impact on both traditional and contemporary groups or societies. Students taking this course will develop critical thinking and analytical skills by comparing the process of culture change in different societies. They will also gain experience in intellectual problem solving by considering how anthropological concepts, theories and methods can be applied to find solutions to social problems. Another important aspect of the course is the study of how traditional knowledge, perspectives and world views change over time and are impacted by contact with other societies. Students will also examine systems of power, or ethical issues related to race, gender, and economic class, in relation to culture change, and 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:

  • selected readings,
  • group discussions,
  • in-class exercises,
  • field activities
  • guest speakers
  • presentations

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies may include any of the following:

  •  exams 
  • quizzes
  • short papers or reports
  • term papers
  • oral or online presentations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • the effects of acculturation
  • modernization and culture
  • culture and globalization
  • applied anthropology
  • economic anthropology


  •           culture
  •           assimilation
  •           acculturation
  •            cultural change
  •            modernization
  •           identity
  •           worldview


  • cultural traditions vs. cultural change
  • planned change
  • globalization
  • cultural marginalization
  • technological change

Competencies and Skills:

  • read and write at the college level