Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content




Summer Quarter 2012    Professor: A. A. G. Taub       

Office: 1011C   Phone: (509) 682-6768   Home Phone (509) 548-3466 PLEASE NOTE: Please do not call after 7:30 P.M. except for EMERGENCIES.  You wake up the kid and…




Office hours: After class or by appointment

This is the link the to WVC Master Syllabus and Course Outline


Course Description:  This course provides you with an overview of the major areas of cultural anthropology.  You will be encouraged to think about cultures, other than your own, from around the world, gain knowledge of cultural variation and methods used by cultural anthropologists.  You will be expected to learn and think in new ways and challenge your own knowledge and opinions.  You will work in both scientific and humanistic disciplines, and know when you are using each.  Finally, you will have the opportunity to improve your writing and communication skills.


Course Objectives:

1.      Understand and appreciate cultural differences.

2.      Understand change as a constructive development of cultural identify

3.      Appreciate cultural complexity in our own culture and in others.

4.      Understand detail, rigor and reference in anthropological studies.

Textbooks: Required:


Chagnon, Napoleon A.

            1997 Yanomamo.  USA, Wadsworth

Lavenda, Robert H & Schultz

            2007 Core Concepts in Cultural Anthropology. San Francisco: McGraw Hill.

Taub, Alex A. G.

            2011 Working with High Risk Youth: The Case of Curtis Jones.  Maryland:

            University Press of America.

Weiner, Annette B.

1988 The Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea.  New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.


Other required materials include: Lectures, class discussions, videos seen in class, handouts, and assignments.


Class Format:  Your professor has recorded 33 lectures that are available in Angel under the lesson tab.  You are responsible for listening to these, reading the assigned text and then taking part in the various discussions.  It is the students responsible to review the material, take part in discussions, take the assigned exams on time, and complete the assigned paper.  Tests will cover material from lectures, readings and discussions.


Grading:  Your grade will be based on the collective points you earn during the term.  There will be one written assignments and three exams, each worth 100 points.  This class will not be graded on a curve:

A= 94 to 100%           A-= 90 to 93%            B+= 87 to 89%           B= 84 to 86%

B-= 80 to 83%            C+= 77 to 79%           C= 74 to 76%             C-= 70 to 73%

D+= 67 to 69%           D= 64 to 66%              F= 63 to 0


Performance Policy: Students are responsible for all materials presented in class and assigned readings.  Disruptive behavior (Flaming, use of derogatory language or tone and disrespect towards others) will not be tolerated, and the offending students will be asked to leave.  Deadline extensions and incompletes will only be given for dire documented emergencies.


Late Assignments: Assignments are due on their assigned dates.  Early assignments will be accepted, but late assignments and exams will only be accepted under dire documentable emergencies AND with the Professor’s permission.  Please notify the instructor by phone or email the moment you realize that you are having a problem!


Learning Disabilities:  If any student in this class needs accommodations because of a documented disability, please feel free to discuss this with me privately within one week of the start of the term.  The college has professionals to guild, counsel, and assist students with documented disabilities.  The Special Services Office at 682-6854 will evaluate and approve your accommodation needs.


Exams:  All exams will be given in an essay format.  For each essay you will be provided with approximately five terms to define and use in a short comprehensive ONE PARAGRAPH essay.  You will need to practice writing these essays as part of your preparation, as the space on the page will both be limited to 300 words per essay.  If you wish to have the instructor review a practice essay, please request this at least two days before the first exam.  A sample question and essay are attached to this packet.


            All exams are worth a maximum of 100 points each.  The Professor reserves the right to give students who demonstrate they have learned the material during the final better than their earlier exams reflect the benefit of the doubt.


On- line etiquette:  It is your responsibility to listen to the provide lectures and read the assignments in a timely fashion.  Do not wait until the exam is posted to review these materials as these questions require time and thought.

            Do not write anything in a public discussion that you would not say to a person directly in class.  These discussion are serious, cover delicate topics and every student shall be treated with respect!



Important Dates: (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)


See on line class schedule in CANVAS


Plagiarism: The act of using the ideas or works of another and passing them off as your own.  All information in your essays that isn’t your opinion or common knowledge must have a proper citation. While all tests are open note, open book, open library, and I encourage students to proof read each other’s papers, you should not turn in similar essays.  Students who turn in similar essays or essay’s I have read before will be subject to the policy of WVC:


Policy: Anyone Plagiarizing or found cheating on an exam, will be given an F in the course and Referred to the Academic Committee for disciplinary action (Wenatchee Valley College Plagiarism policy, 2003).


Professionalism: This class will cover a number of difficult topics including sexuality, reproduction, evolution, and religion.  We will be watching films of people who have different expectations on their personal attire.  Students will be expected to act in a professional manner during these discussions and videos, and be prepared to take part in appropriate classroom conversations on these topics.


YOUR PROFESSOR IS NOT PERFECT!!!  If you can professionally provide documentation that either corrections on your papers, tests or comments made in lectures were not correct, you may earn extra credit.


Grading For Course You are expected to take part in the various discussion boards posted in Angel.  This will require posting at least four substantive posts (more than two sentences) each week and take part in all discussions.  You will receive a weekly grade of up to ten points for participation.  On weeks that you go beyond the minimal expectations you can earn up-to an additional 20 points.  This will total to a maximum 100 participation points.  There are 300 exam points and 100 points for the paper described below.  The total maximum points are 500.  Points may be deducted from your total for disrespecting others, not listening to lectures, or for failing to follow directions.  Your score at the end of the quarter will be divided by five, and this will be your class percentage.


Kinship Paper:  This is minimal seven page (of text) paper documenting your family’s cultural background and how it affects you personally.  You will interview at least two family members to learn about your family’s past and traditions.  You will find at least four sources of information about these cultures (only one may be available on the internet only).  You should use peer reviewed journals, professional publications and at least one ethnography.  If your family has been in the US for many generations, feel free to research those cultures within the US that influence your family (i.e. Appalachia, Depression era Kansas, etc.).  If this topic is a problem for you, please write to your Professor as soon as possible.  In addition to your typed portion, you will need a bibliography using A.A.A. standards ( and a kinship chart drawn to class standards.

While this may not appear to be a lot of directions for this paper, please remember that each family is different.  No two papers will be alike in approach or information.

This paper is worth a maximum of 100 PTS




What follows is a sample question and essay.  An ‘A’ Essay will use all of the words correctly, define them, make a comprehensive statement (will tie all of the ideas together) and use examples from lecture and text.  These essays will use specific examples from both text and lecture materials.  A ‘B’ will be earned by an essay which falls slightly short of these ideals.  A ‘C’ will be earned if errors are made, the essay does not work together and/or too many grammatical errors are made. Students will earn a C- for only correctly defining the terms or writing a poor essay. A ‘D’ means that your definitions are incorrect and or your essay has serious failures. The lowest grades go to those who show the least effort.


Please note:  You are limited to 300 words per paragraph essay.  Plan your essay carefully before you start to write, so as not to waste words or phrases and to keep ideas organized.


 It is recommended that you study by writing practice exams using the words found on your study guild.  You Professor will gladly review these practices with you until 36 hours before the exam.


These tests are meant to challenge you to write brief complete essays.  Practice will be beneficial!!!



Sample A:


Using the following five terms, write a comprehensive, critical essay in the limited space provided: Anthropology, Holistic, Cultural Relativity, Evolution, & Kinship.



Anthropology, the study of how humans adapt, is a holistic form of study, looking at the interrelationship of all parts of culture.  To keep this perspective anthropologists apply   Cultural Relativity (the attempt to avoid making judgments of others independent of ones own bias) when studying human behavior from as many different directions to get a more complete view of the reasons for human group and individual behaviors. One example of this approach was displayed by Chagnon in his study of the Yanomamo, by his not allowing their cultural use of shamanistic drugs to affect his judgment of them. One theoretical view that Chagnon used was cultural evolution or examining how various people adapt over time to the environment in which they find themselves.  For example, the Yanomamo are currently adapting to many influences from outside cultures.  One area of culture that might be affected is kinship, or the study of family definitions.  Since new people are coming into the Yanomamo territories, these people need to be placed within the Yanomamo family system as it was done with Napoleon Chagnon when he did his fieldwork among the Yanomamo.  It is not unusual for Anthropologists to be adopted into the families of the cultures they study.