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Course Description

Someone sitting above some ancient ruins and sketching them

This course deals with humankind from a broad historical and cross-cultural perspective. Theoretical models, case studies and specific methods will be presented. Course topics may include the origin and transformations of human society, the relationship between biological and cultural traits, human language, variation in family structure and religion, the economic and political aspects of human society.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Explain the core concepts that distinguish anthropology from other academic disciplines;
  2. Discuss how anthropologists view the world; be aware of some differences of opinion and viewpoints among anthropologists;
  3. Describe the main technical terms and concepts used by anthropologists;
  4. Explain the differences between the four main sub-disciplines of Anthropology and how each contributes to a holistic understanding of Homo Sapiens as a species;
  5. Explain how anthropologists use and define the word culture in the context of human belief and behaviour;
  6. State the impact of cultural differences, as well as the more universal aspects of human cultural uniformity and be able to identify ethnocentrism, the value of cultural relativism, and strategies to overcome their own cultural biases;
  7. Distinguish between an anthropological and a non-anthropological perspective on a wide range of issues that flow from being human, ranging from biological diversity, religion, politics, family, race, ethnic relations among other topics, as well as examine the relevant cultural elements of any society from an anthropological perspective; and
  8. State how culture has shaped the development of human societies and appreciate its role in shaping human history.

Course Topics

  • What is Anthropology?
  • The Nature of Culture
  • Language and Culture
  • Subsistence or Making a Living
  • Economic Systems
  • Gender
  • Kinship Descent
  • Marriage and The Family
  • Equality and Inequality
  • Political Systems and Order
  • Religion and the Supernatural
  • Colonialism and Cultural Transformations


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Quizzes 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Short Paper 25% 5 and 8
Discussions 25% 2, 5 and 7
On Campus Final Exam 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7 and 8
Total 100% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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Section Title
Introduction to Anthropology
September 10, 2020 to December 04, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Mandatory) Cultural Anthropology Fourth Edition (Revel E-Book Edition) by Nancy Bonvillain Pearson 4th Edition, 2018 edition ISBN 9780134722993
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