Exploring Human Diversity: An Introduction to Anthropology and Sociology
(Also Anthropology 10.) The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the central concepts and themes in the disciplines of anthropology and sociology. Anthropology and sociology emerged as distinct modes of inquiry in 19th-century Europe in response to several centuries of disorienting change. Monarchies were collapsing, economies were industrializing, modern science was emerging, and democratic aspirations were rising. Alongside this flux, Europe's imperial reach had revealed a mind-boggling variety of cultures, each ordered and disordered in dramatically different ways. In this context, it is not surprising that two questions became urgent: Why do some societies change while others appear to be unchanging? When a society undergoes change, how does social order get re-established? These classic questions have long since been reframed to confront a fundamental challenge that we live with today: Why do people do what they do, and why do different people do things differently? This course is intended to introduce students to the ways anthropologists and sociologists continue to grapple with these critical questions. While the course will touch upon classic works from the two disciplines, it will largely focus on the ways these questions have given rise to new and often surprising answers. In exploring the ways humans make sense of and produce unique social worlds, the course will highlight points of convergence and divergence in regard to theory, formulation of research problems, and methods within the two disciplines. Not open to students who have taken Anthropology 11 or Sociology 11. First semester. Professors Dizard and Gewertz.