Cultural anthropology explores the extent of diversity in human behavior. Via the consideration of various types of human cultures in an array of ecologies, we will examine what it means to be shaped by cultural practice. We will come to better understand the ways in which individuals and communities are formed by culturally variable social, political, communicative, and economic practices. Students will be introduced to the primary theories and methodologies that anthropologists use in contemporary studies of culture. Throughout, we will focus on the diverse ways in which human experience takes shape in a variety of socio-cultural structures. The ports will provide excellent opportunities to witness and describe an assortment of phenomena discussed in the classroom setting. Basic anthropological principles acquired in class will allow students to more keenly understand, among other phenomena, witnessed patterns of kinship, religion and ritual. We will consider such facets of culture in large nation-states, as well as in some of the smaller cultures indigenous to the countries on our itinerary. Finally, we will consider ways in which some of these indigenous cultures are being transformed by globalization.
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