Welcome to the website of Anthropology 175: Peoples of the World, at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. To the left you will find links to three sections of this course. Each section consists of student web pages on a specific theme. For Summer III 2004 the topic was Latin American Ethnomusicology, for Fall 2004 (two sections, B and FB) the topic was Global Celebrations, and the topic for Spring 2005 is "The World @ Miami." Click on the section pages to get to the student pages. You can also use the interactive map above to search by country.
Student webpages are equivalent to a final paper in this class; there are more details about the course below. We hope that you find these pages interesting, informative, and fun.
The university calendar describes this course as follows: "Historical and regional interrelations of modern and aboriginal peoples, cultures of the world, and cultural processes." Lately, however, "modern" and "aboriginal" people are becoming more difficult to distinguish as the planet becomes more interconnected through the process of globalization. Even the most distant cultures (e.g., Amazonian peoples, Trobriand Islanders) are linked to the rest of the world through the global economy and telecommunications /mass media (e.g., brands, movies). Nevertheless, distinct and often perplexing differences persist among people from different parts of the world, and anthropologists attempt to describe these differences in aid of cross-cultural understanding.
The articles we read in this class sample the world's diversity in social structure, kinship, marriage, gender roles, language, religion, economics, and politics. We will discuss some of the ways that anthropologists have described and compared the world's great cultural variation. We will also address issues in anthropological method and theory such as fieldwork techniques and broad questions about objectivity in descriptions of human culture. Finally, the class will examine historical and contemporary processes of culture contact, including colonization and industrialization.
The Miami Plan for Liberal Education
This course is part of the Miami Plan for Liberal Education. This plan challenges students to:
Engage with other learners
Reflect and act
This course is part of two thematic sequences: ATH 4: World Cultures, Policy and Ecology: and ATH 5: World Cultures and Social Relations.
ATH 4: World Cultures, Policy and Ecology is designed to provide an appreciation of human cultural diversity and explore anthropological approaches to understanding diversity in political and economic organizations, marriage and family patterns, and other aspects of life. In this sequence students examine regional diversity through an in-depth study of a selected geographical area, and they develop conceptual approaches to understanding and comparing human diversity through a topic course on one of the primary aspects of culture.
ATH 5: World Cultures and Social Relations is designed to provide an appreciation of human cultural diversity and explore anthropological approaches to understanding sociocultural relations and systems, including kinship, nationality, religion, race, class and gender. In this sequence students examine regional characteristics and diversity through an in-depth study of a selected geographical area, and they develop conceptual approaches to understanding and comparing social organization and relationships through a topic course on intercultural relations, sociocultural identities or social anthropology.
As the beginning course in these sequences, ATH 175 lays a broad foundation for the understanding of and appreciation for the worldwide diversity in human cultural expressions. It introduces concepts such as cultural relativity, ethnocentrism, and historical context that enable students to engage cultural diversity more thoughtfully and constructively in many areas of their lives. Through anthropological perspectives, this course explores how the different aspects of culture (economics, politics, family, identity, world view, etc.) are expressed and sustained. From this base, the student will explore cultural diversity from two distinct and complementary approaches: area studies and topical studies.
If you would like a full course outline, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click "Contact Jim Aimers" below.