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Cultural Anthropology, an introductory course
Study of peoples and their cultures
"It is imperative that I learn the differences in these different sub-cultures if I am
going to affectively reach them with the gospel." -- Donald Smith, Northwest Nazarene
Syllabi (in PDF format)
"I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from
every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the
Lamb" -- Revelation 7:9
This course will use a variety of learning resources, including videos and case studies.
"The musical "Fiddler on the Roof" made much more sense after reading chapter 7 of
our cultural anthropology textbook." — Professional Studies student
Cultural Anthropology FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- What's the difference between anthropology and ethnology?
Anthropology is the study of the origin, culture and development
of human beings. It has several branches, including cultural anthropology. Ethnology is a branch
within cultural anthropology. Ethnology deals with the origins and characteristics of individual
ethnic groups with a focus on factors influencing cultural growth and change.
So, an anthropologist who decides to spend an entire career on an in-depth study of a tribal group
in the Amazon rain forest is, in effect, narrowing himself/herself to being an ethnographer. A
Bible translator who spends two decades learning a language, developing or inventing a writing
system for it and the eventually producing a New Testament in that language is a type of
ethnographer. On the other hand, a cultural anthropologist hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
would not be considered an ethnographer since that person is dealing with a wide range of tribal
If we were dealing with automobiles, anthropology would be the study of everything about them
(history, mechanics, styling, sales, repair, effect on human beings, etc.). Ethnography
would be the study of Jeeps.
- What tools do anthropologists use in their work?
Their eyes and ears are their main tools. Anthropologists do a lot of field work. If
they are physical anthropologists they probably spend a lot of time digging up old bones. If they
are archaeological anthropologists they are intent on unearthing treasures from villages and
towns of the past. If they are cultural anthropologists they spend a lot of time in observing and
interviewing people. If they are linguistic anthropologists, they spend time working with
- Are there particular resources helpful for thinking about things in the field of
Print and video materials produced by National Geographic are very
user-friendly resources. Museums that focus on cultures are also excellent. Here in Oklahoma,
for instance, we have good Native American tribal museums as well as the the National Cowboy
and Western Heritage Museumthat that details the life of cattle raisers. In Haiti, there are two
small, but good anthropological museums which missionaries have put together and
-- Howard Culbertson
|Most courses at
SNU contain a writing component.|
I expect students to produce written work that is
focused, well developed, organized and relatively free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling
Papers falling short of this standard will not be graded. That work will be returned
to the students for further revision and resubmission.
See my writing checklist.
How diverse are we?
played cultural bingo? [
read more ]|
-- Howard Culbertson
Tempted to cheat on some schoolwork?
Before you do, read Southern Nazarene University'sacademic
Cultural Anthropology course resources:
Cultural adjustment realities
Exam study guides
My own culture shock
report Reentry: Coming
contract Improving the papers you
hand in How to listen to a boring
lecture Improving your grades
Ruining a mission trip
Spending a year overseas
Ten ways to avoid becoming a missionary
Other world missions course materials and syllabi
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132
| Phone: 405-740-4149
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International License. When you use this material, an acknowledgment of the source would