College of DuPage

Anthropology 1130:  People and Cultures of the World - The Pacific

Anthropology, the study of people throughout time and space, is a discipline interested in better understanding the human condition in the past, present, and future. Anthropology 1130 – People and Cultures of the World is an introductory exploration of specific populations and cultures in different areas of the world today, focusing on interaction between a society’s culture and its environmental, societal and historical conditions.

This course introduces students to anthropological perspectives on, and anthropological knowledge about, the peoples and cultures of the Pacific. This area, which is also known as Oceania, stretches from Australia and Papua New Guinea in the west to South America in the east, and from the Aleutian Islands in the north to Campbell and Auckland Islands south of New Zealand. The movement of people out into this vast region over the last 50,000 years is one of the most exciting stories of exploration and settlement in human history. The Pacific is also a region of tremendous cultural and linguistic diversity (about 20% of the world’s languages are spoken on the island of New Guinea alone), and this diversity provides an on-going challenge to our understanding of human culture and society. Most recently, the history of the Pacific has been one of colonialism, decolonization, and independence. Our appreciation of the effects of those global processes on people’s lives, and of their responses to such processes, owes a great deal to anthropological research carried out in the Pacific. This course includes both fundamental knowledge about Pacific peoples and an introduction to the academic discipline of anthropology. Anthropologists describe and analyze the diversity of human social and cultural life in all times and places, and they do this using a range of perspectives and techniques, some of which will be introduced in this course. Anthropological research in the Pacific has not only increased our knowledge of the peoples and cultures of that region, it has also added fundamentally to our understanding of what it is to be human.

The intent of this class is to help students better:

  1. Appreciate cultural diversity;
  2. Understand, describe, and compare cultural practices; and
  3. Improve critical thinking, syntheses, and interpretation.

This course is 3 credit hours. It transfers as IAI S1 904D in the Illinois Articulation Initiative.



Computer Experience and Equipment

Students interested in Anthropology 1130 will need access to a computer with Internet capabilities. Students must also obtain a COD Library Card. For further information about computer experience and equipment requirements, students should consult the COD Online web pages.

Easter Island Ahu Tongariki by Nicolas de Camaret