Cultural Anthropology Syllabus

Fall 2002

The faculty member reserves the right to alter information on this page as required.  However, this material represents the structure and nature of the course as it is anticipated to be offered.


Dr. John Staeck IC 2071B 630/942-2022

Staeck's WEB PAGE:

**This web page contains links to useful resources as well as up-to-date information on current and forthcoming classes.  THIS PAGE ALSO INCLUDES ALL CLASS ASSIGNMENTS.

Anthropology Programís web page:

Required Texts


Lenkeit. Roberta Edwards. 2002, Introducing Cultural Anthropology. McGraw Hill.


Gordon-Peters, 2000, Culture Sketches 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill.

ANTHROPOLOGY 100 (IAI S1 901N) from the COD Catalog

Cultural Anthropology, 5 credit hours

Introduces cultural anthropology as a subfield of anthropology which studies contemporary societies. Focuses on patterns in human behavior and on culture as the way people live and adapt to their various situations. Emphasis is on the diversity of cultural patterns throughout the world and the essential humanity of all people. Examples from a wide variety of cultures are presented in written and film formats. (5 lecture hours) 


Did you ever ask yourself why, at the beginning of the 21st century AD, after countless thousands upon thousands of years, people have trouble understanding why they and others do things. For example, have you ever considered why modern Americans wear expensive athletic shoes even though most do not participate in organized athletics? Perhaps more significantly, have you ever wondered how American businesses cannot achieve labor peace even though it would seem to be in the best interest of both the workers and the administrators, yet Japanese businesses seem to be more immune from these troubles? And why, in this age, does our species wage wars of genocide and terror?

There are complex answers to these questions, answers which vary through space and time. In order to explore the mechanics of human interactions we will emphasize how cultural systems work and why. Through an exploration of world cultures, including those of modern America, I will direct your attention to the mechanisms through which people learn to perceive and cope with their worlds.  


                     You are subject to all COD codes of behavior, dress, and academic integrity. 

                     You are responsible for all material covered in and/or assigned for class regardless of whether or not you attend class. You are, however, expected to attend class daily and to participate in all classroom-related activities (such as discussions). 

                     No make-up examinations will be given save by prior agreement or as a consequence of documented emergencies. BE PREPARED TO DOCUMENT YOUR EMERGENCY, should you have one. ( The reason for this is that deliberating delaying the time of an examination allows for the possibility of cheating, the mere specter of which should be avoided.)   ALL UNEXCUSED MISSED EXAMINATIONS WILL BE ASSIGNED A GRADE EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE SCORE ACHIEVED ON THE OTHER TWO EXAMINATIONS LESS A 10 POINT PENALTY

                      Cheating, in any form, is unacceptable. I strongly believe in personal honor; your decision to accept COD's code of behavior is reflected in your decision to enroll in COD classes.   


All grades will be calculated in reference to the total number of points available in the course.  There will be three hourly examinations, a journal/literature search (to be assigned as best fits the schedule), and an optional final examination. Combined, the hourly examinations will account for approximately 225 points. The remaining assignment and any added assignments will account for an additional 30 points (approximately) of your final grade.

Point Totals will be compared to this table:

                     A = 200+ points

                     B = 175-199 points

                     C = 150-174 points

                     D = 125-149 points

                     F = 124 or fewer points

        The final examination will be long, nasty, mean, hard -to-get-along-with, and cumulative. It will be given over the course of two or more hours and employ a variety of question formats covering material presented on the first three tests. You need not take the examination. Prior to making your decision as to whether or not to take the exam you will have a tentative final grade. If you are content with this, you need not take the final. If, however, you wish to improve your final grade than you may take the examination and be subject to one of the following:         

1. You score higher on the final than the average of your examinations, in which case I will replace the average exam grade with the grade from the final,

2. You score approximately the same on the final as you did upon the average of the exams and nothing happens,

3. You score a full letter grade or more lower on the final than you did on the average of the hourly exams, in which case I will replace the average exam grade with the grade from the final.