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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
* ANT 232 (SA)   na, npdf

Social Lives, Social Forces

Carol J. Greenhouse

This seminar takes up the connection between authority and obligation as a cultural question. We draw on diverse sources (anthropology, case studies, social theory, literature, public documents, art, etc.) to probe conceptual and real-life gray zones between individual and community, liberty and constraint, state and private sector. We consider formal and informal institutions (e.g., courts, legislatures, police, workplaces, families) and a range of formal and informal norms (from court rulings to common sense). Authority and obligation emerge as complex social relations that shape and are shaped within and across cultural contexts.

Sample reading list:
William Shakespeare, King Lear
Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society
Harvard Business School, cases
Laurence Ralph, Renegade Dreams
David Schneider, American Kinship: A Cultural Account
Public documents,

Reading/Writing assignments:
Reading: 50-100 pages per week. The seminar's workshop format emphasizes experimentation with interpretive possibilities through active discussion. Oral presentations give everyone the opportunity to lead the discussion from the standpoint of their own interests and critical engagements with key sources. Short papers are designed to highlight comparative issues. The final exam covers the course as a whole as applied to independent reading.

Requirements/Grading:
Take Home Final Exam - 30%
Papers - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40687 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W   Chancellor Green   105   Enrolled:21 Limit:23