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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* 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
Caitrin Lynch, Retirement on the Line
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 paper covers the course as a whole as applied to independent reading.

Paper in lieu of Final - 15%
Papers - 45%
Oral Presentation(s) - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%

Other Requirements:
Community-Engaged Learning Component Optional
Open to First Year Undergraduates and Sophomores Only.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20712 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   209   Enrolled:15 Limit:20