ANTH-131: Introduction to Anthropology

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to Anthropology
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC
Catalog Course Description

Introduces the holistic study of humanity using a multi-faceted approach that draws from the discipline's four field: archaeology, physical, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Course topics include human evolution and variability, cultural diversity and change, material culture and language. other themes explored include religion, kinship, social and political organization, the neolithic revolution, as well as the intellectual contributions of anthropology to the social sciences.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. What is anthropology?
  2. Culture
  3. Archaeology's view into the past
  4. Primates
  5. Human evolution
  6. Patterns in human biological variation
  7. Subsistence strategies and their implications for human social organization
  8. Language
  9. Sex & Gender
  10. Kinship, marriage, and family
  11. Cultural evolution
  12. Religion
  13. Economics
  14. Social and political organization
  15. Culture change
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Identify the four subfields of anthropology and describe the methods and areas of study of each of these fields.
  2. Describe what culture includes, in both the material and non-material realms, and how it influences behavior and thinking.
  3. Define the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism and demonstrate the utility and danger, respectively, of each of these practices in the modern world.
  4. Discuss human biological evolution and the evolutionary relationships between human and non-human primates.
  5. Explain human cultural evolution, including stone tool use, the Neolithic Revolution, and the rise of cities and states.
  6. Explain the biological limitations of racial classification of human beings and explain why looking at cultural differences is a better approach.
  7. Describe the relationship between language and culture and explain why language is so important to our species.
  8. Explain the different ways that humans have adapted to their environments and the impact of these adaptations on social structure, population size, and health.
  9. Identify cross-cultural differences in marriage, gender, kinship, religious, and subsistence practices. Discuss how these different beliefs, practices, or traditions are valid responses or solutions to basic human needs.
  10. Develop critical thinking skills by analyzing the complex cultural, political, economic and/or religious implications that are part of the debate between either
    • Religious Creationist and Scientific Evolutionary theories of human origins and development, or
    • Racial classification systems and other non-race-based theories of human variation.*

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Assessment of academic achievement may include (but is not limited to) exams, quizzes, homework, and projects.


Anthropology, William Haviland
Anthropology Annual Editions, edited by Elvio Angeloni


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Winter 2022