Online Ant 103
Cultural Anthropology



I. Course Description

Although it begins with an introduction to general anthropology and its major sub-divisions, this course primarily focuses on the sub-field of cultural anthropology.  After briefly discussing applied anthropology and anthropological research  methods, the course focuses on a few of the  major topics commonly investigated by cultural anthropologists such as ethnicity, culture, theory, economic life, religion, political systems, family, descent, kinship, gender, world system, colonialism and cultural change.

Please be aware this is a demanding and rigorous course. College level reading and writing skills are absolutely necessary for to succeed in the course. Students must be self-motivated and self-disciplined, possess good time management skills, and have the necessary computer skills and equipment to complete the course assignments.

The best strategy is to plan to start the course promptly and meet all the assignment deadlines from the very beginning of the semester. That way, if you are sick or have an emergency later in the semester, you will not have a problem.

II. Professor: Andrew Habermacher, Ph.d.

  • Office: 2031 Marlboro Hall,
    Prince George's Community College
    301 Largo Road
    Largo, Maryland 20774
  • Office Phone: (301) 322-0548
  • E-mail:
  • Fax: (301) 808-0418

III. Books

Buy the following two (2) books at P. G. C. C. Bookstore (301-322-0912) or online at , , .

  • Kottak, C. P. 2006. Mirror for Humanity: A Concise Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill. ISBN  0- 07-353090-5
  • Angeloni, Elvio (editor)  Anthropology 2006/2007. Annual Editions. 28th Edition McGraw-Hill/Dushkin. ISBN 0-07-351592-2

NOTE: Be certain you get this exact editions. Kottak's book must be the 5th edition. Angeloni reedits his reader every year dropping some old articles and adding new ones. Be sure to get the 28th edition with the dates 06/07 in title.

IV. EXPECTED COURSE OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to: 

A. Identify the focal interests and primary research methods of anthropology and its subfields.


B. Distinguish features and social effects of the major modes of subsistence upon which human societies have been based.


C. Differentiate among linguistic concepts such as grammar, phonology, phoneme, focal vocabulary, syntax, semantics, morpheme, dialect, minimal pair, language acquisition, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics.


D. ifferentiate among the four levels (i.e., band, tribe, chiefdom, state) of political integration generalized from the ethnographic and historical record.


E. Identify gender issues found in different types of societies by using such concepts as gender role, gender stratification, the public/domestic dichotomy, gender identity, gendered division of labor and gender inequality.


F. Identify the various kinds of descent groups, postmarital residence customs, mate selection norms, economic aspects of marriage contracts, plural marriage customs, and family forms.


G. Differentiate among basic basic cultural  anthropological concepts such as norm, value, culture shock, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, ethnicity, social race, enculturation (aka socialization), acculturation, status, role and stratification.


H. Distinguish among such economic aspects of social life as reciprocity (general, balanced & negative), market exchange, money (special & general purpose), redistribution, mode of production and division of labor.


I. Identify some religious causes of social change (revitalization movements, cargo cults),  the purpose and stages of a rite of passage, the functions (social, psychological, cognitive) of religion,  the types of religious organizations, and the logic and uses of magic.


J. Recognize from assigned readings and describe in essay form any of the concepts, ideas or theories  listed in the foregoing (above) course outcomes.


A. General Comments

This is an online distance learning course. Students must complete all course requirements in their appropriate sequence & in a timely fashion. Please visit the Blackboard online classroom at least every other day to check the course calendar, read  announcements and new discussion board postings, take quizzes, submit written  assignments and post discussion board messages. Students are responsible for keeping up with and adhering to the due dates and other instructions posted there in the course calendar and announcements areas of the Blackboard online classroom.

Response time: Except for weekends, I will normally respond to email and to questions posted in the Blackboard Discussion Board area within 48 hours.  Unless otherwise indicated, written assignments will be graded and returned within 10 days of their submission to Blackboard.

B. Blackboard Online Class Room

The Blackboard (Bb) online classroom web site address (url) is  Browse to it and you will find logon instructions about how to gain entry into the online course for which you have registered.

Once you successfully login to Blackboard and enter the online classroom for Ant 103, you can click on the various icons there to read announcements, use the chat room, view a course calendar, take quizzes, see grades, view & post messages to the discussion board, use email & consult other materials placed there by your instructor.

In the online classroom, click the Tools button to find a manual explaining the various functionalities of Blackboard. Please look it over and consult it when you have questions about how to use the various Blackboard elements.

C. Blackboard Elements

Here are preliminary data about some of the Bb elements you'll be using in this online course and some instructions about how you are expected to use them.

  1. Quizzes:

    Scheduled, required quizzes are taken on-line & must be completed during their respective windows of availability.

    Quizzes usually consist of multiple choice and/or true-false questions based on the reading assignments. No make-up quizzes are given. Quiz grades are cumulatively added throughout the semester. If you earn the maximum number of points allowed for quizzes in this course, any additional quiz points you earn will not count toward your semester grade.

    Take quizzes from a link placed in the Bb menu area during the days it is available to be taken. Once you begin to take a quiz, you must finish and submit it or you will be locked out of the quiz and receive no grade. Feel free to use your books and notes when taking the quiz. Take the quiz as quickly as you can to avoid being automatically logged out by your internet service provider. If that happens you will be locked out of retaking the quiz until the instructor resets it. The instructor will clear any locked quizzes as he sees them or when you notify him. But don't expect the unlocking to be done if you take the quiz on the last day of its availability.
  2. Announcements

    You are responsible for reading all announcements posted by the instructor in the Bb announcements area. Check announcements each time you login being sure to read all announcements posted since the last time you logged in.

    Announcements are automatically shown to you on entry to the Bb online classroom. Some are permanent and always show. Others only show during the day they are posted. To see the previously posted nonpermanent announcements, select one of the tabs (last seven days, last month, etc) and use the scroll bar on the right of the screen.
  3. Weekly Assignments

    Weekly assignments are available from the Bb menu by clicking on the button titled Assignments, and clicking on the assignment with the current week's date. Each weekly assignment has a checklist that indicates the topics, reading assignments, essays, conferences, quizzes and any other activities that must be completed during the week.  
    After you write an essay assignment, you will submit it in its appropriate week as indicated there. All written assignments you submit to Bb must be Rich Text (.rtf) files. Essay work submitted in other file formats will not be graded and will receive no credit. Rich text files (.rtf) can be created and read by any word processing program. Consult the help section of your word processor to learn how to create a rich text file. 

    Once your essay has been graded and the grade appears in the online grade book, you can click on the grade to read any comments the instructor may have made about your essay.
  4. Discussion Board Conferences

    Participation in discussions is required and graded. The discussion board conferences are asynchronous and have definite start and finish dates indicated in the instructions for each conference and in the course calendar. The purpose of the discussions is to stimulate study an discussion of the course material in each module.

    I have established the following rules and guidelines for participation in the discussions.

    Students must make at least two types of contributions to each discussion board topic posted by the instructor, new threads and replies.
    New Threads (or primary postings) must respond to the discussion board assignment. Replies (or secondary postings)  respond to the new threads other students.

    Conferences, unless otherwise indicated,  last 9 days. New thread (primary) postings made during the last 48 hours of a conference will not count, but Reply postings made any time during the conference period will count. Late postings to conferences will NOT be graded.
    No credit can be earned in a conference for reply postings unless a new thread is also posted.

    Points earned
    for discussion board conference participation are cumulative. Once the full number of points allotted for discussion board contributions has been reached, any additional points will not be counted toward the semester grade.  
  5. Chats (called Collaboration in the Bb Communications area)

    A few on-line chats may be conducted during the semester as indicated in the course calendar. They serve as online office hours held by the professor. They are optional and participation in them will earn no points. Chat times will vary.

D. On Campus Responsibilities:

  1. Although there is NO required on-campus orientation for this class, PGCC students are encouraged to attend the general on-campus distance learning orientation at the Largo Campus. Check college website/distance learning page for dates. 

    Students from colleges other than PGCC have NO scheduled orientation for this course on their campuses.. 
  2. For the online class, examinations (i.e., mid semester, end semester, final exam parts 01 & 02) are the only other activities that may require you to come to campus during the course. However, they can usually be taken online. If,  for technical reasons, it becomes necessary for you to come to campus for an exam,  PGCC students will take the exam on campus at the Student Assessment Center. Students from other colleges will take the exam at their respective campuses at times and places announced by the instructor about a week prior to the exam.

VI. Navigation Information

  1. The course assignments are explained in weekly assignment checklists. Click "Assignments" in the Blackboard menu  to view them. The first item posted in every assignment folder is a list of all the topics and tasks for that week. From these weekly assignment folders, you will be able to submit analytical essays and internet essays when they are due.
  2. To participate in a required Bb discussion board conference, click "Communication" in the Bb menu and then select "Discussion Board"
  3. To take a required quiz or examination, click "Quizzes" in the Bb  menu.
  4. Due dates for assignments are indicated in the weekly assignment folders.  
  5. Please Note:
    Because there are more earnable points available in quizzes and discussion board conference assignments than you can actually use toward your semester grade, there are no provisions for making up work which is missed in those areas.  Also since you may do more than the required number of analytical essays and internet essays (the best ones count and the poor grades are discarded), there are no make ups for those either. Budget your time carefully.

VII. Course Requirements and Grades

A. The Meaning of Letter Grades.

  • "A" is given only for excellent work.
  • "B" is awarded for good work.
  • "C" is fair or satisfactory work.
  • "D" is given for poor work.
  • "F" is unsatisfactory or failing.

A student who shows an "excellent, good, fair, poor or unsatisfactory" understanding of the content demonstrates this by an "excellent, good, fair, poor or unsatisfactory" mastery of reading material & ideas (concepts, topics) through their performance in discussions, quizzes, chats, essays & exams.

B. How much are the various assignments worth?




Entrance Essay
(1 required)

Due 1st week.

 1 @ 10  pts ea   10

Analytical Essays
(2 required)
You have 4 chances (with deadlines) to write 2 analytical essays. If you write more than 2 essays, then the highest 2 grades are used. No make-ups are allowed.

2 @ 100 pts ea   200
Internet Essays
(3 required)

You have 5 chances (with deadlines) to write 3 internet essays. If you write more than 3, then the highest 3 grades are used. No make-ups are allowed.

3 @ 75 pts ea  225

Discussion Board Conferences.
(required; there will be 10)

Discussion Board conference grades accumulate until you reach the maximum usable points or finish all quizzes whichever comes first. If you earn more than 205 pts., only 205 may be used toward your course grade. 
No make-ups.


10 @ 24 pts ea   205
On-line Quizzes
(required; 13 chapter quizzes)

Quiz grades accumulate until you earn the maximum usable points or finish all quizzes whichever comes first. If you earn more than 150 pts., only 150 may be used toward your course grade.  The quizzes are based on Kottak's Mirror for Humanity chapters. No make-ups.

13 @ 13 pts ea  150
Exit Essay
(1 required)

Due during final week of course.

1 @ 10 pts ea     10
Final Exam Parts 01 & 02.
(2 required)   

You will have a chance to take final exam part 01 twice - once as the mid semester exam and once during finals week. You will also have a chance to take final exam part 02 twice - once as the end semester exam and once during finals week. If you take the mid semester and part 01, then the highest grade counts toward your semester grade; same goes for the end semester exam and part 02 of the final exam. Unless technical require that you come to the campus testing center, you will take them online.

2 @100 pts ea   200



Your grade will be based on your performance on the course requirements. Points are earned based on the values for each course requirement stated above.

C. What is the grade scale used in this course?

Grade Points
A 900-1000
B 800-899
C 700-799
D 600-699
F 0-599


Updated August 12, 2006