Welcome to ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology


Anthropological approaches and perspectives on humans, their culture, and their society; early and prehistoric humans. Basic concepts for analyzing cultural behavior and comparison of non-Western with Western societies will be presented.


Upon successful completion of this course the student can be expected to:

  1. Define anthropology and explain key concepts of the discipline.
  2. Analyze cultural behavior, including their own and others’ cultures.
  3. Explain key differences between Western society and non-Western society.
  4. Identify how culture influences individuals.


Introducing Cultural Anthropology 10th

Edition. Print ISBN: 9781285738499, 1285738497

eText ISBN: 9781305162877, 1305162870

Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price. 


Reading and Quizzes

Each section will have a 5-point quiz on the reading from the textbook. There will be a time limit of 10 minutes for each quiz.

Get Thinking Responses

These are simple assignments meant to get you thinking about the topic of the week. They should not take up very much time, but you need to put some thought into them.

What Can You Share? Group Discussions

There are two different group discussions each week:

  1. The first is a standard discussion board. Each week there will be several prompt questions. You will be required to make an initial post by Tuesday and then make at least two follow up posts throughout the week to continue the conversations.
  2. For the second discussion you will organize yourselves into small groups and meet at least once a week in Zoom to discuss the final Cultural Analysis Paper. 
    • There will be a weekly self assessment of your participation and a more formal assessment in the final paper.

Zoom Meeting: LDS Group Discussions 

Each week you will meet and discuss a topic relating to LDS culture. These discussions should help you as you develop your final paper.

Portfolio Papers

The purpose of the portfolio is to give you a place to record your exploration of the course material. It will be evaluated on how well you document your exploration and on the depth and breadth of your exploration.

  • Each week, you will choose from a list of options that will be provided. It will typically consist of watching a film or reading an article that has to do with the topic of the week.
  • You will turn in a one-page paper discussing what you learned and how it relates to anthropology.
    • Don’t spend the whole paper just summarizing the material. The main idea of this assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of the material.
    • A good hint is to include key terms and citations like in the applying anthropology assignments.

Applying Anthropology Activity and Papers

These assignments will give you an opportunity to apply what we have been covering for the week. They will often entail you getting out and "doing" anthropology. Be sure to completely answer the questions and to give them some thought. The idea is not to just answer the questions but to use your answers as a format to demonstrate your understanding of the course materials.

Note: When citing key terms, do not just throw them in, but give an example of them so that the instructor can assess your understanding of them.

For example, if a key term is "internet" you could say the following: "The internet (Leinket p. 56), or the computer based web that connects us to an almost limitless supply of information, is useful in finding out more information for our discussions. If I don’t know about some historical event, I can Google it and read about it." This is a more complete and proper answer than simply writing, "I use the internet to find out information."

Cultural Analysis Final Paper

Working from your observations and analysis, you will write an anthropological analysis of LDS culture.

  • Each week there will be a brief lecture about how the topic of the week applies to this analysis.
  • The Zoom meeting each week will give you the opportunity to discuss the paper topic for the week.
    • Your group discussion is a place for you to share ideas and explore the topics further as you work on the analysis paper.
    • You may even share data and information, but the final paper needs to be your own work.
      • You will need to include a section of your paper discussing specific ways that the group discussions were helpful to you.
    • It is expected that you will:
      • gather data,
      • make observations,
      • interview people, etc., to further explore issues that you are interested in.
    • You will need to work on this weekly, but the final paper will not be due until the end of the semester.
      • It is to be no more than 10 pages long.
      • You should reference back to the LDS lecture for Week 03 (fieldwork) as necessary.

Here is some further information in the podcast:

Transcript: Intro to LDS Research Transcript

Plagiarism and Cheating Policy

Plagiarism and cheating are not tolerated in this class. Any evidence of plagiarism or cheating will be grounds for an automatic "F" in the course.

  • Plagiarism is copying someone else’s work. This includes your peers, any written sources, and the internet. Any information that is not your own original thoughts should be properly documented.
    • For example, if you write about the relationship between religion and people and include complete sentences or ideas from another author, you need to acknowledge them.
      • It is okay to include something that Thomas Jefferson wrote. Just make sure that it is clear that you are not presenting it as your own work.
        • It is appropriate to write: Thomas Jefferson said, "yada yada yada."
        • It is inappropriate to say that "religion is the opium of the people" without acknowledging that Marx said this, as opposed to you.

Please watch the following 3-minute video on academic honesty.

(3:25 mins, Academic Honesty Transcript)


Note: See Calendar for due date and time specifics.

Due Date #1 

  • At a Glance: Outcomes and Assignments
  • Textbook reading
    • Reading quiz

Due Date #2

  • Weekly Lecture Video
  • Get Thinking Response
  • What Can You Share? Discussion Board
    • Initial Post
  • Zoom Meeting Sign-Up Discussion Board

Due Date #3

  • Zoom Meeting: LDS Research Video
    • Watch before your Zoom Meeting

Due Date #4

  • Zoom Meeting: LDS Cultural Analysis
    • Participation Self-Assessment
  • What Can You Share? Discussion Board
    • Subsequent Posts
  • Portfolio Paper
  • Applying Anthropology Paper

Portfolios and Applying Anthropology assignments are due at the end of the week, but both are bigger assignments and should be started early.

Remember: The final research paper is due at the end of the semester, but you should be working on it every week.




W01 Syllabus Quiz 5
W01 Seek Learning by Faith Assignment 10
Reading Quizzes (12) 60
Get Thinking Responses (12) 60
What Can You Share? Discussion Boards (13) 65
Zoom Meeting: LDS Discussions (13) 26
Portfolio Papers (12) 120
Applying Anthropology Papers (12) 240
Cultural Analysis Final Paper 100

Final Grades

Final grades will be calculated on a straight percentage scale as indicated. Total points earned will be summed by the total points possible. Extra credit is not offered in this class.

A 93–100
A- 90–92
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B- 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C- 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D- 60–62
F below 60

Late Work Policy

Students can make up only the portfolio and the applying anthropology assignments (with certain conditions). Late work will have a 10% deduction applied as well as an additional 10% deduction per week that it is late. Please be in contact with your instructor.

Final Thoughts

Some thoughts from and about our university's namesake:

"Brigham Young’s sanguine discourses on education were meant to stir his people up and shame them out of their intellectual lethargy. No one knew better than he the weaknesses of human nature ('Mankind are weak and feeble, poor and needy; how destitute they are of true knowledge, how little they have when they have any at all!'); the hebetude of minds used to having others think for them ('The great masses of the people neither think nor act for themselves … I see too much of this gross ignorance among this chosen people of God'); the hesitancy of the uprooted, tending either 'to hide ourselves up from the world' or 'to pattern after the people t hey had left'—both wrong; the smugness of the chosen people, who 'imagine that they must begin and unlearn the whole of their former education,' and who expect God to give them everything on a platter: 'Have I any good reason to say to my Father in heaven, "Fight my battles," when He has given me the sword to wield, the arm and the brain that I can fight for myself?' The Saints were much too easily satisfied with themselves: 'How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God,' wrote the Prophet Joseph from Liberty Jail. 'Condescending' means settling for inferior goods to avoid effort and tension. Brigham hated that: 'That diffidence or timidity we must dispense with. When it becomes our duty to talk, we ought to be willing to talk … Interchanging our ideas and exhibiting that which we believe and understand affords an opportunity for detecting and correcting errors'—the expanding mind must be openly and frankly critical, come hell or high council; without that we get 'too much of a sameness in this community'—'I am not a stereotyped Latter-day Saint, and do not believe in the doctrine … Are we going to stand still? Away with stereotyped 'Mormons.'"

"Brigham was right after all. As administrative problems have accumulated in a growing Church, the authorities have tended to delegate the business of learning to others, and those others have been only too glad to settle for the outward show, the easy and flattering forms, trappings, and ceremonies of education. Worse still, they have chosen business-oriented, career-minded, degree-seeking programs in preference to the strenuous, critical, liberal, mind-stretching exercises that Brigham Young recommended. We have chosen the services of the hired image-maker in preference to unsparing self-criticism, and the first question the student is taught to ask today is John Dewey’s golden question: 'What is there in it for me?'"

- Hugh Nibley, Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, edited by Don E. Norton and Shirley S. Ricks [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1994], 329–330, 338.


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