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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Anthropology (ANTH)

ANTH 476W (WMNST 476W) Anthropology of Gender (3) Cross-cultural construction of gender and sex roles; theories of gender construction; case studies and practical effects.

ANTH 476W Anthropology of Gender (3)

Students will learn the current theoretical approaches in anthropology to the cultural construction of gender and sex roles. The first 2-3 weeks of the course will concentrate on exploring and understanding these theoretical approaches. The remaining weeks will focus on case studies of non-western gender systems, and on the practical effects of those systems, but students will also be encouraged to relate these systems to their own experience. Each meeting will be based on discussion of the readings assigned for that meeting and students will be expected to participate. During the period devoted to theoretical approaches, discussion will focus on the assumptions, advantages, and disadvantages of each approach. For the part of the course devoted to readings on individual societies, one reading each week will be the basis for a critical essay of approximately five pages. These essays will be expected to include: 1) an identification of the theoretical approach that informs the work, 2) a statement of the author's arguments or questions, 3) a discussion of the methods used to provide data in support of the arguments or to answer questions, 4) a critique of the adequacy of data, and 5) a statement suggesting which additional elements might make for a better study. These essays will be graded for both content and form and students will have the option of rewriting essays (and improving their grade) after they receive comments. These essays will provide 60% of the course grade, while participation in discussions will provide another 15%.

A short research paper will also be required. The paper must focus on a question or hypothesis concerning gender, and a preliminary proposal that includes the focus of the paper, its relevance to the course, and a beginning bibliography is required. A first draft of the paper will be required two weeks before the end of the semester. The research paper will provide 25% of the course grade.

The course complements other courses in Anthropology that deal with sex differences, but will provide a perspective on gender that is not available elsewhere in the curriculum. The course can be used to fulfill a Behavioral Anthropology requirement in both the major and minor in Anthropology and a writing across the curriculum requirement. It will also provide students in other departments with the opportunity to study aspects of diverse, non-western cultures. The course is currently identified as one that may be taken to fulfill the requirements of the Women's Studies minor.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2011
Prerequisite: 3 credits in women's studies or anthropology

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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