Summer 2024 - SA 101 D100

Introduction to Anthropology (A) (4)

Class Number: 2396

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Tue, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Elliot Montpellier
    Office: TBA
    Office Hours: Monday 1-2pm, or by appointment



Anthropology asks fundamental questions about how people live and interact in different contexts. Engages with contemporary social life around the world, including the relations among people, ideas, and things. Provides analytical tools to help understand the role of culture and society in our lives. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This course is an introduction to social and cultural anthropology. Sociocultural anthropology examines, in broad terms, processes that produce and sustain a diverse set of social and cultural practices in human communities. Anthropology offers a range of methods and theories for understanding how people make meaning in everyday contexts and how varied ways of living interact across space and time. Thinking anthropologically helps analyze shared human experience, cultural difference, current events, our own cultural biases, and the shared world we live in by drawing attention to cultural patterns and themes across communities and history. The course delves into long-standing interests of the discipline, such as kinship, and more recent developments in the field, like interest in the impacts of climate change on the human species. It spans a range of topics from agrarian social structure to urban consumer culture, with selected case studies from Latin America, North America, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast and East Asia.



  • Explain the concept of culture and how cross-cultural analysis can inform our understanding of diverse social issues
  • Recognize anthropological concepts and ways of questioning in ethnographic case studies and apply them in thinking through social issues
  • Describe and analyze the research methods used by anthropologists and engage these methods in critically considering one’s own society and experiences
  • Understand the impact of historical change, power, colonialism, and globalization on culture and society
  • Present and defend well-organized arguments, orally and in writing, using critical anthropological thinking



  • Class participation and attendance 15%
  • Weekly Assignments (total of 6) 30%
  • Mid-term Exam 10%
  • Final Exam 15%
  • Auto-ethnography assignment (final paper) 30%


Details regarding weekly assignments will be outlined in the first week of class.



Attendance and participation in all assignments is required. Please complete all readings prior to coming to lectures, participating in exercises, and submitting assignments.

Please submit assignments on time or write to me to request an extension in the case of illness or emergency. Late assignments for which no extension was granted will be accepted up to five calendar days past the due date with a penalty of 5% per day.

Please come to class prepared to engage in critical thinking, to consider where scholars are coming from in their writing, and to respect differences in intellectual opinions among your peers.

Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



(2020) Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, 2nd Edition. eds. Nina Brown, Thomas McIlwraith, and Laura Tubelle de Gonzalez. American Association of Anthropology

- All other readings will be available through the SFU Libraries and/or in open access publications. All materials will be posted or linked to on the class Canvas page.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.