Fall 2016 - SA 101 D100

Introduction to Anthropology (A) (4)

Class Number: 3370

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Tue, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Natasha Ferenczi



An introduction to the study of human social and cultural life from an anthropological perspective. The course will explore the scope and nature of the discipline of anthropology through study of selected cases drawn from both technologically simple communities and complex modern industrial societies. Students with credit for SA 170 may not take SA 101 for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences. Equivalent Courses: SA170 Breadth-Social Sciences.


SA 101 invites students to engage in an exploration of “culture” and the concepts used in anthropology to understand social life.  We will discuss how culture shapes different worlds of meaning, and what it means to speak of “different cultures” in a world shaped by colonial relations of power and global movements of people, parts of nature, goods and technologies.  We will use one anthropology textbook, and two detailed accounts of social life.  The first book focuses on the everyday lives of families living in shanty towns in Brazil near Rio de Janeiro.  The second book takes a close look at changing notions of self, romance, and marriage in Nepal.  As a class, we will consider the ways our own lives and histories intersect with these readings, and gain a broader perspective on difference.  A key goal in this course will be learning how to think analytically and anthropologically about the lives of others and ourselves.  We will use lectures, small break out sessions, painting and films to examine these issues, as well as a tutorial for more in-depth discussions.


  • Midterm exam (Week 7): 30%
  • Final exam (take-home): 30%
  • Ethnographic exercises (see Delaney text): 30%
  • Tutorial participation (including ungraded written assignments): 10%


Note the due dates on the syllabus.


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04).  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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Delaney, Carol.  Investigating Culture:  An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology.  Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Goldstein, Donna M.  Laughter out of Place.  University of California Press, 2003.

Ahearn, Laura.  Invitations to Love:  Literacy, Love Letters, and Social Change in Nepal.  University of Michigan Press, 2001.


Narayan, Kirin.  Alive in the Writing: crafting ethnography in the company of Chekhov.  University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html