Anthropology (An) Courses (2017-18)
An 14. Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Introduction to anthropological theory. Exploration of the diversity of human culture. Examination of the relationship between ecology, technology, and subsistence, patterns of marriage and residence, gender and sexual division of labor, reproduction, kinship, and descent. Links between economic complexity, population, social stratification, political organization, law, religion, ritual, and warfare are traced. Ethnic diversity and interethnic relations are surveyed. The course is oriented toward understanding the causes of cross-cultural variation and the evolution of culture. Instructor: Ensminger.
An 15. Human Evolution. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Introduction to human evolution, which is essential for understanding our species. Natural selection, sexual selection, genetics, systematics, behavioral ecology, and life history theory are covered. The order Primates is surveyed. Primary emphasis is on the hominid fossil and archeological record. Behavior, cognition, and culture of nonhuman primates and humans, as well as physical variation in present-day humans, are examined. Not offered 2017-18.
An 97. Undergraduate Research. Units to be arranged: any term. This course offers advanced undergraduates the opportunity to pursue research in Anthropology individually or in a small group. Graded pass/fail.
An 101. Selected Topics in Anthropology. Units to be determined by arrangement with the instructor: offered by announcement. Topics to be determined by instructor. Instructor: Staff.
An/PS 127. Corruption. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Corruption taxes economies and individuals in both the developing and the developed world. We will examine what corruption means in different places and contexts, from grand financial scandals to misappropriation of development funds, ethnic patronage, and the theft of elections. How do we measure it? What are its costs and social consequences? What are its correlates? Does freedom of information matter? Students will read across a range of topics, and write an in-depth research paper on one topic. Limited enrollment. Instructor: Ensminger.
An 135. Primate Behavior. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. This course will examine how natural selection has shaped the social organization, life histories, reproductive strategies, social behavior, and cognitive abilities of nonhuman primates. It will review natural and sexual selection, examine the ecological and social pressures that shape primate behavior, and consider the role these principles play in shaping modern human behavior. Not offered 2017-18. Instructor: Staff.
An/SS 142. Caltech Undergraduate Culture and Social Organization. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Students in this class will help develop hypotheses, methods, and background information for the design of a new class to be offered in subsequent years, which will seek to pose and empirically test questions related to cultural and social aspects of the Caltech undergraduate experience. Central to this project will be an examination of the theory of social networks and the role they play in the academic and social experience. Other qualitative and quantitative methods for future data gathering will also be designed. Not offered 2017-18.
An 150. The Caltech Project. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. Hands-on immersion in a social scientific research project examining the Caltech undergraduate community. Core data collection includes a social network analysis and a rich array of socio-demographic data from the actual Caltech student body. Students will develop research design skills by writing and revising a 3000 word research proposal modeled on the NSF format. This unique data set allows us to address questions as diverse as: the impact of social networks upon academic performance, the origin and extent of socio-cultural differences across houses, and the diffusion of moral, political, academic, and religious values. Not offered 2017-18.