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This course provides the aspiring anthropologist with an array of primarily qualitative methodological tools essential to successful urban fieldwork. As such, it is a practicum of sorts, where regular field assignments help build one’s ability to record and analyze social behavior by drawing on several key data collection techniques. Because we have the luxury of inhabiting a large, densely populated, international city, this class requires that you take a head-first plunge into urban anthropology. The NYC area will define the laboratory for individually- designed research projects. Be forewarned, however! Ethnographic engagement involves efforts to detect social patterns, but it is often a self-reflexive exercise, too. Readings provide methodological, analytical, and personal insights into the skills, joys, and trials that define successful field research


Barnard College

Anthropology examines the social worlds people create and inhabit.  It is a comparative discipline that takes seriously the differences between societies across the globe and through time. Historically, anthropologists studied non-European societies, describing their social and linguistic systems, their patterns of thought and culture and by doing so they aimed to throw into relief the contingency of normative Western assumptions.