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RE: [SACC-L] Advice?

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  • Monica Bellas
    Sydney -- Congratulations! I find, at my community college, that students don t have the reading ability to really understand the nuances of an ethnography
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 19 11:43 AM
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      Sydney --
      Congratulations! I find, at my community college, that students don't have
      the reading ability to really understand the nuances of an ethnography
      (unfortunately, they're lucky if they're reading at an 8th grade level).
      Lecturing on it does help, but I've found that they get much more out of
      reading articles. I use Annual Editions: Anthropology and require that they
      read 15 articles over the course of the semester. They must then summarize
      the article and include their thoughts in a final paragraph. I do this in
      conjunction with 5 other writing assignments which will guide them through
      (hopefully) recognizing ethnocentrism and practicing cultural relativism. I
      start them out with "Body Ritual of the Nacirema" and have them comment on
      "those peoples'" behavior; we then discuss it in class. Then on to "Where
      Fat is a Mark of Beauty" where they compare ideas of beauty. By this time
      they're able to recognize and practice cultural relativism, at least in
      their writing assignments.
      BTW, Philippe's book is excellent...as is the Hmong ethnography. I just
      wish my students had the reading/analytical skills to read them!
      Monica Bellas
      Cerritos College
      Norwalk, CA





      >From: "Lewine, Mark" <mark.lewine@...>
      >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      >To: <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
      >Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Advice?
      >Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 17:36:33 -0400
      >
      >
      >I echo the suggestion from Phil, and have found that Philippe is a strong
      >supporter of anthro in community colleges. If you use it, you can
      >communicate with him directly and have your students get updates and
      >contact. He is doing a presentation at AAA on Race and Class Issues in
      >Community Colleges for the Anthro Education Committee this coming year.
      >
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of naftalyp@...
      >Sent: Tue 7/18/2006 6:33 AM
      >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Advice?
      >
      >Hello Sydney,
      > If you are looking for an ethnography about contemporary
      >America
      >that addresses many of the current concerns in anthropology, I would take a
      >look at "In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio" by Philippe
      >Bourgois.
      >
      >
      >Quoting sydneyhart1 <S-Hart1@...>:
      >
      > > I just got hired full time at a community college and I'm teaching
      > > three sections of Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. I've been using my
      > > Sociology background for a long time, so I'm a bit rusty in Anthro. I
      > > plan on using a textbook and one or two really good ethnographies. Any
      > > suggestions?
      > > --Sydney
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > !DSPAM:44bc35a5100363879013058!
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
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      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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      >
      >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
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    • Lynch, Brian M
      Hello all, I sent a slightly different version of the following in response directly to Sydney, but thought I would re-send to the whole list, as I have been
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 19 12:13 PM
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        Hello all,

        I sent a slightly different version of the following in response
        directly to Sydney, but thought I would re-send to the whole list, as I
        have been finding the exchange on this question a very interesting one.

        Brian


        *****************Original Message*************************
        Sydney,

        ..... I have been at a small, rural community college in northeastern
        Connecticut for over 13 years, and have been the one-person anthro/soc
        department for that whole period. And I love it! My own background is
        in cultural anthro (PhD in same) but with enough undergrad and grad
        sociology to be teaching 100 level (intro) and 200 level soc courses
        (like social problems, soc of family, social inequality etc.).

        One thing I do in all my classes is to assign a semester-long "clipping
        file project " ; for this, I ask students to pick up a newspaper (and
        to make an effort to pick up one they don't normally read) every week,
        to watch for things in the news that relate to what we cover in the
        class over the semester. I always get puzzled looks in anthro for the
        first few weeks, but when students start to get the idea, there is no
        stopping the process. They collect a set number of articles, and at the
        end of the semester write a brief reflection paper on the whole
        collection. The main idea of the whole project is to help open up
        awareness of where the academic discipline of anthropology (or
        sociology) peeks through everyday life, when we pay attention. (I use
        the example of when I got my first car: before I did, I couldn't tell
        you much about any type of cars, but once I had my first hand-me-down
        Dodge Dart, I started noticing how many Dodge Darts there were on the
        road, and how many variations of Darts (Dusters, Chargers etc.) All of
        a sudden it was easy to notice!

        As for ethnographies, I have tried a variety of approaches, but my
        underlying assumption is that even the not-so celebrated ethnographies
        (i.e. the "older" ones that now come in for much criticism) can be
        "teachable moments," helping students themselves to enter into the
        current dialogues about many contemporary anthropological issues.
        Though my own early focus was to make the case that we need to do
        ethnography about our own culture (studying up, etc.) I also still see
        the value in reading ethnographies about "others" (again, with all the
        teachable moments that that may afford).

        Finally, I usually give a list of potential, other selections as
        examples for people to choose one other semester reading-- and that list
        can be a broad selection of fiction, science fiction, biography etc.,
        that in some way can be related to ethnography. That assigned "choice"
        is then a further opportunity for students to review their own personal
        selection, and discuss it with the rest of the class for what they saw
        as the ethographic/anthropological value. That always generates great
        discussion.

        I am a "closet textbook user"-- I do usually order at least a small
        textbook that has the basic outline of stuff to cover, but I always go
        way beyond the basic textbook; I also try to select a book that will be
        adequate as a guide, but not super expensive-- we are, after all in a
        section of Connecticut where students are on super tight budgets.

        I hope any of this offers some insight. Good luck with your new work!
        Brian Donohue-Lynch



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Barry Kass
        Hi Sydney, Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L group is here
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 21 12:59 PM
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          Hi Sydney,

          Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor
          of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L
          group is here to
          help, so here goes:
          The textbook and two ethnographies I am currently assigning in my
          "Cultural Anthropology" sections at SUNY Orange include:

          1. Textbook--Peoples and Bailey HUMANITY-AN INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL
          ANTHROPOLOGY 7ED THOMSON/WADSWORTH PUB. ( especially because eleven of
          my "Images of Anthropology" photographs are published in the text. I
          agree that what you just read was a shameless plug. Anyway the link
          to my website is www.imagesofanthropology.com ) The organization,
          overall appeal, chapters included, and level of writing are excellent
          as well.
          2. ethnography #1: M.Ward /NEST IN THE WIND 2ND ED. An excellent
          protrayal of an anthropologist's field experience on a tropical island
          in the South Pacific. Waveland Press.
          3. ethnography #2: M. Shostak NISA--THE LIFE AND WORDS OF A !KUNG
          WOMAN Harvard U. Press. A fascinating autobiographical account of the
          life of a woman in one of the last remnant gathering-hunting societies
          able to be documented anthropologically.

          The above combination ( one text, two ethnographies ) have worked very
          well for me over my 37 years of college teaching. Of course there
          have been many different texts and other ethnographies along the way.
          As I see it, the textbook allows for an important organization to the
          course as the students follow the presentation of chapters, as well as
          enabling me to call apon two other anthropologists, Peoples and
          Bailey, the text authors, to assist in the teaching of anthropology to
          my students. As I always say to my students, I can't cover all of
          cultural anthropology by myself in the course! The ethnographies add
          a more vivid in-depth approach to class exporation of key issues and
          topics in cultural anthropology.

          Sydney, any questions concerning my approach, please call 845 341-4364
          (office) leave a message if you have to, I'll get back to you as soon
          as I can. Much better than plunking out lengthy e-mail messages like
          this one!

          Hi to all of my many (I hope, especially after the 'shameless plug'
          above) friends in SACC. Hope to see you at the next SACC conference
          in California.
          Barry Kass
          --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "sydneyhart1" <S-Hart1@...> wrote:
          >
          > I just got hired full time at a community college and I'm teaching
          > three sections of Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. I've been using my
          > Sociology background for a long time, so I'm a bit rusty in Anthro. I
          > plan on using a textbook and one or two really good ethnographies. Any
          > suggestions?
          > --Sydney
          >
        • anthony balzano
          Barry, These look great. Congratulations on getting them posted for everyone to see. Actually, I was looking for the ones from Seattle and couldn t find
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 31 8:18 AM
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            Barry,
            These look great. Congratulations on getting them posted for everyone to see. Actually, I was looking for the ones from Seattle and couldn't find them! Ha-ha. Hope things are going well.
            Regards,
            Tony Balzano

            >>> bkass@... 07/21/2006 03:59 PM >>>
            Hi Sydney,

            Best wishes regarding your recent hiring as a full time instructor
            of anthropology courses at a two-year college setting. The SACC_L
            group is here to
            help, so here goes:
            The textbook and two ethnographies I am currently assigning in my
            "Cultural Anthropology" sections at SUNY Orange include:

            1. Textbook--Peoples and Bailey HUMANITY-AN INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL
            ANTHROPOLOGY 7ED THOMSON/WADSWORTH PUB. ( especially because eleven of
            my "Images of Anthropology" photographs are published in the text. I
            agree that what you just read was a shameless plug. Anyway the link
            to my website is www.imagesofanthropology.com ) The organization,
            overall appeal, chapters included, and level of writing are excellent
            as well.
            2. ethnography #1: M.Ward /NEST IN THE WIND 2ND ED. An excellent
            protrayal of an anthropologist's field experience on a tropical island
            in the South Pacific. Waveland Press.
            3. ethnography #2: M. Shostak NISA--THE LIFE AND WORDS OF A !KUNG
            WOMAN Harvard U. Press. A fascinating autobiographical account of the
            life of a woman in one of the last remnant gathering-hunting societies
            able to be documented anthropologically.

            The above combination ( one text, two ethnographies ) have worked very
            well for me over my 37 years of college teaching. Of course there
            have been many different texts and other ethnographies along the way.
            As I see it, the textbook allows for an important organization to the
            course as the students follow the presentation of chapters, as well as
            enabling me to call apon two other anthropologists, Peoples and
            Bailey, the text authors, to assist in the teaching of anthropology to
            my students. As I always say to my students, I can't cover all of
            cultural anthropology by myself in the course! The ethnographies add
            a more vivid in-depth approach to class exporation of key issues and
            topics in cultural anthropology.

            Sydney, any questions concerning my approach, please call 845 341-4364
            (office) leave a message if you have to, I'll get back to you as soon
            as I can. Much better than plunking out lengthy e-mail messages like
            this one!

            Hi to all of my many (I hope, especially after the 'shameless plug'
            above) friends in SACC. Hope to see you at the next SACC conference
            in California.
            Barry Kass
            --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, "sydneyhart1" <S-Hart1@...> wrote:
            >
            > I just got hired full time at a community college and I'm teaching
            > three sections of Intro. to Cultural Anthropology. I've been using my
            > Sociology background for a long time, so I'm a bit rusty in Anthro. I
            > plan on using a textbook and one or two really good ethnographies. Any
            > suggestions?
            > --Sydney
            >







            Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
            Yahoo! Groups Links
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