1 Welcome to Exploring Non-Western Cultures

As we begin our journey in Anthropology 112: Exploring Non-Western Cultures, think for a moment about the fact that you are taking a class about exploring other cultures around the world — and you are doing it in a format that actually allows you to connect with people from around the world. This is the power of the electronic age!

Working Online

Online courses offer us flexibility — to schedule coursework into our busy lives … to work at our own pace … and to do all this at home or a coffee shop or … wherever!

Online Textbook Included!

Our textbook also offers us flexibility. It is an Open Educational Resource (known as OER), which means it was created with the goal of being a free source of information for students. This electronic resource was written by anthropologists from the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, and we are utilizing twelve of their chapters for this ANT 112 course.

Thinking Across the Chapters

Each of the Modules in the course focuses on three chapters in the textbook. As you read the chapters and write your Virtual Field Trip essays, remember to think across the chapters:

  • How are ideas, concepts and terms in different chapters related to each other? How does each chapter build on the ideas of previous chapters (within the Module and in the textbook as a whole)?
  • As you explore why individuals and groups hold certain ideas and act/behave in certain ways, go beyond just defining terms. Think and read more deeply. Look for interconnections between socio-economics, politics, ethnicity, race, gender, kinship, religion, and class (to name a few).
  • When composing Field Trip essays, demonstrate that you are thinking across the chapters. Do your best to incorporate information, concepts and terms from other chapters of the relevant module. If used well, just one or two will usually strengthen the essay and, thus, the grade.


In this course on “Exploring Non-Western Cultures,” I invite you to focus on the “exploration”: You are part of a larger group of learners — global citizens — who travel together this semester to learn more about the amazing peoples and cultures in world:

Where do you want to go?

Take Virtual Field Trips to visit peoples and places around the world.

What do you want to learn about?

Follow Your Own Path for your semester research project.


In our online class, we connect with people by the words we type into a website. This is a fascinating kind of communication! I hope you embrace it this semester, and get to know your peers (and me) in this course during the discussion sessions. I have “met” people around the world through the portal of my computer — and it has made my life much richer. I hope this course will enrich us all.

I am excited about this class, and looking forward to working together with you this semester!

Let’s Get Started! Introduce Yourself

Insta-Snap Introduction Discussion

  • Introduce yourself to the class using a social media model! Be creative – draw on the way people use social media, with a short paragraph (100 words) and a photo or fun image to convey a sense of who you are!
  • You choose what to share, but please mention one thing you would like to learn more about in this course on Exploring Non-Western Cultures (15 points).
  • Include a photograph of favorite scenery, food, or another fun photo, with an explanation of how it reflects you (5 points).

You may also post two comments to peers, for extra credit (50 words each, 3 points each)!


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