Culture and Communication

Description: (Formerly numbered 33.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Required as preparation for both bachelor's degrees. Introduction to study of communication from anthropological perspective. Formal linguistic methods compared with ethnographically oriented methods focused on context-bound temporal unfolding of communicative activities. Topics include language in everyday life and ritual events, socialization, literacy, multilingualism, miscommunication, political discourse, and art-making as cultural activity. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 3.8
Easiness 4.0/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 3.6/ 5
Helpfulness 3.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2021 - Anthro 4 was an ok experience for me. My main issue with the class was the format of assignments Professor Duranti chose. The basic structure was 6 assignments with no release/due dates to just be given out at various points in the quarter - each was worth 20%, lowest one gets dropped. If you are happy with your grade after five, you don't have to do the sixth (or you can choose to not do one of the other assignments). No midterm, not final, literally nothing matters in this class besides your grades on these assignments (discussion sections are optional, no participation or anything). In theory, this is actually awesome, and it had its benefits, but unfortunately in the first 7 weeks of the class we had two (2) assignments... you get where this is headed. Even though the assignments themselves are really not difficult and Duranti directs you to the corresponding readings and gives some hints, the pacing of the workload was really not distributed equally. Maybe not a killer for everyone, but I found this to be pretty frustrating. My TA (Spencer) was great, he clearly really wanted to engage us and was super helpful if you went to optional discussion sections, but I thought he was a bit of a harsh grader on some things. For me, the reason this class was a "so-so" experience was that I found the subject (linguistic anthropology) to be really dense, hard to understand with the effort I was willing to put in (honestly, took this as a requirement, just wanted to get it done with limited interest in actual topic going into the class), and more reading than I was hoping to have (especially at the start, near 100 pages per week). Duranti however is clearly passionate, invested in our learning, witty, funny, and ALWAYS offering help and answering questions. I think the class lost some of its charm being online, but overall was a fine experience and not too difficult grade-wise to succeed.
Overall Rating 3.6
Easiness 1.3/ 5
Clarity 3.3/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.1/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I took Anthro 33 Spring Quarter 2001. Character She talks sooooooooooooo fast. She can probably digress, tell an anecdote, make 50 remarks before she stops to breath. Okay so I'm exaggerating. Prof Echeverria has a lot of energy, and wants everyone to sit as close as possible to the front. She makes the effort to memorize names and she does get it right half the time. She's not a comedian, but she's high on adrenaline, and that's enough to brighten your day (in theory). Lecture style Before each lecture she has handouts for everyone (most of the time). It is basically an outline of critical concepts and ideas from the readings you have done the night before. She places EXTREME emphasis on having the material read because she wants many people to participate in class (a la raising your hand), and it's pretty hard to understand what's going on without reading the book (although you can still pick up a few things via handout). She encourages participation, even if you're wrong, she doesn't care, and you shouldn't have to worry; she won't pick on you. The only time she picks on you is if you've dozed off in class and sit conveniently in her field of vision like I did. Reading Oh why! The course reader is thicker than my math book. *frown* And several of the readings are so verbose, particular one I forever shall remember: the horrorendously long-winded article by Jacqueline Urla. Prof Echeverria will do this to you. Exams She passes out review study guides before each exam, and you'll like this because the midterms and final questions come directly from the review. You're given a set of questions in which you get to decided which one to answer (not too shabby). Of course, they are the essay questions, and usually asks you to describe an anthropological concept backed up by several readings of different authors. *moans* You have one midterm and one final. The midterm covers the material from the first half of the quarter, and the final covers material from the second half, splitting readings you have to study (which is absurdly a lot anyway). Projects She assigns two group projects (that you can choose to do by yourself, although she doesn't condone it). They do require a lot of effort given the problem of having to find the perfect day to work on the project when everyone is free. So, be sure to keep the groups small. The assignment requirement isn't that much (a 5 page essay usually, double-spaced, single-side), but my group usually went overkill anyway. Grade Your grade is based on one midterm (15%), one final (25%), two projects (20% & 25%), participation (5%), and in-class writing assignments (10%).
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