Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 1
Hours: 1 lecture per week (12 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will have experienced the process of collaborative research in the social sciences.
  • Students will recognize when to utilize distinct methods of applied cultural anthropology for data collection and analysis.
  • Students will have an awareness of the value of applied cultural anthropology for solving problems in the world around them.


Applied anthropology focuses on the use of anthropological theories, perspectives and data-gathering methods in real-world contexts of practice or problem-solving. This 1-unit course provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply field methods from the sub-discipline of applied cultural anthropology to problems found in their own communities. Students will learn how to identify a research topic, write a proposal and project plan with specific milestones and deliverables, carry out research with the most appropriate field methodologies of applied research, and produce a "product" at the end of the course. Projects for this course will be in one of the major arenas of applied cultural anthropology, including: design anthropology, development anthropology, anthropology and health care, anthropology and social work, anthropology and education, organizational and business anthropology. Students will utilize field methodologies unique to applied cultural anthropology.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Articulate how and why applied anthropology is a legitimate area of anthropological inquiry.
B. Cite examples of applied cultural anthropology in one or more of the major areas of study and application, including: design anthropology, development anthropology, anthropology and healthcare, anthropology and social work, anthropology and education, organizational and business anthropology.
C. Demonstrate an awareness of the field methodologies of applied anthropology, including research design, and the basic skills of successful anthropologists working in the public and private sectors.
D. Discuss the role and benefits of applied cultural anthropology in solving contemporary social issues at home and abroad.

Course Content

A. Overview of the 4-fields of anthropology, and applied anthropology as the 5th field.
B. Arenas and examples of applied cultural anthropology.
C. Development and implementation of a research design.
D. Background research and reconnaissance.
E. Cultivating informants.
F. Social survey and interview methodologies.
G. Data collection techniques.
H. Preliminary statistical analysis of social science data.
I. Interpretation of data and self-reflexivity.
J. Report preparation and presentation to concerned stakeholders.
K. Sustainable development.
L. Local and global implications of applied anthropology.

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment


Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of evaluation may include but are not limited to:
A. Multiple choice and/or essay exams
B. Individual and/or group oral presentations
C. Research papers and/or written reports
D. Worksheets to supplement data collection and analysis
E. Preparation of field notes or journal
F. Participation in small group and all class discussions

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of instruction may include but are not limited to the following:
A. Short lectures
B. Discussion
C. Field exercises
D. Classroom exercises
E. Oral presentations
F. Guided preparation of reports
G. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Podolefsky, Aaron, Peter J. Brown, and Scott M. Lacy. Applying Cultural Anthropology: An Introductory Reader. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2013.

This remains the most relevant text in this field; there is no newer edition.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading, analysis and reflection of case studies in applied cultural anthropology

B. Preparation of research proposals

C. Data collection using ethnographic fieldwork methods

D. Analysis of data

E. Preparation of written reports and oral presentations