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These three interlinked modules introduce some of anthropology’s most important ideas, exploring several of the analytical approaches characteristic of ethnographic inquiry today. Students learn to describe and interpret contemporary social phenomena through the concepts and associated forms of inquiry that are unique to the anthropological tradition.
Part 2: Misfortune and Meaning. Why do bad things happen? This seminar explores how people give sense to misfortunes, crises, and disasters, and how that meaning implicates different kinds of social response. We will explore key terms through which misfortune is understood — such as ‘risk,’ ‘disaster,’ ‘emergency,’ ‘suffering,’ ‘care,’ and ‘crisis’ — and we will query the social implications of the frameworks of intelligibility often associated with them.