I promised a sample exam, as if we were having a midterm, and I just plumb forgot.
Here it is – available for those who actually look at the blog 🙂
University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Spring 2010
SOCA 302 001
Anthropological Theory – Sample Midterm Exam
Instructions for Exam
- Remember, I will choose the final two questions out of these.
- Your answers need to be complete, comprehensive, and fully articulated. That’s the downside of you getting the test questions ahead of time. I expect well-thought-out answers. The upside is that if this were a take-home exam, you’d have to have page citations and I don’t expect that here.
- You can expect to spend at least an hour writing this exam – possibly longer. Don’t rush. Be patient. Trust your own insights and knowledge. You did a lot of work in this class, so let it show.
- I will grade your exam on the basis of:
- Clarity – could I understand your points? That means you need to re-read your answer as you go along to make sure that your discussion follows some sort of logical order.
- Accuracy – you have to have really understood what each theorist said, at least as far as is possible.
- Insight – do you see how things are connected, do you see how they are the same and how they are different?
- Consider how anthropology theorists deal with ‘culture,’ as in the concept of culture. Some directly address it, some do not; some emphasize it, some denigrate it. Compare and contrast Durkheim’s and Harris’s use of the culture concept.
- What is the goal of anthropological explanation? For some, it was to find shared humanity (universalism) and for others it was to explain cultural difference (particularism). Discuss the different ways anthropological theorists have dealt with this problem. I suggest focusing on the differences among the 19th century evolutionists and/or Durkheim compared to the Boasians or Levi-Strauss.
- Should anthropologists try to explain change (adaptation) or continuity (tradition)? Why or why not? Be sure to answer with reference to actual theorists read in this class.
- Consider what Marx contributed to theory since the 1940s. You can consider White, Steward, Wolf, Harris, Fried, Rappaport, etc., but you must consider two of them. Be specific and detailed. It’s not just power, for instance, but HOW they conceptualize power (etc.).