CuSAG's programs constitute the foundations of its research, training, and technical assistance programs.

CuSAG training vehicles include the following:

Academic Courses

CuSAG supported academic courses are of two types: (1) CEHC related courses; and (2)  courses in the study of Socio-cultural Diversity.

CEHC Related Courses

CEHC related courses are those that provide knowledge and skill related to the four systems of the CEHC: (1) community and cultural assessment research; (2) project planning; (3) project implementation; and (4) project implementation.  The following courses are those that have been taught for a number of years at the University of Maryland by the CuSAG Director, Tony Whitehead. As the Consortium in Applied Ethnography and Community Health Sciences (the CAECHS) is developed, more courses will be added.

ANTH 688B/468B – Applied Urban Ethnography: Community Assessment Research: The use of ethnographic research methods in carrying out community assessment research to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of culturally and community appropriate community based initiativesThis course usually has a fieldwork component in a local urban neighborhood. Presently this course provides students with an overview of some of the methods included in another of the CEHC’s four systems, the EICCARS. Because this is an overview course, over the next three years, CuSAG will work with the CAEHCHS to explore the development of various courses that focus on a number of the methods found in the EICCARS toolkit, with appropriate fieldwork in local communities. The methods to be explored as courses in their own right include the following:

  • Classical Ethnographic Methods of Statistical, Document, Archival, and Other Secondary Data Analysis, Methods of Observation, Participant Observation, and Informal Interviewing
  • The Use of Geographic Information Systems Technology and Photography in the Collection and Presentation of Community and Organizational Assessment Data
  • More Structured Approaches to Ethnographic Interviewing, Both Individual and Group, Including Key (Expert (or Informant) Interviews, Methods of Exploring Cultural Domains, Long Interviews, Focus Group Interviews, Oral Histories,
  • The Management, Analysis, and Presentation of Ethnographic Data, Case Study Development, and the Reporting and Dissemination (Writing and Publishing) of Ethnographic Data.  

ANTH 610/410 - Culture, Community, Health and Development.  Introduction to the relationships between culture, health status and practices, and the design of community based initiatives. Focus on the use of anthropological knowledge and skills in the analysis of such relationships and in the design of community based change initiatives. The course introduces students to theories and strategies of designing projects, particularly community based initiatives, and to one of the CEHC systems, Project Development and Implementation (the PDIP).  However, the focus on community based initiatives may change as the course, or a similar one that focuses on project design and development is developed.

ANTH 489G/689G: Seminar on Consulting, Proposal Development, and Other Forms of Securing Funding.  This course introduced students to these very important professional skills through presentations from professional consultants, interning with such consultants, as well as being actually involved with team proposal development and processes of funding.  This is a course that Whitehead developed, but has not been able to teach for a couple of years because of other responsibilities. The teaching of this course will in the future be carried out by CuSAG professional associates with considerable experience in consulting, proposal development, and securing funding.

ANTH 616 – Ethnographic Evaluation of Community Based Initiatives. The use of ethnographic methods in the evaluation of community based initiatives. Focus on the roles of various sub-cultural groups (sponsors, project personnel, target communities, evaluators, etc) in the design, implementation, and evaluation of community based initiatives, and the particular role that ethnography can play in the evaluation of such initiatives. Presently this course introduces students to a number of approaches to the evaluation of community based initiatives, and to another of the CEHC’s systems, the EAES.

Once the Consortium in Applied Ethnography and Community Health Sciences (the CAECHS) is developed, CuSAG will work with interested members in developing a course based on the CEHC system, Project Implementation Programs (the PIPs) This course will involve students in carrying out the steps of the PIPs in actual projects in which they or members of the CAECHS are working.  As CAEHCS members provide technical assistance to organizations, opportunities will be created for students to carry out internships in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of these efforts.

Courses Focusing on Socio-cultural Diversity

These courses will be designed to focus on the populations with whom CuSAG, or members of the proposed the CAECHS will be working, and are designed to prepare students for working in a socio-culturally diverse world. Here again, courses that Dr. Whitehead has designed and taught at UMCP will serve as a guide for the development of additional courses at UMCP and other institutions in which the planned CAECHS members work. Courses that have been designed and taught by Dr. Whitehead include the following:

ANTH 468N/688N: The Anthropology of the African American Family. This is a course developed by Dr. Whitehead, but that he has not been able to teach it the last couple of years because of other responsibilities. But he found the course to be of value in providing students with a strong historical and ecological framework for understanding issues of the African American family as they relate to health and social issues. The course takes a developmental perspective as it surveys the evolution of the African American family through periods of high environmental stress interposed with adaptive responses. The African American family is explored through such high stress periods as slavery, the post-bellum period, the period of urban migration and adaptation, the period of civil rights, desegregation and the crystallization of racialized urban ghettoes, the period of high drug infestation (e.g., crack cocaine), the period of welfare reform and other federal policies, and the persistence of societal neglect as the African American family moves into the 21st century.

As the CAECHS develops, it is looking for other applied social scientists who would like to develop similar courses that focus on other major ethnic and/or populations groups such as Asian Americans, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Euro-Americans, and Immigrant Populations

ANTH 689F/368X: Gender Constructs & Social Issues.  This is another course that Whitehead developed, but also has not been able to teach for a few years because of other demands. However, it is an area in which he has long worked, has a book with the same name as the title of the course, and has found over his long career that gender constructs (subjective frameworks of maleness and femaleness) are ideational constructs underlying a number of risk behaviors such as: (1) masculinity, crime, and violence; (2) sex and reproductive health (HIV and other sexually transmitted infections); unexpected or unwanted pregnancies, etc.); (3) problems in male-female communication; (4) problems associated with homosexual, transsexual and transgender issues; (5) gender as a hegemonic construct; (6) father-daughter incest; (7) issues related to global increases in commercial sex activities; (8) educational performance and career choice; (9) gender, health, and medical care; (10) gender and emotional/mental health disorders; (11) pornography and human rights issues as they relate to females; (9) globalization, capitalism and gender issues; and (12) cross cultural gender and women in development issues.

Over the next three years, CuSAG will explore with other members of the proposed CAECHS whether they would like to teach some of these courses, either on their own campuses, or at the University of Maryland, or add courses on similar topics that they are already teaching or would like to develop. A course on religion, as an ideational framework for shaping how people view health issues, and also as a vehicle for community base change programs is also being planned. 

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Three- to Six-Week Intensive Short Courses

CuSAG, along with the CAECHS, will develop intensive short courses lasting from three to six weeks based on the content of any of the courses listed above, or any of the components of these courses.

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One- to Three-Day Workshops based on the Knowledge and Skill Areas found in the CEHC

All four systems of the CEHC have multiple programs, each with knowledge and skill areas that can be taught themselves in workshop formats lasting from one to three days.

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Online and Distance Training

Once the CAEHCS is developed, all of the training vehicles listed above will be developed for online and distance training and technical assistance.

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CuSAG: The Cultural Systems Analysis Group
Department of Anthropology  |  University of Maryland
0123 Woods Hall  |  College Park, MD 20742 USA
tel. 301-405-1419  |
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Last updated 08/07/2012
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