Chapter

Exploring origins

in An Invitation to Laughter

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226434766
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226434759 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226434759.003.0002
Exploring origins

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This is the story of the author's career in anthropology, which began in 1956, when he was a sophomore student at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Because of his lack of interest in any particular subject, he was enrolled in what was called a “group major,” in the author's case comprising history, sociology, and education. The author took education for two reasons: first, because it was one of the specialties required for the scholarship he was after, and second, because a teaching diploma would guarantee him a job upon graduation. One is not required to have a teaching diploma to teach in private schools in Lebanon, but it contributes to making one a better teacher—and also increases one's salary as a teacher by about eight percent. For his master's thesis, the author chose to do fieldwork on social stratification and school achievement in Cedarstown (a pseudonym for a small village in north Lebanon), a study combining sociology with education. After graduating from AUB, he chose to study anthropology, and went to the University of Oregon.

Keywords: anthropology; American University of Beirut; Lebanon; University of Oregon; fieldwork; social stratification; school achievement; sociology; education; group major

Chapter.  4555 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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