The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook

Description

You are invited on a journey to different places and different times. You will be introduced to peoples whose names you may never have heard and hear about diverse ways of living and being. You will be asked to reflect on cultural differences and similarities, and, through your new knowledge about other cultures, reflect on your own cultural home, worldview(s) and society.

This course offers an introduction to social and cultural anthropology. Through an exploration of the history of anthropology, anthropological methods and anthropological thought, you will gain insights into how anthropology has come to be a critical voice giving insight into everyday life, meaning making, social structure and cultural practice. You will learn about how regional studies at the level of village and community ('small places') have led to insights into the essence of what it means to be human ('large questions'). You will be introduced to the nature of anthropological fieldwork and distinct theoretical, empirical, and methodological debates within the discipline. At the same time as you will learn about the discipline of anthropology, you will be introduced to a number of anthropological theories and gain insights into how the study of other cultures and societies can help us deal with urgent problems confronting our own societies and the contemporary world.


Availability2019 Course Timetables

Online

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Ourimbah

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interrogate what the discipline of anthropology is and how it relates to the concepts of 'culture' and 'society';

2. Explain the concepts of life-worlds (local) and system world (global) and identify their interconnections;

3. Investigate processes of social and cultural transformation by applying a systematic, critical and sympathetic understanding of the contemporary world;

4. Demonstrate an introductory understanding of ethnography and the nature of social and cultural research more broadly;

5. Apply academic skills relevant to anthropology, including critical appraisal of anthropological literature and effective written communication.


Content

The course introduces the history of anthropology and of anthropological thought, and the nature and practice of anthropological fieldwork (ethnography). Topics may include:

  • The historical development of modern social and cultural anthropology;
  • Ethnography and ethnographic film;
  • Cultural relativism and ethnocentrism;
  • Constructions of 'the other';
  • Basic theoretical and analytic models applied in anthropology, including kinship theory;
  • Symbols and rituals;
  • The relationship between society and environment;
  • The impact of global economic and cultural processes on small-scale, localised regions and communities;
  • The variety and transformations of forms of social and political organisation and cultural expression among indigenous people(s);
  • Anthropology of urban societies, the variety and form of ethnic and cultural expression in post-colonial and cosmopolitan settings in a rapidly changing world;
  • Gender and sexuality in a cross-cultural context;
  • 'Seeing the world from below': how study of small-scale societies can help answer large questions about the human condition.

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Participant Observation Exercise (10%)

Practical Demonstration: Kinship Diagram (10%)

Essay: Essay (35%)

Quiz: Quiz (45%)


Contact hours

Callaghan

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

Tutorial

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks starting in week 2

Ourimbah

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

Tutorial

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks starting in week 2

Online

Lecture

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

Tutorial

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks starting in week 2