• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Simone Dennis
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

Anthropology is the study of human cultures, in all their breadth, depth and range. This range of study positions anthropology as a very broad discipline but it is equally a specialist one: anthropologists seek to generate a disciplinary-specific knoweldge about human beings that goes beyond the taken for granted. A key practice of anthropology is ethnography. Ethnographic information is collected over long periods of time, among the people the anthropologist wants to study. On the basis of long-term and in-depth engagement, anthropologists are able to arrive at very specific cultural understandings of the world, which differ from conventional, assumed and even stereotypical or ethnocentric understandings. In the world we live in today, generating understandings of people that take account of the equal but different ways in which people live in the world is more crucial than ever. In this course, we will look at the distinctive ways in which anthropologists generate knowledge of human societies. Students will also have opportunity to learn how to apply anthropological understanding and ethnographic techniques in a hands-on way to their immediate circumstances: the culture of the University. In a supportive and exciting research-based teaching environment, students will become budding researchers in the culture they have just arrived in, and will take these new experiences for anthropological analysis.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

To develop in students in and through lectures and reading: an appreciation of the extent of cultural variation and social difference in the modern world; an appreciation of the interpretive strengths of social anthropology in the study of contemporary cultures; a basic understanding of the major theories, debates and core practices of the discipline.

To develop in students in and through participation in ethnographic practice: a sense of the importance of extended residence in, and close acquaintance with, other cultures in order to understand them; an appreciation of the practical application of anthropological methods; a capacity to gather relevant information using ethnographic methods.

To develop in students in and through research workshops (dedicated tutorials) an appreciation of the relevance of specific anthropological theories to particular ethnographic information (gathered of the university).

To develop and hone in students in and through all levels of course participation: a research imagination and an enthusiasm for research; to welcome students into the research environment of the university as budding researchers.

Other Information

This course may be counted towards an Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Development Studies, Human Sciences, Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) Studies or Population Studies major.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial assignment (research workshop) (5%), tutorial attendance and participation (20%), ethnographic portfolio (35%) 1,500 word essay (40%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week + 1-3 hours of study outside of contact hours per week.

Preliminary Reading

None is required, but students may choose to consult an introductory textbook of the discipline, such as Eriksen, T.H. Small Places, Large Issues: an Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, 2nd ed., Pluto Press, 2001, or Scupin, Raymond 2000 ‘Introduction to Social Anthropology' in his Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective 4th ed., New Jersey: Prentice Hall pp 1-19. .


Contemporary texts (2000 onwards) will be used along with the following anthropological mainstays:

Geertz, C. 1975 ‘Thick Description: Towards an Interpretive Theory of Culture' in his The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays London: Hutchinson pp3-30

Anderson, Benedict 1986 ‘Introduction' in his The Imagined Community: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism London: Verso pp 15-21

Handelman, D. ‘Premises and Prepositions' in his Models and Mirrors: Towards an Anthropology of Public Events  New York: Berghahn  pp 3-21

Hendry, Joy 1999 ‘Introduction' in her An Introduction to Social Anthropology: Other People's Worlds London: Macmillan Press pp. 1-16.

Turner, V. 1967 ‘Chapter IV: Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in rites de passage' in his Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual  Ithaca: Cornell UP pp 93-111



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $1164
2004 $1926
2005 $2286
2006 $2286
2007 $2286
2008 $2286
2009 $2286
2010 $2358
2011 $2424
2012 $2472
2013 $2472
2014 $2478
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2004 $2916
2005 $3132
2006 $3132
2007 $3132
2008 $3240
2009 $3240
2010 $3240
2011 $3240
2012 $3240
2013 $3240
2014 $3246
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8884 21 Jul 2014 01 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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