• 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
    • Dr Ashley Carruthers
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course surveys the variety of approaches to the description and analysis of social life in social/cultural anthropology through seminars and the close reading of selected texts. It does so by tracing the development of anthropological theory through the twentieth century, and with reference to its earlier intellectual origins. The course begins by locating anthropology in its contemporary post-colonial context, and explores the challenge of reading the past from the perspective of the present. It then moves from a consideration of the emergence of 'society' and 'the social' as objects of study, outlines and assesses key aspects of functionalist, structural-functionalist, and structuralist approaches, explores the influence of Marxism and practice theory, examines key aspects of interpretive and symbolic anthropology, and ends with an examination of the implications of globalisation and the post-representational turn for the doing and writing of ethnography.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate their acquisition of a systematic and coherent body of knowledge of anthropological theory, its underlying principles and concepts;
  2. Comprehend, evaluate and apply theoretical concepts;
  3. Review, consolidate, extend and apply the knowledge acquired in their own written work as well as in class discussion.
  4. Demonstrate the development of a foundation for self-directed learning
  5. Demonstrate interpersonal and teamwork skills

Indicative Assessment

Weekly Seminar Participation (10%) LO 1, 2, 5

Minor Essay: 2000 words (30%) LO 3, 4

Annotated bibliography: 1000 words (10%) LO 1, 2, 3, 4

Major Essay: 6000 words (40%) LO 3, 4

In-class presentation: 10 minutes (10%) LO 3, 4, 5

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2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of seminars per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 16 hours of independent study per week over the semester (total 260 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying Bachelor of Arts Honours (HARTS or HART2) or Bachelor of Development Studies Honours (HDEVS), or completed 144 units towards the Bachelor of Philosphy (Arts) (APHAR or APNAR).

Prescribed Texts

Will be published on the course Wattle site.

Preliminary Reading

Eriksen, T. H., and Nielsen, F.S. A History of Anthropology London: Pluto Press, 2001.

Bohannan, P and Glazer, M., (eds) High Points in Anthropology, New York: Knopf, 1973.

Assumed Knowledge

Completion of a cognate major.



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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 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.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $5436
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $7752
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4742 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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