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.
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.
This course may be counted towards an Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Development Studies, Human Sciences, Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) Studies or Population Studies major.
Tutorial assignment (research workshop) (5%), tutorial attendance and participation (20%), ethnographic portfolio (35%) 1,500 word essay (40%).
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2 hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week + 1-3 hours of study outside of contact hours per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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
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|Class start date
|Last day to enrol
|Class end date
|Mode Of Delivery
|20 Feb 2017
|27 Feb 2017
|31 Mar 2017
|26 May 2017