• 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 Autumn Session 2017
    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

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.


Semester length delivery - 260 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 24 hours of seminars and b) 212 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Intensive delivery - 260 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 48 hours of contact: lectures and seminars delivered intensively over 6 weeks; and b) 212 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Bachelor of Arts Honours (HARTS or HART2), Bachelor of Development Studies Honours (HDEVS) or Bachelor of Asian Studies Honours (HASIA), 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
2017 $5712
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $8160
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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5768 18 Apr 2017 28 Apr 2017 28 Apr 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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