• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology

Introducing the Anthropology of Migration. Crossing Borders covers the core theories and key case studies students will need to make sense of the complex terrain of contemporary international and domestic migration, both voluntary and forced. Beginning with a focus on international migration from developing to developed nations, we ask:

*Why do people migrate?
*Why do they go where they do?
*What are their experiences of resettlement, work and community in their new host nations?
*How do migrant communities form distinctive identities as a result of their migration experiences?
*How do host nations react to flows of legal and informal migrants in terms of policy and in terms of ideologically driven responses?
*How do host nation policies and social ideologies, especially around race, shape processes of migrant and refugee identity formation?
*What relationships do contemporary international migrants maintain with their homelands?

We then move to a focus on labour migration, both international and domestic, in developing nation contexts. Here we take a special focus on feminised labour migration for factory and domestic work in Asia and the Middle East. In this context, we enquire:

*What experiences of marginalisation and exploitation do female labour migrants experience in host nations and cities?
*How do they negotiate and resist harsh labour regimes and gendered and racist stereotyping?
*What kinds of long-distance family relationships come into existence as a result of the migration of these women?
*How do 'cash, communications and care' circulate in transnational families?
*What development effects might the economic and social remittances sent by labour migrants back to home communities have?

In terms of teaching approach, the course emphasis will be on understanding and mastering the language and theoretical tools used in the anthropology of migration, and the practical and critical application of  key course concepts to real life migration experiences. We will use an innovative team based learning approach in which students help each other workshop the weekly readings and carry out critical and interpretive activities in class based on empirical case studies of migration.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Make significant progress towards mastering the core language and key conceptual approaches found in anthropological and related social science writing on migration, allowing them to read and comprehend such texts independently.
  2. Apply the core language and key concepts of the anthropology of migration to real life case studies, thus producing a critical analysis of practices and discourses around migration.
  3. Independently research and analyse individual and communal experiences of migration using both secondary sources (academic) and primary sources (interviews, media and online resources, etc).
  4. Identify and debate ethical and political issues around a variety of practices of migration and migrant incorporation into host communities and labour markets (e.g. racism, social marginalisation, and exploitation under harsh labour regimes).
  5. Interact and work with class peers on team based assessments in a socially intelligent, productive and mutually supportive way.

Indicative Assessment

Individual weekly reading and lecture content test 20% [LO 1]
Team weekly reading and lecture content test 20% [LOs 1, 5]
Team activity 10%  [LOs 2, 4, 5]
Migrant Narrative Assignment 2,000 words (15%) [LOs 1, 2, 3, 4]
Research Essay (35% in total; 10% for a 1,000 word Draft Outline and 25% for the 3,000 word Final Essay) [LOs 1, 2, 3, 4]


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130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of workshop; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ANTH6515. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.




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:
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
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
3727 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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