• 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 First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

Through ethnographic methods, anthropologists examine a wide range of phenomena including medicine, the media, popular culture, indigenity, minority groups, law and the environment, along with many other areas. They do so by situating these topics within their broader cultural contexts, and closely examining taken for granted assumptions and ideas about them. 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.

This course looks at how anthropologists think about these topics, and how they carry out research. You will learn about anthropological styles of thinking, how to ask research questions, how to link up questions with methods, how to undertake methods to get data, and how to do basic data analysis.

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. Demonstrate foundational disciplinary knowledge of anthropology.
  2. Appraise the theoretical ambitions of anthropology and their worth in the contemporary world.
  3. Engage with and examine everyday topics with a new and anthropological focus.
  4. Discuss and pose anthropological questions.
  5. Apply basic anthropological research methods and analysis.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-4]
Field notes, 1000 words + example of notes taken in situ (20%) [Learning Outcomes 3, 5]
Kinship diagram and interpretation, 1000 words + your example kinship diagram (30%) [Learning Outcomes 3, 5]
Final essay, 1500 words (40%) [Learning Outcome 2]


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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

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. 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
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
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
3614 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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