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

 The focus of this course is the examination of issues in anthropology and the social sciences, and the development of research skills. Students will explore the characteristics of a problem in anthropology, and how one can relate theory to empirical material, theory to ethnography, and the investigation of social issues. Students will be introduced to a range of commonly deployed ethnographic methods and will be invited to consider the relationship to those methods to theory and the carriage of argument, relative to their own intended honours question and selected ethnographies. 

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. Identify and research a particular topic or strand of argument in anthropological literature;
  2. Create basic themes and structures to formulate research questions;
  3. Explain the notion of `ethnography’ in the anthropological tradition, and some of its conventions, as well as changes in it.
  4. Examine the relationship between the conceptual background and the ethnographic research material in ethnographies studied.

Indicative Assessment

Weekly Seminar Participation (10%)  LO 1, 2

2 In-class presentations of 5 minutes each (5% each) LO 1, 2

Paper: 2500 words (15%) LO 3, 4

Annotated bibliography: 1000 words (15%) LO 1, 2

Major Essay: 5000 words (50%) LO 2, 3, 4

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 have completed 144 units of Bachelor of Philosophy Arts or currently studying Bachelor of Arts Honours, Bachelor of Development Studies Honours or Bachelor of Asian Studies Honours, or with permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

(sample set of ethnographic readings for one semester; main course ethnographic texts will change from time to time):

Kahn, Miriam. Tahiti Beyond the Postcard: Power, Place and Everyday Life. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011.

Tengan, Ty P. Kawika 2008. Native Men Remade: Gender and Nation in Contemporary Hawaii.

Cattelino, Jessica  2008. High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty. Duke.

Preliminary Reading

Thornton 1985. `Imagine Yourself Set Down: Mach, Frazer, Conrad, Malinowski, and the Role of the Imagination in Ethnography’. Anthropology Today 1(5):7-14.

Malinowski, B. 1953 [1922]. The Subject, Method and Scope of this Inquiry.  Pp. 1-25 from Argonauts of the Western Pacific. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Evans-Pritchard, E.E. 1940. Introductory. Pp. 1-15 and from `Interest in Cattle’, pp. 36-50 from The Nuer. Oxford: Clarendon.

Hammersley, M. and P. Atkinson 2007. What is Ethnography? From Ethnography: Principles in Practice. Third edition. Routledge.

Assumed Knowledge

Completion of a cognate major.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

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12.00 0.25000
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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1224 01 Jan 2023 20 Jan 2023 20 Jan 2023 31 Mar 2023 In Person N/A

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