Anthropology of Kinship and Family

Subject ANTH30004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Knowledge gained in completing any one (12.5 points) of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed ANTH30004 Anthropology of Kinship and Family are not permitted to enrol in this subject

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Paul Green


Subject Overview:

Kinship studies has a long, important and contentious history in Anthropology. Drawing on this historical legacy this subject applies both classic and contemporary anthropological theories of family, kinship and social relatedness to a range of ethnographic case studies. The subject addresses three inter-related themes. Firstly, there is an anthropological focus on the links that exist between kinship and the nation-state in terms of national identity, ethnicity, migration and state policy. Secondly, the subject considers yet complicates imaginings of blood ties and biogenetic substance by examining the influences of black magic, ghost marriages, Skype, spiritual conception, milk, guns, deities, surrogate mothers and medical practitioners in the shaping of kin ties today. Finally, there is a focus on continuity and social change and the ways in which the meaning of family, kinship and social relationships are transformed or otherwise by new reproductive and genetic technologies, polygamy, same-sex relationships, friendships and the influence of internet and mobile-phone based forms of communication.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Demonstrate a critical, cross-cultural understanding of anthropological perspectives on family, kinship and social relatedness
  • Develop a reflexive appreciation of the meaning of family, kinship and social relations in the context of their own lives
  • Develop an appreciation of the interplay between theory and ethnography inquiry
  • Be able to communicate effectively in written and oral formats

  • A 2000 word research essay (50%) due during the semester.
  • A 2000 word research essay (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the university bookshop.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): U21 Diploma in Global Issues
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Gender Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Anthropology
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Gender Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Anthropology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Gender Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): Anthropology - self and society

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