Engaging the World:Theory & Anthropology

Subject 121-305 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 37.5 points of core Anthropology and Social Theory subjects
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Andrew Dawson


Subject Overview: This capstone subject considers the role of social theory, both classical and modern, in anthropology. Its foci are simultaneously theoretical and practical. Firstly, through critical reading of a selection of core monographs, the subject explores how social theory both shapes and is shaped by the ethnographic research that anthropologists undertake. Secondly, through first-hand research on a contemporary substantive field, for example, familiarity, embodiment, subjectivity or identity, the subject introduces students to the art of grounded theory building. Students should complete this subject with knowledge of the historic role of different social theoretical traditions within anthropology, and with a firm grounding in the skills of empirically informed theory-building.
  • understand the historical role of different traditions in social theory within anthropology.
  • appreciate how the comparative perspective of and tradition of empirical enquiry in anthropology has informed developments in social theory.
  • have a firm grounding in the skills of empirically informed theory building.
Assessment: A 2000 word essay 50% (due at the end of week 9), and a 2000 word research essay 50% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the Bookroom at the beginning of the semester.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Notes: Third year Capstone subject in NewGen 'Anthropology and Social Theory' major.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology & Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory

Download PDF version.