Anthropology of Kinship and Family

Subject ANTH30004 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 ( 1 x 2 hour lecture per week and 1 x 1 hour tutorial in weeks 2-11)
Total Time Commitment: an average of 8.5 hours each week.
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:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed Sentiments and structures - 121058 / 671350 in 2010 or earlier 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:
Subject Overview:

Kinship studies have a long, important and recently contentious history in Anthropology. The purpose of this subject is to situate the anthropological study of kinship and family in a contemporary perspective that both takes account of that history while making claims for the continuing relevance of studying a particular kind of relatedness that exists, albeit in diverse forms, in all human communities over time. By locating kinship within the history of anthropology this subject provides insight into the meaning of kinship terms, definitions of the family and more contemporary understandings of social relatedness. These understandings of family and kinship are in turn explored through theories of national kinship systems and the re-configuration of social and kin ties and also family and state ties in transnational social spaces. A wide range of ethnographic case studies drawn from first world and developing cultures will help to put the theory in context, and show that far from being irrelevant, kinship affects all of our lives in some way or other.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Be aware of the major theoretical debates in kinship and social relatedness studies
  • Be capable of a critical analysis of those debates and their significance for contemporary kinship studies
  • Be sensitive to the importance of indigenous categories with regard to studies of relatedness
  • Be aware of important theoretical and empirical linkages between kinship, migration and (trans) nationalism

A tutorial assignment - 500 words (10%), a 1500 word essay assignment due mid-semester (40%) and a 2000 word essay due at the end of semester (50%). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the university bookshop at the start of semester.

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
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Students will be able to critically reflect on the relevance of comparative studies in their everyday life and relations
  • Be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Anthropology - self and society

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