Working the World

Subject ANTH90003 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Total 24 hours (intensive)
Total Time Commitment: Total 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
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 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:


Assoc Prof Mary Patterson

Subject Overview:

We all work in the world and whether we recognise it or not, we 'work' our worlds to make and remake them through the relations, ideas and institutions we create in the social fields that we inhabit. This subect is designed to foster an 'anthropological attitude' that assumes a shared humanity forged in varying cultural contexts. We will examine the complex interplay between human being and cultural practices to examine what they are, how they work and how we work with and against them. How does language shape our view of the world and its use define, limit or empower us? Why is genealogy so popular and important when modernity is supposed to have freed us from the constraints of family and connection? How does use of space and reckoning of time figure in how we live and work? What makes us human? How do environments and ideologies influence behaviour and world-views? In key areas like the family, sex and gender, the environments of work and leisure, religion and secularism, egalitarianism and hierarchy, power and knowledge, this subject is designed to encourage critical reflection on how we come to know our worlds and to make them what they are for ourselves and for others. Assessment in this subject is designed to engage students in ethnographies of cultural engagement, their own and others, in order to develop skills in 'reading' cultural contexts and evaluating their effects.


Students who complete this subject will have:

  • Developed a critical understanding of how culture works in social life.
  • Developed a critical engagement with their own cultural contexts and environments.
  • Developed the capacity to analyse different contexts from a global, comparative perspective.
  • Developed the capacity to reflect critically on their own approaches to social and cultural issues.
Assessment: A class presentation during the teaching period (15%), an ethnographic report due during the teaching period (50%) and a group assignment due at the end of the teaching period (35%) totalling 5000 words.
Prescribed Texts:

Delaney, Carol. 2004 Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology. Malden MA. Oxford. Carlton. Vic.Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Subject Reading Pack.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • Be able to demonstrate competence in critical and analytical assessment of taken for granted aspects of social and cultural life.
  • Be able to demonstrate competence in conceptualising socio-cultural issues, and forming arguments and evaluations about these issues through critical and comparative analysis.
  • Be able to demonstrate increased awareness of self and other.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 point program - full time over 12 months
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months

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