High Points in Theory and Ethnography

Subject ANTH30015 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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


For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2 hour seminar, a 2 hour close reading session and a 2 hour tutorial per week for 5 weeks (weeks 1 - 5 of semester)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Anthropology at Levels 1 & 2

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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof. Ghassan Hage


Subject Overview:

While ethnography as method is the most distinguishing feature of anthropology, ethnographic practice has always taken place in continual conversation with theory. Just as theoretical and philosophical considerations sometimes guide and generate particular ethnographic orientations and issues, sometimes ethnographic practices generate theoretical developments that have had repercussions well beyond anthropology. This subject explores various important moments in the ethnographic generation of theory that has occurred throughout the history of anthropology. It examines in some details the ethnographic texts where the theories were first developed.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Develop an appreciation of the way key theories have been generated through ethnographic practice;
  • Gain an understanding of the way theory is woven into ethnographic texts;
  • Achieve a solid understanding of the way certain ethnographically generated theories become pertinent across the humanities and the social sciences;
  • Acquire the capacity to understand the way the researching of particular empirical material can generate universal knowledge that transcends the particularity of the research situation.

A summary of 1000 words (25%) due in the 2nd week of the intensive teaching period, and an essay of 3000 words (75%) due 3 weeks after the conclusion of the intensive teaching period.

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an intensively-taught subject lecture, tutorial and seminar attendance across the 5 teaching weeks for this subject is compulsory. Regular participation in class is required.

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. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be made available to students

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 be able to:

  • Demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • Acquire the capacity to capture and appreciate layers of theoretical depth while reading academic texts;
  • Communicate complex theoretical ideas orally and in writing.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory Major

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