Critical Anthropological Theory

Subject ANTH30015 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

August, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 17-Aug-2015 to 18-Sep-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 24-Aug-2015
Census Date 11-Sep-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 16-Oct-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. 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 4 - 8 of semester)
Total Time Commitment:

170 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:


Prof Ghassan Hage


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:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Develop a critical appreciation of the way key theories have been generated through ethnographic practice;
  • Acquire the capacity to capture and appreciate layers of theoretical depth while reading academic texts;
  • Communicate complex theoretical ideas orally and in writing;
  • Demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources.


A summary of 1000 words (25%) due in the 2nd week of the intensive teaching period, and a research 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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Social Theory
Social Theory

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