Philosophy and Scope of Anthropology

Subject ANTH40001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 3 hour seminar per week in Weeks 1 - 8 of Semester 1.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Anthropology at undergraduate level

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 Tamara Kohn


Subject Overview:

This subject aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of contemporary research concerns in social and cultural anthropology. Through the critical and comparative reading of anthropological texts, students should not only become familiar with current theoretical and methodological issues, but should also develop an understanding of how these concerns have developed historically in the discipline.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • have an awareness of the main traditions of anthropology in Britain, the United States and Europe;
  • have an acquaintance with fundamental problems in the philosophy of anthropology and with the relation between theory and method in ethnographic research and reporting;
  • have examined a selected number of critical debates in 20th century anthropology that continue to shape the discipline;
  • have an acquaintance with some fundamental philosophical concerns anthropology, particularly regarding the relation between theory and method in the research process;
  • have considered how their own research interests may be shaped by contemporary and historical debates covered in the semester.

  • A 1000 word critical evaluation (20%) due during the semester.
  • A 4000 word essay (80%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Note: 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.

Prescribed Texts:

The Subject Coordinator will advise students of any prescribed texts at the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • have practice in conducting independent research and speaking articulately;
  • have practice in writing clearly in a variety of formats and reading with attention to detail;
  • have experience of systematically evaluating a body of empirical data and identifying its theoretical context;
  • have experience of advanced methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills;
  • have acquired awareness of issues relating to cross-cultural communication.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Social Theory
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Anthropology
PC-ARTS Social Theory
PD-ARTS Anthropology

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