THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH
DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2009/2010
Anthropological Theory (SA0050)
In charting how society and culture are being theorized, we reflect on forms of theoretical knowledge and ethnographic sensibilities that are relevant today, and assess the stakes for a future anthropology. The course first introduces three of the most important strands of 'grand theory' (Boas’s theory of culture, Marx’s theory of ideology, and Claude Lévi-Strauss' structuralism). It then discusses three theorists who have reworked these grand theories in their own distinctive ways: Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, and Bruno Latour. It is not a comprehensive history of anthropological theory: there is very little reference, for example, to British anthropology in the mid-twentieth century or to earlier influential ideas like evolutionism or diffusionism. Instead, it works like a genealogy, by taking anthropological debates at the beginning of the 21st century as a starting-point for a re-reading of thinkers of the past century.
Home subject area
? Normal year taken : Postgraduate
? Contact Teaching Time : 2 hour(s) per week for 10 weeks
First Class Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should have a confident grasp of the main trends in anthropological theory that are influential today. They should have read a number of pieces by a range of theorists, and be capable of providing a critical account of anthropological theorists and the intellectual context in which they worked. They should be able to relate the application of those theories in existing ethnographic writing and be able to draw upon them in thinking about future ethnographic research.
4000 word essay
Contact and Further Information
The Course Secretary should be the first point of contact for all enquiries.
Miss Caroline Foord
Dr Magnus Course
School Website : http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/
College Website : http://www.hss.ed.ac.uk/