Undergraduate Course: Kinship: Structure and Process (SCAN10021)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course considers the history of kinship studies, looking at some central debates in the subject and assessing their implications for anthropological theory more generally; it also examines the relevance of kinship studies for understanding ourselves, our families, and our contemporary world.
a. Academic Description
This course examines some of the ways in which people in different societies conceptualise and live out kinship and relatedness. It shows how notions of relatedness are linked to ideas about gender, theories of procreation (which are themselves changing under the impact of assisted reproductive technologies), and understandings of bodily substance, as well as having profound emotional, economic, political and religious salience. Kinship has long been regarded as the core of the anthropological discipline, and although the extent to which this was still the case had been under question, recent years have seen a marked revival.
b. Outline Content
What Is Kinship? An introduction
Descent, Alliance, and Siblingship
Kinship and Religion
Kinship and Class
Sex, Romance, and Money
Kinship, Law, and Rights
Kinship and Gender
Kinship and the State
Kinship, and the House
c. Student Learning Experience
The course involves one two-hour session a week for the whole class, as well as small group tutorial teaching in separate one-hour sessions held weekly. In the main session, most weeks involve a mixture of a lecture and a discussion. In the latter, students discuss particular issues or recommended readings and then report back their conclusions to the class as a whole. The small group tutorial teaching is normally concerned with one or more key readings that illustrate or extend issues raised in the main sessions.
By the end of the course, students should have a grasp of the ways in which anthropologists have approached kinship in both classic non-Western cases and, more recently, in Western cultures too. They will have an understanding of the economic, legal and political salience of kinship, the history of kinship within anthropology, and of the significance of key debates about what kinship is, and how it might be studied. They will also be able to assess, from an anthropologically-informed perspective, the implications of the revolutions in reproductive technology and in attitudes towards marriage, sexuality, and sexual identity that are currently under way around the world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 3 Anthropology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
|| 1. Assessed course work in the form of a short essay (1,500 words). This carries a weighting of 30% towards the final overall mark for the course.
2. A take home exam at the end of the semester consisting of two questions. The exam carries a weighting of 70% towards the final overall mark for the course.
||Feedback is provided routinely on the personal responses submitted in tutorials and on the short essay in mid-semester. In addition, class lecturers engage with and comment on student oral responses in the main class discussions and tutorial sessions.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Have an overview of the ways in which anthropologists have approached kinship in both some classic non-Western cases, and more recently, in Western cultures
- Have an understanding of the economic and political salience of kinship.
- Be aware of the social, legal and theoretical challenges posed by new reproductive technologies and changing social attitudes towards sexual identity.
- Understand the historical role played within anthropology by the study of kinship
- Grasp the significance of key debates about what kinship is, and how it might be studied.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||50 minutes per week for 9 week(s).
|Course organiser||Dr Magnus Course
Tel: (0131 6)51 3893
|Course secretary||Miss Katarzyna Pietrzak
Tel: (0131 6)51 3162