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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Culture and Power: The Anthropology of Political Processes (PGSP11178)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course discusses a range of anthropological approaches to power, politics and the political, and in doing so provides a detailed examination of both open and hidden forms of power and their workings at the global, state, national, local, and personal level. Key themes of this course are: crime and punishment, citizenship and migration, resistance and protest, violence and power, populism and elections.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A combination of a short essay (20%) and a long essay (80%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show a clear understanding of the importance and scope of anthropology's contribution to the analysis of power and politics
  2. take an informed, anthropological perspective on issues of governance, citizenship, processes of democratization, protest, and the role of the state in a variety of ethnographic contexts.
  3. identify and characterise key approaches from social anthropology, from other social science disciplines, and from interdisciplinary fields like cultural studies, development studies, and science and technology studies to understanding and evaluating issues concerning political anthropology as a sub-field, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches.
  4. critically evaluate contributions to the academic and public debates regarding political issues in scientific, philosophical, and humanities-related inquiries in order to engage wider audiences regarding issues of human social and cultural difference
  5. identify and evaluate a selection of techniques and procedures used in political anthropology and their relation to the formal techniques and procedures of anthropology and the social sciences generally.
Reading List
Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1990. ¿The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power Through Bedouin women¿, American Ethnologist 17(1): 41-55.
Arendt, H. 1952. The Decline of the Nation State and the End of the Rights of Man. in H. Arendt The Origins of Totalitarianism. London: Secker & Warburg.
Cannell, Fenella. 2010. The Anthropology of Secularism. Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 85-100.
Comaroff J. and Comaroff J. Criminal Obsessions, After Foucault: Postcoloniality, Policing, and the Metaphysics of Disorder. Critical Inquiry 30(4): 800-824.
Curtis, J. and J. Spencer. 2010. Anthropology and the Political. in R. Fardon et al., (eds)Sage Handbook of Social Anthropology. London: Sage. Vol 1. Part 1.11., 168-182.
Geertz, Clifford. 1983. Centers, Kings and Charisma: Reflections on the Symbolics of Power. In Clifford Geertz. Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books Inc. Pp. 121-146.
Hage, G., 2003. "Comes a Time We Are All Enthusiasm": Understanding Palestinian Suicide Bombers in Times of Exighophobia. Public Culture, 15(1), pp.65¿89.
Koch, I. 2017. When politicians fail: Zombie democracy and the anthropology of actually existing politics. Sociological Review Monographs. 65(1): 105-120
Spencer, J. 1990. Writing Within: Anthropology, Nationalism and Culture in Sri Lanka. Current Anthropology 3(2): 283-300.
Wedeen, L. 2003. Seeing like a Citizen, Acting like a State: Exemplary Events in Unified Yemen. Comparative Studies in Society and History 45(4): 680-713.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jessica Cooper
Tel: (0131 6)51 1732
Course secretaryMrs Beth Richardson-Mills
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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