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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Anthropology

Undergraduate Course: Anthropology of Displacement and Migration (SCAN10077)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the experience and governance of migration and forced displacement from the perspective of research in social anthropology and other related fields. It is conceptualized as a journey that follows the pathways of migrants, refugees and other 'moving people' to examine key issues of human mobility in today's world.
Course description The Anthropology of Displacement and Migration examines the fascinating field of human mobility. It does so by following the trajectories of several interlinked journeys: from the forced movements of refugees into the world of labour migrants, political exiles and immigrants. These diverse settings are explored through the lens of human mobility, thereby answering a number of key questions: Why do people move? What legal and political regimes govern, allow and restrict these movements? How are mobility and inequality linked? How are refugees, migrants, immigrants, expats, nomads and other 'moving people' different from one another in practice, and in theory? Combining a close examination of concrete research with discussions of theoretical approaches, the course will improve students' understanding of the subject while deepening their theoretical and methodological skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting 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? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate detailed knowledge and critical understanding of major discussions, concepts and case studies in the anthropology of displacement and migration.
  2. Critically discuss and analyse migration and displacement related issues from an informed perspective that draws on research evidence and makes use of comparison.
  3. Connect anthropological research on displacement and migration with related fields of practice, such as international development, humanitarian law, and migration management.
  4. Engage constructively with others during class debates and online discussions, and exercise autonomy and initiative in individual assessment activities.
  5. Effectively communicate detailed and critical knowledge of interlinked issues in the anthropology of displacement and migration through essay-writing.
Reading List
Some preliminary key titles:
Agier, M. (2011). Managing the Undesirables. Polity.
Salazar, N. B., & Jayaram, K. (2016). Keywords of Mobility: Critical Engagements. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Salazar, Noel B, and Alan Smart. 2011. "Anthropological Takes on (Im)Mobility." Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 18 (January): i-ix.
Sayad, A. (2004). The Suffering of the Immigrant. Polity.
Hackl, A. (2017). Key figure of mobility: the exile. Social Anthropology, 25(1), 55-68.
Malkki, L. H. (1995). Refugees and Exile: From "Refugee Studies" to the National Order of Things. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24(1), 493-523.
Zetter, R. (2007). More labels, fewer refugees: Remaking the refugee label in an era of globalization. Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(2), 172-192.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in research and enquiry, and should be able to:
- apply different theories to the interpretation and explanation of human conduct and patterns of behaviour;
- recognise and account for the use of such theories by others;
- judge the value and relevance of empirical evidence and theoretical argument and interpretation in social science;
- identify and design ways of solving problems with a social and cultural dimension;
- question cultural assumptions;
- discuss ideas and interpretations with others in a clear and reasoned way; and
- apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of situations.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Laura Jeffery
Tel: (0131 6)51 3865
Course secretaryMr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
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