Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Ethnography and Anthropological Theory

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Anthropological Sciences

DESCRIPTION Students learn through the entire academic year the close connections between ethnography and social theory since the start of modern Social Anthropology in the early 20th century. The objective of this study-unit is to remove the wrong-headed difference in students` minds between `theory` and `ethnographic research`. Students learn from the beginning that ethnographic research and ethnographic writing have been part of evolving theoretical debates. They should see that ethnography is not just interesting description of a culture for its own sake, but the ethnographer`s personal response to some theoretical puzzle(s). This study-unit introduces major theoretical paradigms which have emerged chronologically in Social Anthropology (as it has proceeded in Britain and North America) – functionalism, structural-functionalism, cultural determinism, French structuralism, transactionalism, Marxism, culture theory, and feminism. Students present frequent short essays.

NB: This study-unit is open only to students with Anthropology as their Main or Subsidiary subject.

Reading List:

- M. Candea (ed.) (2018) Schools and Styles of Anthropological Theory, London: Routledge.
- R. Layton (1997) An Introduction to Theory in Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Selected readings from classical and contemporary ethnographies.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Daniela DeBono
Michael Pio Deguara
Gisella Orsini

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.