Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to Child Anthropology

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Anthropological Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit aims to explore the sense which children make of the adult-structured conditions surrounding them. Anthropological studies show that we cannot understand developmental processes in children unless we know how and to what extent these processes are informed by culture. Local ethnographic knowledge of children must necessarily focus on an understanding of their world on their own terms, in order to gain insight into the ideas and practices most relevant to them. It becomes clear that understanding children requires a consideration of how their relations with others inform their ideas about themselves and the environing world, and that is what this study-unit explores. The study-unit will include studies of children’s learning processes, their concepts of the body, child play, and child abuse.

Reading List

- Toren, C. (2006) ‘Introduction to Mind, Materiality and History’ in Moore H.L and Sanders. T (eds.) Anthropology in Theory: Issues in Epistemology Blackwell
- James, A. (2000) ‘Embodied being(s): Understanding the self and the body in childhood’
- Prout, A. (ed.) The Body, Childhood and Society London: Palgrave Macmillan
- James A., Jenks C. & Prout A. (eds.) (1998) ‘The body and childhood’ in Theorizing Childhood New York: Teachers’ College Press
- James, A. (1998) ‘Play in childhood: an anthropological perspective’. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Vol. 3 No. 3, 104-109
- Scheper-Hughes, N. (1987) ‘Culture, scarcity, and maternal thinking: Mother love and child death in Northeast Brazil’ in Scheper-Hughes, N. (ed.) Child Survival: Anthropological perspectives on the treatment and maltreatment of children Dordrecht: Reidel


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Sharon Attard

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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.