Possible restrictions of participation will be announced in the annual study programme.
On completing this unit, the student will understand contemporary key approaches in anthropology and their significance for understanding the contemporary and historical situation of different peoples around the world. The student will understand how conceptual approaches have developed and changed within anthropology over time and is able to describe which themes and conceptual approaches have received particular attention in specific ethnographic areas. The student will be able to compare diverse approaches and describe the differences between them, and they will understand the relationship between analysis and description. He or she is aware of the moral and ethical debates that have arisen about the practice of anthropological research.
Overall, the course explores all the key theoretical perspectives used within anthropology, as well as looking at their development and the main themes that have been discussed in relation to them. The themes include different perspective on kinship and other forms of social relations; politics and political ideologies, structures and organization; economic relations and exchanges; the social and cultural elements of embodied life; and anthropological approaches towards gender and sexuality, religion, beliefs and cosmologies; and social and cultural change. Major theoretical perspectives, both within anthropology and the social sciences more broadly, will be included.
During the course, the relationship between key disagreements and debates within anthropology about the best way to study some of these themes, and the wider context in which the debates have occurred, will be explored. This will include looking at cases where particular peoples or parts of the world have become the focus of some of these debates (e.g. on ritual and performance in Africa; colonialism and modernity in India; gender in Melanesia; myth and political economy in Latin America; environmental issues in southeast Asia; politics and patronage in Europe) ; and it will also involve looking at the shifting relations between different parts of the world and how that has affected the themes focused upon by anthropologists.
- Moore, Henrietta L. & Sanders, Todd, (eds). 2014. Anthropology in theory: issues in epistemology Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
- Kuklick, Henrika, (ed.) 2008. A new history of anthropology Oxford: Blackwell.
- Douglas, Mary 1976. Purity and Danger: An analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (Douglas, Mary, 2011: Puhtaus ja vaara. Tampere: Vastapaino.
- Mauss, Marcel 1990. The Gift: the form and reason for exchange in archaic societies (tr. W.D. Halls) London: Routledge. (Mauss, Marcel, 2002: Lahja. Helsinki: Tutkijaliitto.)
- Favret-Saada, J. 1980. Deadly words: witchcraft in the Bocage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Boddy, Janice 1989. Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men, and the Zar Cult in Northern Sudan London and Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
Scale 0-5. In evaluation all the assignments will be considered, self-evaluation will be recommended.
Lecture course that involves group discussions and written assignments.