Last modified: 16 Nov 2016 18:22
How do human beings relate to one another at a communal level? What holds human societies together? This course examines the basic forms of human solidarity that anthropologists have identified that bind us together as people: race, class, ethnicity, kinship, gender. In each case, these core ideas will be examined not just as descriptions of social life, but as forms of power and identity. The course introduces students to what these terms mean, how they have been used in understanding human societies, and what they look like in a cross-cultural context.
|Session||First Sub Session||Credit Points||15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)|
Political Anthropology will introduce students to the systematic study of forms of human solidarity, identity and power, which act as the basis for almost all study of human culture. At the heart of these are those basic social categories that are seen to link people together, either on the grounds of similarity or on the basis of closeness: race, class, ethnicity, kinship and gender. These categories have become the basis of some of the most influential theories in the social and political sciences, theories that have also, in their time, dominated popular and media understandings of the world. In this course, students are introduced to the critical study of these theories, and how they have been applied to societies and cultures across the world. A particular emphasis of this course lies not simply in how well such categories describe simple groupings of people, but also how they act as the basis for social and political power. These systems of solidarity, identity and power will be looked at through the lens of ethnographic case studies from across the world, from Gypsy communities and trade unions in the UK, to the Swat Pathan of Afghanistan, the Nuer of Southern Sudan and the Rwandan Genocide.
This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.