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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Arnar Arnason

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 3
  • Anthropology (AT) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AT3004 Anthropological Theory (Studied)
  • AT3527 Anthropological Theory (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course explores theoretical developments and current debates in anthropology. These are explored thematically. An emphasis is placed on students using theoretical ideas to analyse empirical, ethnographic material.

Further Information & Notes

This course is an essential component of the Single and Joint Honours Anthropology degree programmes.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt:


Research essay (3,000 words) (30%)
Annotated bibliography (300-500 words + ten annotations) (15%)

Research journal (25%)
2 hour written exam (30%)


1 two-hour written examination (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Feedback will be provided on essays both written and verbally. Feedback on projects will be provided throughout the course.

Course Learning Outcomes


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