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Unit information: Social Theories in 2021/22

Unit name Social Theories
Unit code ARCH20057
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hodos
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit aims to acquaint students with contemporary theories within anthropology and archaeology. Emphasis is placed upon the role of theory in these fields and the academic, political and social contexts within which various theoretical approaches have developed. The unit reviews the history of theoretical developments of anthropology and archaeology and provides the necessary analytical frameworks within which students can understand contemporary theoretical trends within these fields. The unit will provide students with the skills to effectively read, understand and assess current anthropological and archaeological literature on the basis of its theoretical stance.

Aims

  • To provide students with an overview of the historical development of anthropological and archaeological theory from the 1960s.
  • To provide students with an understanding of contemporary theoretical movements in anthropology and archaeology.
  • To enable students to assess the relative importance and usefulness of competing explanative frameworks.
  • To provide students with a theoretical foundation to effectively read and understand current anthropological and archaeological literature.
  • To enable students to apply different theoretical frameworks to anthropological and archaeological case studies.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to

1) Discuss the broad philosophical and historical development of contemporary anthropological and archaeological theory.

2) Critically assess competing explanative frameworks and evaluate their strengths and weakness.

3) Evaluate critically and deconstruct anthropological and archaeological texts on the basis of their theoretical underpinnings.

4) Explain and evaluate anthropological and archaeological data from multiple theoretical standpoints.

5) Evaluate the relationship between theory and ethnography.

Teaching details

Weekly lectures, and bfive one-hour seminars, supported by self-directed activities. There will be a half day field trip (self guided) subject to University policy.

Assessment Details

Essay 1 (2500 words, 50%). Assesses ILOs 2,3 & 5

Essay 2 (2500 words, 50%). Assesses ILOs 1,2 & 4

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ARCH20057).

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