Course Description

Course Name

Anthropology, Culture and Society

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


An introduction to the fundamental concepts of anthropology and its variety of approaches to the study of culture and society.

This paper introduces the key concepts of anthropology for students with little or no previous knowledge of the subject. It will show how the different branches of contemporary anthropology have emerged and coalesced to become the most broad-based subject taught at tertiary level, which links disciplines as diverse as history, geology, biology and sociology. This course is focused on the two primary fields of anthropology taught in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Otago: archaeology as the anthropology of the past and social anthropology with its emphasis on recent historical and contemporary peoples and cultural expressions. The broad sweep and theoretical coverage of ANTH 103 provides students with foundation knowledge that will be relevant to many other humanities and science papers, while preparing anthropology majors for the more specialised social anthropology and archaeology courses taught at the University of Otago.

Teaching Arrangements
Taught via lectures and tutorials.

Course Structure
Archaeology (Block One)
Social Anthropology (Block Two)

Learning Outcomes
New awareness and knowledge of when, where and how diverse human cultures and societies have emerged across the globe; new insights into and understanding of the history, foundation theories and current debates in Archaeology and Social Anthropology; gaining foundation knowledge to support study of more specialised Anthropology and Archaeology papers.

Archaeology: Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. 2012. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. Sixth edition. London: Thames and Hudson.

There is no textbook for the Social Anthropology block of the course. Students will be referred to electronic journal articles instead

*Course content subject to change