ANTH 4008 - Honours Theory, Ethnography & Fieldwork

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

This course provides an advanced introduction to anthropological theory and ethnographic fieldwork. It introduces students to some of the foundational theoretical perspectives that have shaped anthropology since the advent of the modern discipline and explores the relevance of these ideas for anthropological theory and practice in the present. The course explores a variety of key theoretical approaches, including but not restricted to, social structure and agency; symbolic and interpretive; theories of culture; and globalisation, post-humanism and virtual worlds. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the empirical nature of anthropological theory and its essential relationship with both ethnographic praxis, processes and texts, offering access to an advanced approach to common themes, concepts and methodologies in anthropology, particularly those relating to ethnographic fieldwork. It aims to deepen student understandings of the practical, epistemological and ethical aspects of ethnography, and to prepare graduate students for fieldwork. The readings and seminars provide a context for critical discussions about ethnography. A selection of topics has been chosen that cover major themes of ethnographic research and include the practice of ethnography; the changing nature and boundaries of the 'field' in anthropology; the ethics of fieldwork as well as that of the process of representing research communities in ethnographic texts; the relationships and experiences associated with the anthropological method and its implications for ethnographies. The course also has a dissertation seminar, which is designed to support students through the stages of producing a dissertation. It aims to assist students to articulate a relevant topic; to turn this topic into an anthropological problem appropriate to the task of writing a thesis; to aid in the consideration of useful theoretical perspectives; to help identify and locate material and relevant literature.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANTH 4008
    Course Honours Theory, Ethnography & Fieldwork
    Coordinating Unit Anthropology and Development Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Completed Bachelor Degree with a Major in Anthropology at a Distinction average
    Restrictions Students enrolled in ANTH Honours program
    Course Description This course provides an advanced introduction to anthropological theory and ethnographic fieldwork. It introduces students to some of the foundational theoretical perspectives that have shaped anthropology since the advent of the modern discipline and explores the relevance of these ideas for anthropological theory and practice in the present. The course explores a variety of key theoretical approaches, including but not restricted to, social structure and agency; symbolic and interpretive; theories of culture; and globalisation, post-humanism and virtual worlds. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the empirical nature of anthropological theory and its essential relationship with both ethnographic praxis, processes and texts, offering access to an advanced approach to common themes, concepts and methodologies in anthropology, particularly those relating to ethnographic fieldwork. It aims to deepen student understandings of the practical, epistemological and ethical aspects of ethnography, and to prepare graduate students for fieldwork. The readings and seminars provide a context for critical discussions about ethnography. A selection of topics has been chosen that cover major themes of ethnographic research and include the practice of ethnography; the changing nature and boundaries of the 'field' in anthropology; the ethics of fieldwork as well as that of the process of representing research communities in ethnographic texts; the relationships and experiences associated with the anthropological method and its implications for ethnographies.
    The course also has a dissertation seminar, which is designed to support students through the stages of producing a dissertation. It aims to assist students to articulate a relevant topic; to turn this topic into an anthropological problem appropriate to the task of writing a thesis; to aid in the consideration of useful theoretical perspectives; to help identify and locate material and relevant literature.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dianne Rodger

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Have a clear understanding of the major theoretical developments and paradigms that have shaped the modern discipline of Anthropology and of the conceptual foundation of fieldwork as the basis of the anthropological method

    2. Critically engage with and reflect on what ‘theory’ is and does in Anthropology and to promote knowledge of, and discussion about, the relationship between Anthropology and cognate disciplines

    3.Have developed an understanding of the practical aspects of ethnographic fieldwork and encourage students to critically reflect upon and discuss the role of the ‘field’ in the production of anthropological knowledge

    4.Discuss and critically reflect on key methods and techniques in the practice of ethnographic fieldwork and demonstrate a high level of critical analytical skills in the context of research methods and contexts

    5. Articulate key issues raised by the use of ethnographic fieldwork; including ethics, subjectivity and reflexivity, and fieldwork relationships and promote knowledge about and awareness of the ethical implications of ethnographic fieldwork

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1-5

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1-5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    1-5

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1-5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    1-5

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    N/A

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    N/A

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Readings are available online at the course MyUni site as listed in the Course Outline. There is also a detailed set of instructions and requirements for each assessment item and associated criteria marking sheet, including essay questions.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is based on two hour seminars in which we discuss, debate and challenge key theoretical, concepetual and methodological readings. 
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    WORKLOAD – STRUCTURED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS
    1 x 2 hour seminar 24 hours
    1 x 1 hour seminar thesis writing 12 hours


    TOTAL = 36 hours

    WORKLOAD – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS
    13 hours reading per week 156 hours
    6 hours research per week 72 hours
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours

    TOTAL = 312 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Details about the weekly themes will be provided on MyUni.

    They will include a range of theoretical perspectives including post-humanism, theories of culture, Decolonisation and Indigenous Knowledges, Symbolic / Interpretive Anthropology and so on. There will also be a focus on theorising 'the field' and fieldwork itself including relationships in the field and representing findings.
    Specific Course Requirements
    It is mandatory that all students enrolled in this course attend all of the seminars
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Description

    1. Research Proposal  - Students are required to write a 2000 word proposal for their research project based on the thesis topic (30%)
    2. Research Essay  - Students are required to write a 6000 word essay based on anthropological theories and methodologies (70%)
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission
    Please see the Course Coordinator as early as possible if you think that you may not be able to complete your assignments by the due date. There will be no extensions for written work without adequate documentation (such as a doctor’s or counselling certificate) as set out in the MACA form & process (Modified Arrangements for coursework assessment) or negotiation with the Course Coordinator. Late assignments will be penalised at 2% per day. According to Faculty policy, essays more than 7 days late will be graded as 0%. Failure to submit any written work will result in an FNS grade (Failure No Submission). Please see link for further information http://arts.adelaide.edu.au/docs/Current-students-MACA-quick-reference-guide.pdf
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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