This list relates to the academic year Academic Year 2013/14 which ended on 01/07/2014
This list has been archived
  1. Course Outline 1 item
    1. This course explores anthropological contributions to professional practice in a range of fields. Examining the development of anthropology as a discipline and a profession, the course goes on to considers the relationship between 'pure', the 'radical' and the 'applied' anthropology, and the emergence of social science as a site of professional expertise. Moving beyond the study of 'traditional' forms (such as kinship, kingship and ancestral ritual), anthropology now considers contemporary social forms of organisations (e.g. networks and clusters), practices of professionalization, expertise and governmentality, non-governmentality and 'third sector' phenomena. Here culture and community may be reframed as policy problems or as complex fields of professional engagement, while anthropological understandings of 'traditional' exchange can offer insights into late modern economic relations (ethical and 'irresponsible'. This course will consider how some of these relations play out, and what contributions anthropology can make to their understanding and practice, considering topics including international development, education, migration, environmental resources, and the arts.

  2. Course Format 3 items
    1. Theory and Ethnography in Professional Practice (TEPP) is one track of the second part of 'Critical Issues', the MSc Social Anthropology core course. The course is taught through a single 2 hour seminar which may include mini-lectures, small group work, presentations, debates as well as whole class discussions. The course is convened and taught by Allen Abramson, with guest lecturers invited to discuss professionally relevant aspects of their areas of research specialisation.

    2. Students should attempt to bring a written point or question to each seminar for discussion, based on the readings and/or professional experience.

    3. Learning outcomes

      By the end of this course students should be able to:

      • Consider how anthropological theory and practice has provided insights into professional practice in a range of fields.
      • Understand the history and consequences of anthropological engagement beyond academia.
      • Assess how anthropological theory and method may be able to contribute to particular professional practice in different fields.
      • Analyse how the theoretical debates and methodological issues that professional anthropologists are engaged in and contribute to may provide insight into their professional worlds.
      • Consider critically the use of anthropological concepts in professional practice
      • Construct and present arguments about anthropological contributions to professional practice in different fields using appropriate theoretical and ethnographic insights.

  3. Assessment 1 item


      The course will be assessed by a 3000 word essay due Noon 23rd March 2013 and as part of the Critical Issues unseen exam at the start of the Summer term.


  4. Course Outline 1 item

      Week 1 ( 8/1)   Introduction: what is the course about?  AA

      Week 2 (15/1)  The Pure, the Applied and the Professional (and the Radical!)  AA

      Week 3 (22/1)  Organisation and its transformations  AA

      Week 4 (29/1)  Environment and Development  Prof. Phillip Burnham

      Week 5 (5/2)    Arts and Theatre  Martin Holbraad

      Week 6 (12/2) READING WEEK

      Week 7 (19/2)  Anthropology, Education and Professional Practice    Luke Freeman

      Week 8 (26/2)  Marc Brightman

      Week 9 (5/3)  Cressida Jervis-Read

      Week 10 (13/3)  Symposium: Alterity and Professional Worlds. Two Anthropologies or One? ('Hot Debate' for the Newsletter, Anthropolitan)

      Week 11 (18/3)  READING WEEK

      Submit term paper Noon, Friday 22nd March 2012.




  5. WEEK ONE (10/1): Introduction to the course (AA & CJR) 0 items
    In this seminar we will discuss some of the themes that run through the course, its structure, organisation and requirements.
  6. WEEK TWO (15/1): Anthropological Trajectories: the Pure, the Applied and the Professional (and the Radical!) (AA & CJR) 18 items
    1. Essay question: What role has anthropology played in modern Western contexts? What role can it – and should it – play today?

    2. Key Readings: (for seminar) 3 items
      1. “Anthropology and the Crisis of the Intellectuals” - A Grimshaw 1993/1996

        Article  (shorter version as “The Rise and Fall of Scientific Ethnography” in A.S.Ahmed & C.N.Shore (eds) The Future of Anthropology. Its Relevance to the Contemporary World Athlone Press London

      2. Where Anthropologists Fear to Tread. Notes and Queries on Anthropology and Consultancy, Inspired by A Fieldwork Experience - Lorenzo Brutti 2001

        Journal  in Social Analysis Issue 45(2) Special Issue on Anthropology & Consultancy eds A. Strathern & P. Stewart

      3. ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY: A contemporary radical blog

        Webpage  See especially “Patricia Omidian: Applied Anthropologist in Afghanistan, on the Human Terrain System”

    3. Further Reading (for seminar & essay) 3 items
      1. Speaking of Silence: Reflections on the Application of Anthropology in the U.K. Health Services - E Hart 2006

        Chapter  in S. Pink 2006 Applications of Anthropology. Professional Anthropology in the Twenty-First Century Berghahn Books NY

      2. The rise of professionalism: a sociological analysis - Larson, Magali Sarfatti 1977

        Book  “Introduction” ppx-xviii

      3. Small places, large issues: an introduction to social and cultural anthropology - Eriksen, Thomas Hylland 2010

        Book  Ch2:9-23 “ A Brief History of Anthropology”

    4. Supplementary Reading: 11 items
      1. Anthropology as cultural critique: an experimental moment in the human sciences - Marcus, George E., Fischer, Michael M. J. 1999


      2. Anthropology at home - Jackson, Anthony 1987


      3. Claude Lévi-Strauss: the poet in the laboratory - Wilcken, Patrick 2010

        Book  (See also excellent book review by Adam Shatz “Jottings, Scraps and Doodles” pp3-7 London Review of Books 3rd November 2011 (Both offer a readable intelligent profile of the nature and role of structuralist anthropology and a probing portrait of its arch-exponent)

      4. The scope of anthropology - Lévi-Strauss, Claude 1967


      5. “Introduction. How Does Anthropology Work Today?” (especially pp1-12) - L Field, R G Fox 2007


      6. “Science, Democracy and Ethics: Mobilizing Culture and Personality for World War II” - V. J. MacLaughlin 1986

        Chapter  ” pp184-217in G. W. Stocking Jnr (ed) Malinowski, Rivers, Benedict and Others. Essays on Culture and Personality Uni of Wisconsin Madison

      7. Social anthropology and other essays: combining Social anthropology and ... - Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard - Google Books - Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard 17 Jul 2008

        Book  “Applied Anthropology” p109-129 (also in the journal Africa, 1946)

      8. Social Analysis - Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart 2001

        Journal  Social Analysis Issue 45(2) Special Issue on Anthropology & Consultancy eds A. Strathern & P. Stewart (see JStor for electronic copy)

    This seminar considers the nature and transformation of modern organisation as well as the various ways in which anthropology and kindred disciplines have conceptualised ‘organization’. The focus will be upon what ‘organisation’ is, how it seems to flatten, unravel or intensify according to conditions, and how such transformation changes the nature of anthropological engagement at the point of institutional practice. A particular focus will be upon the impact upon organisation(s) of high levels of uncertainty produced by neo-liberalism, postmodernity and/or hypercomplexity (depending upon your stance).
    1. Essay question: Discuss some of the principal ways in which organizations transform in late modern contexts, and to what significant effect(s)? Discuss with reference to both theoretical and ethnographic accounts. 

    2. Key Readings 4 items
      1. STUDYING UP AND STUDYING DOWN - H B Schwartzman 2003

        Chapter  ” pp27-46 in Ethnography in Organizations Sage London (see also her 1989 The Meeting. Gatherings in Organizations and Communities Plenum NY and 1984 “Stories at Work. Play in an Organizational Context” pp in Bruner, E.M. (ed.) Text, Play and Story Washington DC

      2. "Postscript on the Societies of Control" Gilles Deleuze

        Webpage  p177-182 in Negotiations Columbia university Press NY

      3. “Sociality Seen Twice" - Riles, Annelise 2001

        Chapter  pp23-69 The Network Inside Out The University of Michigan Press Ann Arbour (includes 15 pages of diagrams, hence 31 pages to read)

    3. Further Reading 4 items
      1. Complexity and Organizational Reality: Uncertainty and the Need to Rethink Management after the Collapse of Investment Capitalism [Paperback] - Ralph D. Stacey

        Book  Ch1“Contradiction. Experiencing the Reality of Uncertainty But Still Believing that Executives Choose an Organisation’s Direction

      2. New Model Managerialism - G Born 2004

        Chapter  pp212-253 in Uncertain Vision. Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC Secker and Warburg London

      3. Community Care as De-institutionalisation? Continuity and Change in the Transition from Hospital to Community Care - C M Perring 1994

        Chapter  pp168-180 in S.Wright (ed) as above (read in the light of Deleuze below on ‘control societies’ & Stacy above on the de-management of organizations)

      4. Worlds of knowledge, cosmologies of skills: ethnography outdoors in a neo-liberal university 2006

        Article  LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 3(1), 5-28

    4. Other Reading 12 items
      1. Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison - Foucault, Michel 1995

        Book  (especially “Docile Bodies” and “Panopticism”; but also “The Means of Correct Training”; “The Carceral”)

      2. Asylums: essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates - Goffman, Erving 1991

        Book  Introduction” pp15-22

      3. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia - Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Félix 2004, c1987

        Book  1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity” pp229-256

      4. Kinship and social organization - Bohannan, Paul, Middleton, John, American Museum of Natural History 1968


      5. From Robbins to McKinsey - S Collini 2011

        Chapter  (short readable review of the transformation of the UK university under neo-liberal conditions)

      6. Realizing the university in an age of supercomplexity - Barnett, Ronald, Society for Research into Higher Education 2000

        Book  Ch10 “Constructing the University” pp127-139 Education (same outlook as Stacey re organization, complexity, uncertainty and management)

      7. The Anthropology of organizations - Wright, Susan 1994

        Book  Chapter: “’Culture’

      8. The rise of the network society - Castells, Manuel 2010


      9. Inside organizations: anthropologists at work - Hirsch, Eric, Gellner, David N. 2001


      10. Business anthropology - Ann Jordan 2003


    In this session we will explore contemporary moral economy issues by looking in detail at corporate social responsibility and more particularly, at Fairtrade. We will consider how attempts to forge systems of ethical production and ethical consumption work out in practice and we will contemplate broader questions regarding the social embeddedness of the economy and the (im)morality of the market.
    1. Required Reading: 4 items
      1. Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption ... - by Geert De Neve, Peter Luetchford

        Book  Introduction: Revealing the Hidden Hands of Global Market Exchange.

    2. Further Reading: 8 items
      1. Sidestepping the Mainstream: Fairtrade Rooibos Tea Production in Wupperthal, South Africa. - Tony Binns, David Bek, Etienne Nel, Brett Ellison 2007


      2. Brewing justice: fair trade coffee, sustainability, and survival - Jaffee, Daniel c2007


      3. Fair trade and a global commodity - Peter Luetchford 2008


      4. Fair trade and social justice: global ethnographies - Lyon, Sarah, Moberg, Mark c2010


      5. Slipping away - Mark Moberg 2008


  9. WEEK FIVE (5/2): ETHNOGRAPHIES OF CREATIVE INDUSTRY (Martin Holbraad) 24 items
    This session is devoted to exploring the ways in which ethnographic research sheds light on the range of activities that comprise the work of so-called Creative Industries. The session is articulated around Sherer and Holbraad’s anthropological researches on theatrical production – Sherer is a theatre director and producer with a background in anthropology who is currently conducting anthropological research on the ‘work’ of theatre in the UK and US; while Holbraad is an anthropologist working with theatrical groups in London: together they are currently collaborating on ethnographic research with Sherer’s own theatre company in London. Placing this research in the context of longstanding anthropological concerns about the role of performance in social life, the session objective is to explore the ways in which ethnographically-led anthropological research might shed light on the professional aspects of creative production. Of particular interest is the range of ways in which anthropological insight may (or may not) feed into the process of theatrical (and implicitly all artistic) creativity itself. How, we ask, does anthropological creativity relate to the creative labour of theatre professionals; and what impact might this have (if any) on articulating an appropriate anthropological 'theory of art'?
    1. Essay question:  What might an ethnographer 'see' in the processes of creative production, and how might this relate to what most matters to those involved in them?

    2. Key Readings 3 items
      1. Are there universals of performance in myth, ritual and drama - V Turner 1990

        Chapter  in Schechner, R 1990; By means of performance Cambridge University Press

      2. On failure and performance - E Schieffelin 1996

        Chapter  in Laderman C and Roseman M 1996; The Performance of Healing Routledge London and New York

      3. On Work In The Theatre (working title) - M Holbraad, D Sherer

        Article  Forthcoming

    3. Recommended: 2 items
      1. The invention of culture - Wagner, Roy 1981


      2. Art and agency: an anthropological theory - Gell, Alfred 1998


    4. Others: 18 items
      1. Steps to an ecology of mind - Bateson, Gregory 2000


      2. The paper canoe: a guide to theatre anthropology - Barba, Eugenio 1995


      3. The Anthropology of Theater and Spectacle - William O. Beeman 10/1993


      4. Ritual, performance, media - Hughes-Freeland, Felicia, Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth 1998


      5. Theatre as a site of passage: some reflections on the magic of acting - K Hastrup 1998

        Chapter  in Hughes-Freeland F Ritual, Performance, Media 1998; Oxon, Routledge.

      6. Breakthrough into Performance - D Hymes 8 Oct 2008

        Chapter  Performance and Communication

      7. Frame analysis: an essay on the organization of experience - Goffman, Erving, Berger, Bennett M. 1986


      8. Towards a poor theatre - Grotowski, Jerzy, Barba, Eugenio 1975


      9. Technologies of the Imagination: An Introduction - David Sneath, Martin Holbraad, Morten Axel Pedersen 03/2009

        Article  (Special Issue of Ethnos, Spring 2009)

      10. Between theater & anthropology - Schechner, Richard c1985


      11. The self in self-decoration - Strathern, Marilyn 1979


      12. From ritual to theatre: the human seriousness of play - Turner, Victor Witter c1982


      13. Perspectives towards ballet performance: exploring, repairing and maintaining frames - H Wulf 1998

        Chapter  in Hughes-Freeland F Ritual, Performance, Media 1998; Oxon, Routledge

  10. WEEK 6: (14/2) READING WEEK 0 items
  11. WEEK 7 (21/2): THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF EDUCATION (Luke Freeman) 4 items
    1. This session focuses on the two basic issues in the anthropology of education:

      1)     ‪what is taught in schools and how it is perceived by learners?

      2)      ‪why some types of people succeed at school while others fail?


      These two issues are also fundamental to any educational policy or strategy aiming to improve education provision or address social inequality through the classroom. In anthropological thought, the first issue relates to wider theoretical questions about what kind of thing knowledge is, and how school knowledge might be different from other kinds of knowledge. The second issue relates to the classic sociological problem of how the class system reproduces itself.


      The readings for this seminar are three well-known contributions to the anthropology of education which relate in different ways to these central questions.

    2. Key Readings: 3 items
      1. What No Bedtime Story Means: Narrative Skills at Home and School - Shirley Brice Heath 1982

        Journal  Language in Society, Vol. 11, No. 1 pp. 49-76

      2. The uses of literacy in a Zafimaniry village - Maurice Bloch 1993

        Chapter  in B. Street (ed.) Cross-cultural approaches to literacy. Cambridge: CUP. pp. 87-109 (Also published in Bloch, Maurice (1998) How we think they think: anthropological approaches to cognition, memory and literacy. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.)

      3. Learning to labour: how working class kids get working class jobs - Willis, Paul E. 1993, c1977

        Book  pp. 11-51

  12. WEEK FIVE (7/2): Flexible citizenship or social disembodiment? An anthropology of migrants. 23 items
    This topic explores the specific contribution that anthropology has made and continues to make to the understanding of the phenomenon of migration in general and the practices, understandings and experiences of migrants in particular.
    1. Essay question: Is there a difference between studying migrants and studying migration?

    2. Key Readings: 6 items
      1. Either

      2. Or

    3. Further Reading: 16 items
      1. Migration theory: talking across disciplines - Brettell, Caroline, Hollifield, James Frank c2008


      2. The age of migration: international population movements in the modern world - Castles, Stephen, Miller, Mark J. 2009


      3. Theorizing Transnational Migration - N Glick SChiller, Linda Basch, Cristina Szanton Blanc 1995


      4. The new Chinatown - Peter Kwong 1996


      5. Cosmopolitan anxieties: Turkish challenges to citizenship and belonging in Germany - Mandel, Ruth Ellen 2008


      6. Transnationalism from below - Smith, Michael P., Guarnizo, Luis c1998


      7. Eight London households - Wallman, Sandra 1984


  13. Kinship Module 13 items
    1. Lecturer: Alex Pillen

    2. Lecture 1: What is kinship? 3 items
      1. Understanding the Urban Tribe - Ethan Watters


    3. Lecture 2: Descent and alliance 3 items
      1. Alliance and Descent - C. Levi-Strauss


    4. Lecture 3: Kin, house and body 3 items
      1. The Kabyle House or the World Reversed - Pierre Bourdieu

        Chapter  Digitised reading

      2. The Ressurection of the House Amongst the Zafimaniry of Madagascar - Maruice Bloch


      3. External Boundaries - Mary Douglas


    5. Lecture 4: Kin-based societies 3 items
      1. Mothers and Wives of the Disappeared in Southern Sri Lanka: Fragmented Geographies of Moral Dsicomfort - Alexandra Argenti-Pillen

        Chapter  Digitised reading

      2. The Rhythmic Beat of the Revolution in Iran - MICHAEL M. J. FISCHER 20/07/2010


All rights reserved ©