History and Theory of Anthropology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
The second course of the cluster "Core Themes in Anthorpology" is called ‘History and Theory of Anthropology’. Instead of following the chronological evolution of the various schools of anthropological thought like usually happens with the anthropological theory courses, it follows the history of the discipline using the six perennial issues as vehicles or pegs. Students get to see how anthropology approached such subjects and through that contributed to our understanding of the world. They learn that although the issues at stake may be very diverse, the six basic concerns are always present, in different and changing disguises.
Knowledge and Understanding. The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of:
(1) the history of the most important theoretical strands in the anthropological discipline;
(2) the most important research fields, theories, concepts and debates in anthropology.
Application. The student has acquired the competences to:
(3) critically assess and compare various theories, and apply them to societal issues Attitude. The student demonstrates:
(4) a critical attitude towards common assumptions within societies, e.g. an ethnocentric perspective;
(5) the willingness to test assumptions and theories;
(6) the capacity to reflect on opportunities and obstacles regarding anthropological theories and ethnographic
The course presents an overview of the main theoretical developments in the anthropological discipline. Attention will be paid to the epistemological groundings of will be presented as a product of certain historical periods and contexts. Students will read classical and contemporary texts and by studying these texts in the context of their respective times, students will learn about the way research intentions, theoretical assumptions and styles are historically and socially embedded.
Lectures and tutorials.
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Theoretical essay and final exam.
The course is part of the cluster "Anthropological Base"
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.