Technology used and required
Students will need to have access to iLearn in order to complete the two online exams scheduled during the semester. Especially when taking these exams, we suggest to students that they find a high-speed, secure internet connection. At times, iLearn can be slow to reload, so students will find that, especially if their connection is weak, they may be under unnecessary stress. All lectures are recorded, and many of the materials made use of in class are available through iLearn.
Lecture and Tutorial times.
Please see the unit guide for lecture & tutorial times and locations as there are a number of tutorials.
All readings are available online. Please note that the readings have been changed since 2014 as the convenors are taking over this unit from a different convenor; old readers (and the reading lists) will not have the readings used for this year.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Around the world and across time, human cultural variation has extended into the depths of the human psyche, shaping profoundly different ways of being human. Are we all the same ‘deep down’ or do the ways we treat emotion, conflict, social interaction, cognition, and other dimensions of life result in irreducible differences among people? Psychological Anthropology is a field that has traditionally focused on such themes, investigating the cultural dimensions of self, personality, cognition, emotion, psychopathology, normalcy, and deviance—in other words, subjectivity in its fullest sense. Moreover, Psychological Anthropologists seek to understanding both the variant and universal features of human emotional, cognitive, and social life—usually through first-hand experience in documenting and analyzing the wide variety of emotional, cognitive, developmental, and perceptual dynamics that exist across cultures.
In this unit, you will be introduced to the dynamic interdisciplinary field of Psychological Anthropology. Some of the core issues and questions we will be addressing include: How does culture “build” people with highly-localized systems of meaning, feeling, and morality? What is the relationship between culture and subjective experience? How do shared cultural meanings become personalized or “subjectified” by individuals? In what ways does culture shape cognition and feeling? What is the role of language in conditioning cognition? Are there dimension of subjectivity that exist prior to, or independent from, cultural shaping? And if so, how do we account for their function in the lifeworlds of social groups?
By the end of the unit, students will have gained a thorough understanding of the conceptual roots of psychological anthropology, and developed a fluency in thinking through the complex psychocultural issues that continue to animate contemporary anthropological debates about the relationship between self, psyche, and culture.
The convenor of this unit make extensive use of iLearn to post relevant stories, links to resources, and answer questions.
Changes since the last offering of this unit.
The assessment structure has been changed and simplified, with weekly quizzes done away with in order to make the requirements on students simpler. Some of the topics of lectures have been changed, especially because we have introduced a new focus on the key concepts of psychological anthropology (in part because many students have no background in anthropology). Some changes have also been made in order to take advantage of the research and teaching expertise of new staff.
Readings and weekly topics
Pleease see iLearn for an up-to-date list of topics and readings.
If, for any reason, a student needs special consideration (illness, family emergency), students must apply through the special consideration process outlined on the Faculty of Arts webpage. See relevant information here: http://www.arts.mq.edu.au/current_students/undergraduate/how_to#SpecialConsideration