Students

ANTH1050 – Cultures and Societies: Introduction to Anthropology

2021 – Session 2, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Session 2 Learning and Teaching Update

The decision has been made to conduct study online for the remainder of Session 2 for all units WITHOUT mandatory on-campus learning activities. Exams for Session 2 will also be online where possible to do so.

This is due to the extension of the lockdown orders and to provide certainty around arrangements for the remainder of Session 2. We hope to return to campus beyond Session 2 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Some classes/teaching activities cannot be moved online and must be taught on campus. You should already know if you are in one of these classes/teaching activities and your unit convenor will provide you with more information via iLearn. If you want to confirm, see the list of units with mandatory on-campus classes/teaching activities.

Visit the MQ COVID-19 information page for more detail.

General Information

Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Chris Vasantkumar
Payel Ray
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces students to the field of sociocultural anthropology, which seeks to explore and understand human diversity from a holistic and relativistic perspective. Highlighting important contributions anthropologists past and present have made to the understanding of human cultures and societies, emphasis will be placed on how to study and represent cultural diversity in the contemporary world. Topics to be examined include: the history and development of the culture concept; race and ethnicity; sexuality and gender; magic, religion and secularism; kinship and the family; economic systems; key controversies in the field; and tourism, mobility and globalization. We will also pay special attention to anthropological fieldwork methods and ethics, closely examining how anthropologists both conduct long term field research and write about their findings in anthropology's characteristic written output, the ethnography. The unit will demonstrate the relevance of applying anthropological thinking to your career and personal lives.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Describe the central concepts and themes in cultural anthropology, particularly, the characteristics of culture, the techniques involved in ethnographic research, the processes and consequences of globalisation, and the importance of culturally relativistic thinking.
  • ULO2: Establish a framework for describing and understanding the complexities of the world through the concepts of culture, power, and identity and their various manifestations.
  • ULO3: Develop the ability to provide a holistic and relativistic description of ‘familiar’ and ‘distant’ cultural practices.
  • ULO4: Evaluate assumptions (whether personal or from the media) about other cultures and cultural differences.
  • ULO5: Apply ethnographic and anthropological perspectives and knowledge to issues in your own academic, professional, and personal lives.
  • ULO6: Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human experience.

General Assessment Information

Faculty of Arts Late Submission Policy

Unless a Disruption to Studies request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Weekly Reading Quizzes 15% No Weekly 23:59 Friday
Participation in Tutorial Discussions (for internal students) 15% No Ongoing, Tutes scheduled for W Th or F
'Take-Home Examination' -- Midterm 25% No 23:59 12/09/2021
Mini Essay 20% No 23:59 10/10/2021 via turnitin
'Take-Home Examination' -- Final 25% No 23:59 19/11/2021

Weekly Reading Quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 6 hours
Due: Weekly 23:59 Friday
Weighting: 15%

 

Online Weekly Reading Quizzes

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Describe the central concepts and themes in cultural anthropology, particularly, the characteristics of culture, the techniques involved in ethnographic research, the processes and consequences of globalisation, and the importance of culturally relativistic thinking.
  • Establish a framework for describing and understanding the complexities of the world through the concepts of culture, power, and identity and their various manifestations.
  • Apply ethnographic and anthropological perspectives and knowledge to issues in your own academic, professional, and personal lives.

Participation in Tutorial Discussions (for internal students)

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Ongoing, Tutes scheduled for W Th or F
Weighting: 15%

 

Active participation in weekly on campus tutorial discussion of topics related to weekly readings and lecture topic.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Develop the ability to provide a holistic and relativistic description of ‘familiar’ and ‘distant’ cultural practices.
  • Evaluate assumptions (whether personal or from the media) about other cultures and cultural differences.
  • Apply ethnographic and anthropological perspectives and knowledge to issues in your own academic, professional, and personal lives.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human experience.

'Take-Home Examination' -- Midterm

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 23:59 12/09/2021
Weighting: 25%

 

Online Midterm

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Describe the central concepts and themes in cultural anthropology, particularly, the characteristics of culture, the techniques involved in ethnographic research, the processes and consequences of globalisation, and the importance of culturally relativistic thinking.
  • Evaluate assumptions (whether personal or from the media) about other cultures and cultural differences.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human experience.

Mini Essay

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: 23:59 10/10/2021 via turnitin
Weighting: 20%

 

Short Essay on Anthropology-related topic

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Establish a framework for describing and understanding the complexities of the world through the concepts of culture, power, and identity and their various manifestations.
  • Develop the ability to provide a holistic and relativistic description of ‘familiar’ and ‘distant’ cultural practices.
  • Evaluate assumptions (whether personal or from the media) about other cultures and cultural differences.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human experience.

'Take-Home Examination' -- Final

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 23:59 19/11/2021
Weighting: 25%

 

Online Final

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Describe the central concepts and themes in cultural anthropology, particularly, the characteristics of culture, the techniques involved in ethnographic research, the processes and consequences of globalisation, and the importance of culturally relativistic thinking.
  • Establish a framework for describing and understanding the complexities of the world through the concepts of culture, power, and identity and their various manifestations.
  • Develop the ability to provide a holistic and relativistic description of ‘familiar’ and ‘distant’ cultural practices.
  • Evaluate assumptions (whether personal or from the media) about other cultures and cultural differences.
  • Apply ethnographic and anthropological perspectives and knowledge to issues in your own academic, professional, and personal lives.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human experience.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Many readings will be drawn from the free online anthropology textbook by Michael Wesch,The Art of Being Human, available at anth101.com. Other readings will also be available online.

Unit Schedule

Week

Date

Lecture (Tues)

 

Tutorial Topics

1

27 July

What is Anthropology, Anyway?

 

 Nacirema and Nialartsua

2

 3 Aug

The Concept of Culture

 

The Columbian Exchange

3

 10 Aug

Fieldwork I -- Off the Verandah

 

WTF, FTW

4

 17 Aug

Fieldwork II -- Finding One's Feet   Rogues' Gallery

5

24 Aug

Kinship, Family and Relatedness

 

 Family Trees

6

31 Aug

Sex and Gender

 

XX/XY

7

7 Sep

Anthropology Department Research Week--No Class -- Try to attend an in-person or virtual event!

 

 

 

 

Online Midterm Open 10 Sep-12 Sep

 

 

 

* Mid-semester Recess 13 Sep-26 Sep

 

8

28 Sep

 Race, Belonging and Exclusion

 

 The Chicken Curtain

9

5 Oct

Turbulent Times: Anthropology in the Contemporary World   Cancel Anthropology?

 

10 Oct SHORT ESSAY Due 23:59 via turnitin

 

 
10 12 Oct Globalization I: Culture  

Authentic Culture?

11

19 Oct

Globalization II: Human Economic Systems

 

Where Does Your Stuff Come From?

12

26 Oct

 

Magic, Science, Religion

  Halloween as Australian Ritual

13

2 Nov

The Case for Anthropology

 

Taking Stock

 

 

 

Online Final Open 17 Nov-19 Nov

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

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Changes since First Published

Date Description
15/07/2021 Lecture timing amended from Wed to Tues