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This course focuses on the importance and nature of family and kinship in the construction and maintenance of social relations by individuals as well as groups, in a variety of ethnographic contexts.
Family and kinship provide important ways for people to be related to each other in all societies throughout the world. An understanding of any human society is impossible without some understanding of kinship and family in that society. For this reason, topics of kinship and family have long attracted scholarly attention from various disciplines of social sciences, in particular anthropology and sociology. In this course, we will discuss classic and contemporary case studies of kinship and family in cultures and societies around the world, including African tribal societies, pre and post communist China, Medieval Europe, the United States and New Zealand, to list just a few. We will cover the topics of biology and culture, personhood and subjectivity, gender, and global capitalism.Course Aims: This course is designed to enable students to understand the importance of kinship and family in human societies and the cross-cultural variations in how kinship and family are conceptualized and practiced. This course is also to give students a comprehensive knowledge of historical and contemporary theories and methods in kinship and family studies and enable students to apply these theories and methods to the analysis of kinship and family systems.
After taking this course, students are expected to:a) Understand the ways in which anthropologists have understood kinship and family historically, and how these understandings have shifted in line with wider theoretical changes in the discipline.b) Appreciate the cross-cultural variation in how kinship and the family are conceptualized and practiced, and the role of these conceptualizations and practices in the structuring and conduct of social relations.c) Understand how the conceptions and practice of family and kinship are shaped by the broader socio-cultural, economic and political contexts.d) Be able to apply the theories and methods learned to the analysis of kinship and family systems.
Any 30 points at 200 level from ANTH or SOCI, orany 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
ANTH212, GEND218, GEND318, SOCI212, SOCI312
Readings will be available on Learn.
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Academic Integrity Guidance for Staff and Students PDF document
Using EndNote for referencing
Domestic fee $1,570.00
International fee $7,000.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences