SOCI388-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019

Contested Heritage: Politics, Power and Practice

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 February 2019
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 1 March 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 10 May 2019


This course provides students with a hands-on introduction to the study of heritage. We explore ways we might understand and interpret contemporary heritage practices in a range of contexts, including post-earthquake Christchurch.

ANTH/SOCI388 provides a critical introduction to the anthropological and sociological study of heritage. The first part of the course draws on international and New Zealand case studies to find ways in which we might analyse heritage practices in different times and places. Our main focus, however, is on Christchurch and we begin with Ngāi Tūāhuriri perspectives. We examine some of the main approaches to heritage and carry out an exercise that allows us to apply these frameworks to a particular problem. In the second, we extend the course themes through detailed work in the field, highlighting how heritage ‘embodies relationships of power and subjugation, inclusion and exclusion, remembering and forgetting’.

Our focus in both sections of SOCI388 is on:

(a) ways we might investigate key issues such as official and unofficial heritage practices, heritage values, ‘difficult’ heritage, interpretation, digital archives, heritage tourism, cultural landscapes and memory.

(b) the kinds of questions that confront those of us engaged in the anthropological, sociological and historical study of heritage. What is heritage? Is it necessarily a ‘good’ thing? Who is represented and obscured? Whose story is it? How are heritage and memory connected? What is the relationship between globalisation, nationalism and localised heritage movements? What has been the impact of indigenous politics, multiculturalism and virtual worlds on heritage? Can heritage practices reconcile competing aspirations and histories in diverse societies? How should we respond to the challenge posed by divergent understandings of ownership, value and significance?

Learning Outcomes

- critically evaluate the value of heritage as a concept and as a tool for social action

- consider a range of different approaches to the study of heritage and museums, including those of Mana Whenua.

- complete two research reports that apply skills and frameworks developed in the course to the study of heritage in a specific local context

- assess the implications and significance of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi for heritage research and practice in Aotearoa

- reflect on the nature of knowledge, power and norms in a personal field journal


30 points of SOCI including 15 points at 200 level; OR 30 points of SOCI or
ANTH at 200 level; OR 60 points in related subjects including 30 points at 200 level with the approval of the Head of Department.


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Lyndon Fraser


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Learning Journal 30%
Research Exercise 30%
Report 40% Heritage Report

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,523.00

International fee $6,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All SOCI388 Occurrences

  • SOCI388-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019