UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ANTH2401 Constructing Cultures Through Media

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 2 elective
Content Cultures have not only been represented, but also produced and reproduced through the use of film and other mass media. This unit critically examines such issues as the anthropological construction of myths about other cultures, the textual nature of media, the histories of various media and their implications for contemporary representations, relationships between the representers and the represented, and the modes of ethnographically investigating media. It focuses on issues of the roles of subjectivity and power in the process of representing, seeking to sensitise students to the ways in which media construe and construct cultures, both constraining and liberating our understandings, especially in cross-cultural contexts of learning and dialogue. Students who take the unit are particularly well prepared to enter the field of media production and those organisations involved in the promulgation and analysis of media productions.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in anthropological and sociological studies of media including cultural diversity, social inequality, the nature of social relationships and institutions, systems of symbolic meaning, and processes that underpin social and cultural change; (2) demonstrate knowledge of anthropological and sociological approaches to media, debates surrounding the history and deployment of media, and the complexities of media depictions of cultural issues (as in, e.g., ethnographic film); (3) demonstrate an ability to critically review, analyse, sumarise and synthesise anthropological and sociological research and theory focused on media; (4) demonstrate an ability to formulate, investigate and discuss anthropologically and sociologically informed research questions and develop arguments based on a critical evaluation of evidence, and respond insighfully to media production with due attention to rhetorical strategies; and (5) demonstrate an ability to communicate anthropological and sociological ideas, principles and knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences using a range of formats (written, oral, visual etc.) with particular attention to interactive and social media.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) tutorial/workshop participation; (2) written work; and (3) in-class exercise. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Sean Martin-Iverson
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 1 ANTH unit
Incompatibility: ANTH2204 Visual Representations of Cultures, ANTH2239 Anthropology of Media
Contact hours up to 3 hours per teaching week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.arts.uwa.edu.au/Units/ANTH2401/SEM-2/2017

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.