ANTH3402 Contemporary Social Thought

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit deepens the familiarity of students with theoretical works and ideas that have formed modern disciplines of anthropology and sociology. Building on ANTH2001 Social Thought, this unit considers key historical figures who have advanced social thought, which may include Giddens, Bourdieu, Foucault, Ortner, Latour and other more recent scholars. Key questions addressed include how people are interconnected materially, emotionally, politically, morally and symbolically. How are these different dimensions of social and cultural life related? There is a focus on a range of issues including globalisation, power, meaning, practice, modernity, structure, process, identity and inequality.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of key conceptual and epistemological issues in social theory; (2) demonstrate knowledge of the history of ideas related to social theory and related ethical considerations; (3) demonstrate an ability to understand, critique and engage with how social theory intersects with ethnography and how social theory interacts with experience; (4) demonstrate an ability to understand, investigate and discuss the underlying assumptions of different theoretical approaches and compare them; and (5) develop a written and oral capacity to present clear, lucid, well-documented arguments, drawing on both theory and empirical or ethnographic material relevant to this unit in a collegial manner and setting.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) oral presentation; and (3) written work. 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 Sam Han
Unit rules
ANTH2001 Social Thought or ANTH2214 Development of Social Thought
ANTH2220 Contemporary Social Thought
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per teaching week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.