Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


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.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

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.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
ANTH2001 Social Thought
or ANTH2214 Development of Social Thought
ANTH2220 Contemporary Social Thought
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per teaching week
  • 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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.