Introduction to Social Anthropology

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Charles Stafford OLD6.02 and Ms Insa Koch


This course is compulsory on the BA in Anthropology and Law, BA in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Anthropology. This course is available on the BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course provides a general introduction to Social Anthropology as the comparative study of human societies and cultures. The lectures and readings may cover a broad range of anthropological topics, including: cultural variability and human universals; body techniques and the senses; kinship and descent; gender, sexuality and marriage; death; production and exchange; violence, modernity, ethnicity and race.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare discussion material for presentation in the classes and are required to write assessment essays. Anthropology students taking this course will have an opportunity to submit a tutorial essay for this course to their personal tutors. For non-Anthropology students taking this course, a formative essay may be submitted to the course teacher.

Indicative reading

R Astuti et al (eds.), Questions of anthropology (2007), M Bloch, Prey into Hunter (1996); M Mauss, The Gift (1970).


Exam (70%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (15%, 2500 words) in the MT.
Essay (15%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2012/13: 67

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information