Skip to main content

Unit information: Social Theories in 2022/23

Unit name Social Theories
Unit code ARCH20057
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Amy Penfield
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

None

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)

None

Units you may not take alongside this one

None

School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

This unit aims to acquaint students with contemporary theories within anthropology and archaeology. Emphasis is placed upon the role of theory in these fields and the academic, political and social contexts within which various theoretical approaches have developed. The unit reviews the history of theoretical developments of anthropology and archaeology and provides the necessary analytical frameworks within which students can understand contemporary theoretical trends within these fields. The unit will provide students with the skills to effectively read, understand and assess current anthropological and archaeological literature on the basis of its theoretical stance.

Aims

  • To provide students with an overview of the historical development of anthropological and archaeological theory from the 1960s.
  • To provide students with an understanding of contemporary theoretical movements in anthropology and archaeology.
  • To enable students to assess the relative importance and usefulness of competing explanative frameworks.
  • To provide students with a theoretical foundation to effectively read and understand current anthropological and archaeological literature.
  • To enable students to apply different theoretical frameworks to anthropological and archaeological case studies.

Your learning on this unit

At the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to

1) Discuss the broad philosophical and historical development of contemporary anthropological and archaeological theory.

2) Critically assess competing explanative frameworks and evaluate their strengths and weakness.

3) Evaluate critically and deconstruct anthropological and archaeological texts on the basis of their theoretical underpinnings.

4) Explain and evaluate anthropological and archaeological data from multiple theoretical standpoints.

5) Evaluate the relationship between theory and ethnography.

How you will learn

Weekly lectures, and five one-hour seminars, supported by self-directed activities. There will be a half day field trip (self-guided) subject to University policy.

How you will be assessed

Essay, 2500 words (100%) [ILOs 1-5]

Book Review, (1000 words, formative). Assesses ILOs 1,2,3 &5)

Formative to be completed, as 0% not credit bearing.

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ARCH20057).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

Assessment
The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.

Feedback