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This course is designed to help students understand the importance of kinship and family in human societies and appreciate the complexities and variation in how kinship and family are conceptualized and practised in different cultures. In this course, we will discuss classic and contemporary case studies of kinship and family in cultures and societies around the world, including Africa, China, Europe, the United States, and the Pacific area (including New Zealand), to list just a few. In examining these cases and case studies, we will probe the issues of biology and culture, personhood and subjectivity, and structure and human agency in varied ways of conceptualizing and practising kinship in different cultures. This course also covers comprehensive knowledge of historical and contemporary theories and methods in kinship and family studies to help students develop critical perspectives on how kinship and family are practised in contemporary life.
After taking this course, students are expected to:a. Understand the ways how anthropologists have understood kinship and family historically, and how these understandings have shifted in line with broader theoretical and methodological changes in the discipline.b. Appreciate the cross-cultural variation in how kinship and the family are conceptualized and practiced, and the role of these conceptualizations and practices in the structuring and conduct of social relations.c. Understand how conceptions and practice of family and kinship are shaped by the broader socio-cultural, economic and political contexts.d. Be able to apply the theories and methods learned to the analysis of kinship and family systems.e. To have a better appreciation of cultural variations in New Zealand and the world.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level from ANTH or SOCI or any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $821.00
International fee $3,750.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences