ANTH312-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Kinship and Family in Comparative Perspective

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


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.

Learning Outcomes

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.

University Graduate Attributes

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.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 30 points at 200 level from ANTH or SOCI, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


ANTH212, GEND218, GEND318, SOCI212, SOCI312

Course Coordinator

Zhifang Song


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Weekly questions and answers 5%
Facilitating tutorial discussion groups 5%
Attendance and participation 5%
Mid-term test 30 Apr 2021 25%
Ethnographic Project and Final Essay 01 Apr 2020 20% Part 1 - Data collection
Ethnographic Project and Final Essay 04 Jun 2021 40% Part 2 (1500 words)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,641.00

International fee $7,500.00

* 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 .

All ANTH312 Occurrences

  • ANTH312-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023