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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ANT1009: Theories and Approaches in Anthropology

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content will vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some of the following:


A critical history of anthropological theory: from functionalism to postmodernism. This might include some of the following themes:

  • Precursors: Marx and Durkheim
  • Functionalism and structural functionalism
  • Process and conflict
  • Structuralism
  • Practice
  • Power and resistance
  • Interpretivism and cultural hermeneutics
  • Postmodernism
  • Critique of culture/ the literary turn
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Feminism

The module will also include theoretical approaches to key substantive areas and might include topics such as:

  • race,
  • kinship,
  • class,
  • place, identity and belonging


The module will also ask students to reflect on how to theorise contemporary socio-political events such as the national and global implications of Brexit and the global covid-19 pandemic.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1111 x weekly 1 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1111 x weekly 1 hour tutorials
Guided Independent Study33Reading of the set texts for weekly lectures and the tutorials
Guided Independent Study30Additional reading under the guidance of the lecturer
Guided Independent Study35Preparation and writing of the essays
Guided Independent Study30Recapitulation of reading done throughout the term; preparation of essay plans; portfolio revision, etc.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

ARD - Anthropology Review Database

Internet Anthropologist


SOSIG: Social Science Information Gateway