Anthropological Theories- IV


Course No.: Anthro 305
Course Title: Anthropological Theories-IV

Purpose of the Course:
The aim of the course is to look into the shift of anthropology from the formal and society-centered paradigms toward more individual and action centered concerns. It also highlights the divergences and confluences of paradigms through explaining the newer forms.  

Brief Content of the Course:
The decades of 1970s and 1980s saw a move from structuralism to post structuralism with a growing interest in culture and social action. The main emphasis of this course is on the explanation of action, the scrutiny of power and the deconstruction of the writer as a creator of discourses.

Detail Syllabus:

  1. Post structuralism and anthropology: A brief review of the ideas and works of Derrida, Althusser and others.
  2. Action-centered and processual approaches in anthropology: Transactionalism and Fredrik Barth; the Manchester School and Max Gluckman; Processualism and Edmund Leach.
  3. Culture, structure and agency: Pierre Bordieu’s Practice Theory.
  4. Psycholinguistic approaches to culture and the self: Post Freudian theories on self and society; The Frankfurt School; Jacques Laca; Post Lacanian psychoanalytic cultural theory; Post modern psychoanalytic cultural theory.




Reading List:

Barnard, A. 2000, History and Theory in Anthropology, CUP, Cambridge, UK.
Eriksen, T. H. and F. S. Nelsen, 2001, A History of Anthropology, Pluto Press, Sterling, USA.
Knauft, Bruce M., 1996, Genealogies for the Present in Cultural Anthropology, NY, Routledge.
Layton, R. 1997, An Introduction to Theory in Anthropology, CUP, Cambridge.
Ortner, Sherry B., 1984, Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties.
Smith, Philip, 2001, Cultural Theory: An Introduction, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK.

Barth, F., 1959, Political Leadership among the Swat Pathans, London, Attison Press.
Bordieu, P., 1977, Outline of a Theory of Practice, Frans, R. Nice, Cambridge, CUP.
Derrida, J., 1976, Of Grammatology Trans, G. C. Spivak, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press.
Evans-Pritchard, E. E., 1978 [1940], The Nuer: A Description of the Model of Livelihood & Political Institutions of a nilotic People, NY, London, Oxford University Press.
Freud, S., 1961 [1930], Civilization and Its Discontents, NY, W.W. Norton & Co.
Fortes, Meyer & E. E. Evans-Pritchard, 1940, African Political System, Oxford University Press.
Gluckman, M., 1955, Custom and Conflict in Africa, Oxford, Basil Blackwell.
Grosz, E., 1998, Jacques Lacau: A Feminist Introduction, London, Routledge.
Leach, E., 1954, Political Systems of Highland Burma, London, Altlone.