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Aspects of anthropological methods covered are: The module examines the relationship between theory and method within anthropology. We are concerned with the specific techniques that are used by anthropologists as they conduct their fieldwork. This module also draws attention to how ethnographic knowledge produced during fieldwork is both relational and contextual.
We consider certain historical conjectures and power dynamics that have contributed to the way ethnography is perhaps at times rather paradoxically at once defined as a product and perceived as a process. To this end, the module explores the epistemological and ethical foundations of anthropological methods in order to encourage you to think about fieldwork as an encounter and ethnography as the relation between anthropological practice and theory.
You should expect to learn about the history of anthropology methods. In doing so, you will be able to raise critical questions concerning the ways in which ethnographic knowledge is produced.
What constitutes as ethnographic evidence? What are the aims of anthropological research? What does participant-observation mean to anthropologists? Why might ethics matter in anthropology?
The lecture each week explores some aspects of these questions, while more detailed and interactive discussions will follow in the seminars. As part of your seminar and coursework preparation, you are expected to read the required texts and undertake short and manageable ethnographic projects with a partner or in groups.
This practical approach to anthropological methods will give you a hands-on sense for some of the ambiguities of ethnography. You'll be provided with an introduction to modern comparative and evolutionary psychology. The module material addresses profound questions such as: What distinguishes us from other animals?
What is our place in nature? What are the core psychological and behavioural characteristics of human beings? Are humans infinitely behaviourally flexible or are we channelled by inherited tendencies from our primate past? We will examine comparative theory and research on the nature of intelligence, theory of mind, culture, language, cooperation and aggression.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
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