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300253 Social Anthropology and Issues of Development (S) (SoSe 2018)

Inhalt, Kommentar

In this seminar, we will use social anthropological approaches and theories to examine a number of key development issues such as poverty, consumption or gender. Development here is broadly defined as mediated social changes resulting from planned interventions, such as government programs and policies or a broader range of causal forces. We shall focus on contexts in which there is high concentration of disadvantaged people and places, regardless whether these are located in the Global South or Global North. The seminar will familiarize students with how social anthropologists approach and analyse selected development issues and how they generate insights for understanding them. It will also broaden your set of conceptual and analytical tools and enable you perform your own anthropological analyses of development issues.

Learning objectives:
- Students acquire in-depth understanding of selected issues of development.
- Students are exposed to a range of theories to understand these issues.
- Students are acquainted with anthropological approaches to these issues.

Key skills to develop:
• Discussion skills in the weekly workshops, including the ability to present ideas clearly, formulate a coherent argument, respond to other ideas constructively and develop confidence in one’s ability to engage with other people in a discussion.
• Reading skills in the preparation of the weekly seminars and the essay, developing the ability to identify the key arguments and the evidence used in a piece of writing and to critically appraise these.
• Writing skills in the preparation of the essay, including the ability to identify a relevant topic, the synthesis of academic sources, and the construction of an original and well-presented argument.
• Self-reliance, such as the ability to manage time efficiently, to meet deadlines, to be sufficiently reliable so that others can depend on your inputs for group work, and to independently locate, evaluate, and use anthropological literature.
• Group work in the preparation of the presentations, the organization of meetings, task allocation, constructive collaboration and full participation.
• Presentation skills, involving the ability to synthesize information into a short presentation, to present information or ideas convincingly, and to develop confidence in speaking to groups of people.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse

The seminar is suitable for MA students with some background knowledge of development issues. The reading list contains a number of references for you to begin with, but you are expected to independently locate relevant material, and to find literature on regions or topics of particular interest to you for your coursework. Apart from a number of journal articles, we try to make the Introduction of the books on the key readings list available – these books will be put together specifically for the course in the library. The additional reading list contain important references on the topics (also from other disciplines) is for you to consult further in preparing your presentation and essay – in fact, you might find some key ideas there. In order to best understand the anthropological approach, you should read a number of the ethnographic monographs from cover to cover − the motto is: read, read, and read! It is also highly important for you to attend all seminar sessions in order to benefit from each other’s inputs and develop a sense of how different issues relate to each other.


Green, Maia 2006, Eriksen, Thomas Hylland 2010, Akhil Gupta 2012, Mun Young Cho 2013, Douglas, Mary and Isherwood, Baron 1979, Miller, Daniel 1995, Roberta Zavoretti 2016, Jocelyn Lim Chua 2014, Moore, Henrietta 1994, Lila Abu-Lughod 2013, Goncalo Santos, Stevan Harrell 2016, Andrea Cornwall, Nancy Lindisfane 2017, Eriksen, Thomas 1995, Lila Abu-Lughod 1986, Joshua Barker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist (eds) 2013, Carsten, Janet (ed) 2000, Stafford, Charles 2000, Tine M. Gammeltoft 2014, Davis Deborah and Friedmann, Sara 2014, Muehlbach, Andrea 2012, Ferguson, James 2015, Read, Rosie and Tatjana Thelen 2007, Anne Alison 2013, Aikman, S. 2002, Froerer, P. 2012, Barnhardt, R. 2005, Andrew Kipnis 2011, Jonathan Bach 2011, Absou Maliq Simone 2004, Erik Harms 2012, Li Zhang 2010, David McMurray 2001, Caren Freeman 2017, Aihwa Ong 2003, M. Kearney 1995, Marx, Leo, Cowan, Ruth Schwartz 1985, Pfaffenberger, Bryan 1988, De Laet, M. and Mol., A 2000, Antina von Schnitzler 2008, Anand, Nikhil 2012, Chu, Julie Y. 2014, Schwenkel, Christina 2015,


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Modul Veranstaltung Leistungen  
30-M-Soz-M8a Soziologie der globalen Welt a Seminar 1 Studienleistung
Seminar 2 Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
30-M-Soz-M8b Soziologie der globalen Welt b Seminar 1 Studienleistung
Seminar 2 Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
30-M-Soz-M8c Soziologie der globalen Welt c Seminar 1 Studienleistung
Seminar 2 Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation

Die verbindlichen Modulbeschreibungen enthalten weitere Informationen, auch zu den "Leistungen" und ihren Anforderungen. Sind mehrere "Leistungsformen" möglich, entscheiden die jeweiligen Lehrenden darüber.

Konkretisierung der Anforderungen


You are expected to fulfil two components of the course:
1. Studienleistung: You will work (individually or in group, depending on the number of students) on a presentation and present it to the class for discussion. Your presentation should analyze a development problem in a particular context as a basis to identify the lessons learned on a larger development issue (for example the displacement of local people as a result of urbanization in Ho Chi Minh City, and how it relates to urbanization more generally). The presentation will take place at the beginning of the seminar and should be 30-40 minutes long. It should include a hand-out (could be power-point generated) in addition to the verbal presentation in which groups members will take turn to present. The presentation is expected to meet the following criteria: 1) Clear coverage of the problem 2) Good examples 3) Balance of contribution by presenters 4) Quality of hand-out 5) Quality of discussion stimulated.
2. Hausarbeit: You will write an essay on how social anthropology contributes to the understanding of a particular development issue. Your essay should be between 6000 to 6500 words and will be guided by the following question: What does social anthropology tells us about [insert your development issue here]? You must use ethnographic examples or case studies to develop your arguments. Also, make clear what an anthropological approach adds to the understanding of the development issue considered. Essays will be assessed based on the quality of your reading, writing, and analysis. You should pay attention to formatting and referencing – careless treatment of these will lead to mark reduction. Originality and creativity will be valued. If you want to discuss your essay outline, please come to my office hour (Mondays 5-6pm). The deadline for submitting the essay is September 30th.

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