SOC-10019 - The Anthropological Imagination
Coordinator: Jane Parish Room: CBC0.011 Tel: +44 1782 7 34232
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The main aim of this module is to introduce you to sociological and anthropological research exploring a number of a variety of different cultures. The module will allow for critical ethnographic refection on the founders of anthropology, their methodologies, bias, power and racialized misuse of concepts. We look at, for example, racialized colonial knowledge gathered about West African witchcraft. Magic was portrayed as primitive and irrational belief. Today, however, contemporary anthropologists conceptualise African witchcraft as a sophisticated discourse which allows for critique of neo-colonialism and capitalism and Euro centric ideas about what is real and imaginary. The case studies we examine, such as those about mental illness, technology, policing, McDonalds, disaster and narco-culture, are reflective of the variable experiences that people with different identities may have of the same phenomena as we look at different subcultures in Mexico, Japan, Ghana, Honduras, Columbia, Russia, United States and South Africa.

The main aim of this module is to introduce students to sociological and anthropological research exploring a number of non-Western societies. The module will also introduce students to classic and contemporary texts and methods used to investigate culture and society and explore the ways in which ideas have been understood in academic research.
The module will also explore the conceptual tools needed to understand the different practices, rituals and beliefs between and within cultures and societies. It will enhance students knowledge of cultures and societies other than their own and will show that culture and societies vary at different points in history and in different places.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explore the meaning of `cultureż and `societyż in diverse theoretical approaches and empirical circumstances: 1
Describe the methods anthropologists/sociologists use to study societies and culture: 1
Express the different ways social life is organised in a range of non-Western societies: 1
Show the usefulness of an approach which compares culture and society in different times and in different places: 1

Study hours

Active learning hours
22 hours (11 lectures and 11 seminars)
28 hours structured engagement with online asynchronous activities including videos, podcasts and seminar preparation using pre-recorded Wakelet capsule
Independent study 100 hours - reading, note taking and assessment preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
Essay- 1 question
1500 word essay chosen from a list of 4 provided by the module leader