School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Postgraduate
Course code: SHA-2 Semester: 1st
Course Title: Theory and History of Contemporary Anthropological Thought
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
3 10
Course type: Specialised general knowledge
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Νο
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: This seminar course provides basic knowledge in the theory, history and methodology of social anthropology. It also leads to the specialised approach of certain aspects of the anthropological subject that are chosen by the student.

    General Competences: 
    This seminar contributes to the theoretical and methodological awareness on the major issues that concern contemporary anthropology as well as it provides the conceptual tools and the methodological means that are necessary for the anthropological analysis of various subjects. It also cultivates the critical approach and the sensitivity towards alterity.
    This course contributes to the establishment of a critical perspective on self and other. In connection to many other courses in the same program of studies, it cultivates an attitude of understanding and tolerance towards alterity but also invites in creative and inductive thinking.

    (3) SYLLABUS

    This seminar discusses the subject matter and the methodology of social anthropology both historically and in reference to the major theoretical traditions that dominate the anthropological discipline during the last one and a half century. The various theoretical paradigms are situated in the respective social and political context and analysed through various ethnographic examples. The first section of the seminar discusses the national schools of 20th c. anthropology in the context of the major shifts that took place in the first half of the century from evolutionism and diffusionism to modern ‘social’ and ‘cultural’ anthropology and the methodological revolution of ethnographic fieldwork based on participant observation. The second part discusses the effects of structural linguistics on anthropology and anthropological structuralism, the effects of structuralism on Marxist anthropology as well as the critical rethinking of structuralism that has been generated by theories of practice and structuration. The third part discusses interpretive and symbolic anthropology and late 20th c. discussions on the notion of ‘culture’ and it’s ‘writing’, anthropological constructivism, the methodological revisions and experimentations inspired by the criticism of ethnographic realism and the call for reflexivity and the deconstruction of the spatial givens in the anthropological enterprise. The course concludes with a discussion of post-culturalist and post-colonial approaches and their effects on the anthropological analysis of difference (in connection to gender, nation or class) while it presents alternative anthropological approaches to globalization and current debates on world anthropologies.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Students have access to the page of the course in eclass
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Class attendance and participation in discussion 39
    Autonomous study and class preparation 131
    Papers 80
    Course total: 250
    Student performance evaluation: Papers and performance in class.


    Suggested bibliography:

    H. Kuklick (επιμ.), A New History of Anthropology
    T. Eriksen και F. Nielsen, Α History of Anthropology
    A. Kuper, Ανθρωπολογία και ανθρωπολόγοι
    Τ. Eriksen, Μικροί τόποι, μεγάλα ζητήματα
    T. Ingold, Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology
    C. Levi-Strauss, Δομική ανθρωπολογία
    C. Geertz, Η ερμηνεία των πολιτισμών
    R. Layton, Introduction to Anthropological Theory
    A. Barnard, History and Theory in Anthropology
    H. Moore, Anthropological Theory Today