Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Objectives and Content
Today, the majority of the world's population live in cities, and the share is predicted to grow to two-thirds over the next few decades. Many have criticised modern cities as sites of homogenisation, but cities have also been places for creating new forms of diversity. Modern cities have produced new social groups and subcultures with their own distinctive beliefs and values, with different groups seeking their own identity and place in urban areas.
The course will use ethnography to study: changing forms of poverty, the global growth of slums and ghettos, the racial-ethnic forms that class relations can assume, the welfare state and new forms of policing and social control. The curriculum will include ethnographic studies of the homeless, unemployed, drug addicts, migrant-ethnic groups, and youth subcultures. The course will not just study the poor and marginalised but also dominant institutions.
The changing affluent lifestyle of urban elites has produced new ways of privatising and fortifying urban spaces, new militarised forms of policing have emerged in response to growing class-racial inequalities. Modern cities have also involved the growth of new institutions (bureaucracies, schools, hospitals, prisons, mental asylums, police forces, factories) and these have their own internal life; their own ideologies, forms of knowledge, informal practices and policing regimes which can generate conformity, resistance and marginalisation.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- trace the historical development of ideas concerning the city, as reflected in anthropological literature
- critically evaluate theoretical approaches to understanding urban problems and related issues, such as poverty and migration
- discuss how urban spaces and institutions can shape identities and communities
- analyse how urban spaces are shaped by sociocultural, political and economic processes
- analyse the culture and social relations that can develop within cities and institutional environments
- critically engage with academic texts and relate scientific theories to ongoing social processes
- apply key concepts and perspectives from anthropology in an independently written work using empirical case materials
Required Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
This course is open to students at UiB
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures and workshops
4 hours per week
Approx. 26 hours in total
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Submission of one essay (1500 words +/- 10%). Only with an approved assignment will students be allowed to take the exam. Approved compulsory assignment is valid for 2 semesters.
Forms of Assessment
8 hours written exam
SANT230 10 credits
All courses are regularly evaluated according to UiB's quality assurance system.
Department of Social Anthropology
Note that the time may change up until 14 days prior to the day of the examination. The location will be published 14 days ahead.
Type of assessment: Written examination
- Withdrawal deadline
- Examination system
- Digital exam