Study Social Anthropology!
The Department of Social Anthropology offers two exciting courses taught in English autumn semester 2021, and we welcome both international and Norwegian students to participate.
Our everyday lives (learning, work, play, communication) are mediated by technologies which we apprehend in their individual instances: my computer, my phone, or my car. The anthropology of technology has long been interested in the study of such individualized technical artifacts: their meanings, politics and capacities to extend human powers to act in the world.
In this course, we will map out the ways in which technology is embedded in culture, society and political economy, paying special attention to three main forms of technological interconnection that have loomed large in late 20th and early 21st century: system (and/or infrastructure), network and, lately, platform.
We will explore the post-World War II trajectory from system to platform, focusing on information technology and its later digital incarnations (especially machine learning and artificial intelligence) in the contemporary capitalist political economy.
Central to social anthropology is the understanding of how relations of power permeate social life and influence the distribution of social, cultural and economic privileges in a society. This course looks at political processes as part of everyday social life and emphasizes key anthropological concepts and perspectives in the study of power, legitimacy, sovereignty, hegemony and ideology.
These concepts and perspectives are applied to thematic areas where anthropologists have contributed new and significant insights to our understanding of relations of power. Examples of topical fields of study that may be covered by the course are, ethnicity, nationalism, identity politics, the state, organized violence and conflict, international migration, minority politics, political and social movements and globalization.