Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Materiality: Environment, Place and Economy

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeSANT103
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

In social anthropology it is essential to understand how people relate to each other by living in interaction with their spatial and material surroundings. Within the context of global variations in human ways of life, the course seeks to give a comparative insight into how spatial and material conditions form and are formed by society and culture. The course focuses on social anthropological approaches to ecology, economy, things, and space. Furthermore, it connects the material and ideal aspects of life by discussing several themes, such as: landscape, place and body, regimes of production, technology, environment and resource management, gift exchange, market and consumption. Emphasis is placed on conveying the social and cultural diversity found around the world, and on how this diversity connected by means of modernization and globalization, as well as uneven involvement in both national and supranational governance.

Learning Outcomes

A candidate who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • Be familiar with the central theories, methods, the disciplinary history and the distinctiveness of the social anthropological study of materiality, environment, economy and place.
  • Have broad knowledge of the different cultural practices and understandings of several areas of life related to human forms of acquisition and social organization.


  • Be able to account for central anthropological debates about the connections between material conditions, social organization and cultural meaning.
  • Be able to apply anthropological knowledge, concepts and perspectives to concrete empirical cases and to theoretical issues concerning material dimensions of human life and activities.
  • Be able to reflect over disciplinary-related issues that are relevant for the thematic of the course.

General Competence:

  • Be able to apply social anthropological concepts and perspectives to the understanding of materiality, environment, economy and place.
  • Be able to make critical use of analytical concepts and perspectives in order to understand local and global processes in society.

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

SANT100, SANT150

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

This course is open to students at UiB

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, workshops, comments on written assignments, ethnographic film.

  • 3-4 hours of lectures per week
  • 7-8 weeks of classes, approximately 26 hours of lectures in total

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Submission of comparative essay of 1000 words (+/- 10 percent)
  • Oral feedback on comparative essay from student in workshop
  • Compulsory attendance on workshop when feedback is presented in groups

The compulsory must be approved in order for the student to take the exam, and it is valid for two semesters.

Forms of Assessment

8 hours school exam

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

The course is graded with letter grades A-F

Assessment Semester

Exam is offered in the teaching semester and the following semester (ordinary exam for students with valid approved compulsory assignment)

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

All courses are regularly evaluated according to UiB's quality assurance system

Course Administrator

The Department of Social Anthropology at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme

Contact Information

Department of Social Anthropology


55 58 92 50 / 55 58 94 51

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written exam

    05.06.2023, 09:00
    8 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam