Objectives and Content
Central to social anthropology is the understanding of how relations of power permeate social life and the ways in which institutions of rule, such as the state, influence the distribution of economic resources and cultural privileges. Yet power is also contested by a significant number of projects that seek to transform its social organisation. From a global approach, this course looks at political processes as part of everyday life and emphasizes key anthropological developments in the study of 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, class struggle and globalization. The course aims at developing the student's ability to recognize power and resistance in everyday social relations, and social and political structures taken for granted in order to enable their critical analysis.
A candidate who has completed the course should be able to:
- provide an overview of key debates in anthropological studies of power and the field of political anthropology.
- discuss different ways power manifests itself in various societies and types of social relations.
- apply key concepts and perspectives in the anthropological study of power in an individual essay.
- discuss in what ways relations of power permeate social life and influence the distribution of social, cultural and economic resources.
- apply anthropological concepts and perspectives in order to understand power in the context of local, national and global processes.
- discuss the main features of qualitative research methods.
- read and write academic texts within the specific academic genre.
Required Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
Open to students at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, seminars and assignments
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
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
Assessment in teaching semester and the following semester
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
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 examination
- 16.12.2022, 09:00
- 8 hours
- Examination system
- Digital exam