Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Power: its articulations and disguises

Main content

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

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. The course aims at developing the student¿s ability to recognize power, legitimacy and resistance in everyday social relations, and social and political structures taken for granted in order to enable their critical analysis.

Learning Outcomes

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.

General competence

  • 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


Recommended Previous Knowledge

SANT100, SANT150

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

Change of assessment for from eight-hour school exam to five-days take home exam as part of the measures to limit the risk of corona infection.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester and the following semester

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Take home exam

    Assignment handed out
    13.12.2021, 09:00
    Submission deadline
    17.12.2021, 14:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam