Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: ANTHROPOLOGY (HUMAN SCIENCES) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide ethnographic perspectives on classification, I.e., a cross-cultural overview of how humans perceive their worlds.
  • to look at various forms of classification, including spoken and written language, ritual systems, ideas of the self and kinship.
  • to focus on the relationship between classification systems and social organisation in order to build on modules that have been taken in the Level 1.


  • Overview of the anthropology of classification, introducing key scholars, terms and concepts.
  • cross-cultural ideals of the self and person, including such themes as the body, gender, the presentation of self, the life-cycle and death.
  • concepts related to kinship, including such themes as achieved versus ascribed status, incest, kinship versus friendship, affinity and alliance.
  • the significance of language, including such themes as literacy and media of communication, myth, speech acts and narrative.
  • understanding and classifying the environment, including such themes as space and time, indigenous knowledges and environmentalism.
  • notions of ideology, incorporating ideas of culture as a system of symbols versus culture as embodied/performed.
  • varying anthropological notions and uses of the idea of classification, from ethnomethodology to culture as text.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will: have gained and adequate grounding in the social and cultural anthropology of classification and culture theory.
  • be familiarised with the many uses to which language can be put.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to analyse other communicative genres, such as ritual performance or visual systems.
Key Skills:
  • Essay writing.
  • Library research.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Essay and Class Write-Up
  • Essay.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 Weekly 1 hour 22
Tutorials 8 Monthly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay and Class Write-Up Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2500 word maximum essay 80%
500 word maximum class write-up 20%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3000 word maximum essay 100%

Formative Assessment:

1000 word essay plan in Term 1; 1000 word draft essay plan in Term 2.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University