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IFCO 2365 - Anthropology : Some keys to understanding mankind, cultural diversity and social forms

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

This course aims at portraying the major contributions of anthropology to the understanding of mankind and culture – in the broadest sense of the terms. Anthropological knowledge shared common subject-matters with other disciplines but has shed a specific light on social ties, power and order, mind and language, representations and beliefs, norms and institutions, bodily practices and ritualized actions… owing to these common interests, A special attention will be given to the ways anthropology has enduringly exchanged with other disciplines (sociology, history, political science, economy, psychology, law, linguistics, among others). Theoretical courses are proposed: they aim at introduce the key concepts and models, the main authors and crucial debates, the methodological resources of anthropology to students, and invite them to create a dialog with other fields of knowledge in Social Sciences and Humanities. The emphasis will be particularly put on three domains (culture, society and religion) illustrated by case-studies.


  • DUMESNIL, Choralyne M. (Avocate)
  • OBADIA, Lionel (Agent contractuel - enseignant-chercheur)

Course validation

1 QCM (40% de la note finale) 1 Final paper : 15000 signes (60% de la note finale)

Required reading

  • 1.Haviland, William A., Prins, Harald E. L. Cutural anthropology : The Human Challenge, 14th edition, Wadsworth Publishing, 2013 (obligatoire)
  • 2.Marcus, George E., Fischer, Michael M, Anthropology as Cultural Critique : An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences, University of Chicago Press, 1986
  • 3. Lambek, Michael (Ed) A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion 2nd Edition, Blackwell, 2002.
  • 4. Fardon, Richard, Harris, Olivia, et al. (2012) The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology, Malden, Oxford… Sage Publications Ltd., 2012
  • 5. Inda, Jonathan Xavier Rosaldo, Renato (Es),The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader, Sage Publications, 2007

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Séance 1: The origins and development of anthropology in their historical and ideological contexts
  • Séance 2: Recent trends and new approaches: rethinking anthropology in a changing world
  • Séance 3: Understanding “culture”_1. Symbolic and materialistic approaches (conceptual models) 
  • Séance 4: Understanding “culture”_2. Issues in diffusion, culture change and diversity (case studies)
  • Séance 5: Understanding “culture”_3. Instrumental and writing cultures in postmodern, postcolonial and global world (conceptual models and empirical case studies)  
  • Séance 6: Living in society, making and (dis)ordinering the social _1: anthropological models and theories (conceptual perspectives)
  • Séance 7: Living in society, making and (dis)ordinering the social _2:  Power, institutions and systems (case-studies)
  • Séance 8: Living in society, making and (dis)ordinering the social _3: social dynamics, transformations and structural change (case-studies)
  • Séance 9: Believing, belonging, and acting accordingly_1: the models of religion and religions in anthropology (conceptual approaches)
  • Séance 10:  Believing, belonging, and acting accordingly_2: what and how to believe: from mind to practice and reversely (case-studies)
  • Séance 11:  Believing, belonging, and acting accordingly_3: the shape and role of religions in the modern and global world and why they matter so much (case-studies) 
  • Séance 12: Conclusive and recapitulative session: recalling the conceptual and methodological contribution to anthropology to the issue of diversity