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ANTH206 Anthropology of Contemporary Issues

Anthropological explanation of fundamental social issues such as globalisation, class, gender, nationalism and new social movements, with reference to selected case studies.

This paper explores the complex cultural, political and economic dynamics of globalisation. It takes a person-centred and 'ground-up' cross-cultural perspective on globalisation. Globalisation involves the reconfiguration of time and space, generating increased flows of goods, services, money, people and images across borders, resulting in demands for both the liberalisation and regulation of economies and societies, resulting in 'hybrid' cultural values and practices. In this paper, we will take care always to ground our analyses of global processes in real-life situations and, from these, identify some of the key problems that have emerged as a consequence of globalisation and consider possible solutions to these issues.

Themes and issues to be covered include: definitions, analyses and critiques of globalisation; production, consumption and distribution circuits (post-Fordism); embodiment and consumption; localisation and hybridity; the global corporation; the state, elites, class and gender; ethnicity and identity politics; new 'culture areas' and new social movements; climate change, 'global warming' and the environment; and financial collapses, corporate governance and risk.

Paper title Anthropology of Contemporary Issues
Paper code ANTH206
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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ANTH 103 or ANTH 105 or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Suitable for undergraduates of all disciplines who are interested in globalisation, embodiment, corporations, the state, class, gender, ethnicity, identity politics and new social movements.
Teaching staff
Dr Greg Rawlings
Teaching Arrangements
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Entirely internally assessed
  • No exam
  • Internal class test in last lecture
  • Lectures are podcast
There are no textbooks for this paper. Readings available on eReserve.
Course outline
The course outline will be available on Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successfully completing the paper students will
  • Enhance 'problem-based learning' techniques to critically appraise globalisation
  • Have an ability to use globalisation to explain economic restructuring, cultural hybridity and social change in New Zealand
  • Be able to compare and contrast the impact of globalisation in New Zealand internationally and historically
  • Deepen skills in critical reading and interpreting diverse information, data, arguments and media
  • Further refine writing skills that demonstrate an ability to make concise arguments and reinforce these with an appropriate selection of ethnographic evidence and a critical interpretation of that evidence
  • Increase research skills in secondary sources and have a capacity to distinguish these from primary sources

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 16:00-17:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 29, 31, 33, 36, 38, 40
T2 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 29, 31, 33, 36, 38, 40
T3 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29, 31, 33, 36, 38, 40