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ANTH105 Global and Local Cultures

Being human, and humane, in a world where worlds collide. An introduction to cultural studies of globalisation, multiculturalism, tourism, media.

This paper introduces students to the study of human life on both global and local levels from the perspective of socio-cultural anthropology. Whether you know a lot or very little about socio-cultural anthropology, by engaging with this paper you will come to understand the distinctive characteristics of our field with its focus on tolerance, its celebration of human difference, its attention to the necessity for decolonisation and defamilarisation of our taken for granted worlds in order to appreciate the core of sameness in our species and its love of empirical fieldwork to create contemporary theories of power, values, identities, societies and cultures. The paper will give significant attention to a recurring question within the social sciences and the contemporary world at large - how do/how should we live with globalisation? What would a fully globalised world look like? How does one account for enduring cultural diversities? What are the relationships between, on the one hand, the mental/spiritual/cultural and, on the other, the physical/material/fiscal components of human realities?

You should expect to engage in anthropological and ethical debates - debates that have, in fact, long informed social ethnographic inquiry and inspired the leaders of this (sub)field.

We will explore these interrelations through a range of topics that receive anthropological attention, including culture, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, kinship, inequality, migration, globalisation, traditions and modernities, anime, memes, humour, terrorism, work, emotion, gender, funerals, medicine, health and healing, food, eating. In short - our studies will take us through internationally sourced and empirically based contemporary studies of the fascinating, diverse and, at times, ethically challenging ways of being human in a globalising world.

Paper title Global and Local Cultures
Paper code ANTH105
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

Contributing lecturer: Dr Susan Wardell

Paper Structure

Our lectures are active learning environments, and so we request all of our students to arrive in class having read their allotted required reading prior to the lecture.

Teaching Arrangements

Two 1-hour lectures per week, plus one tutorial per week.

This course is 100% internally assessed. The assessments are - 2 research essays, an interactive daily lecture key lecture point quiz question, tutorial participation evaluation mark and a short test on how best to prepare to write a research essay which is conducted by the library staff. In this course we value your engagement, your ideas and your collegiality.


There is no textbook for the paper. Students will access their required readings prior to classes through the eReserve system on Blackboard.

Your readings are carefully selected, contemporary, peer reviewed articles from popular social anthropology journals.

All key materials are available via library e-reserve and/or Blackboard.

Lecture outlines/notes are provided in advance of class and lectures are recorded and available via blackboard.

Course outline

Copies are available through blackboard via the course outline tab. Before the semester starts if you would like to see the previous year’s course outline to assess the course, you are welcome to email to ask for a copy.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will gain

  • An understanding of how cultural diversity and homogeneity, respectively, are being produced in our 'global' world
  • An understanding of how human beings impact this new diversity and homogeneity and are, in turn, impacted by it
  • Exposure to some of the key theoretical, ethical and philosophical debates in the human sciences in order to prepare students for higher-level specialist anthropology papers, methods papers and as a useful adjunct paper to all degrees across the Divisions (anthropology being the most scientific of the arts and the most humanistic of the sciences)
  • An appreciation for the importance of self-reflection in social scientific and humanistic inquiry

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
T2 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
T3 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
T4 Thursday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
T5 Thursday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
T6 Thursday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41
T7 Friday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41