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School of Social Sciences

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BSocSc Social Anthropology
Explore human behaviour and relationships and the challenges across different cultures.

BSocSc Social Anthropology

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Sex, Gender and Kinship

Unit code SOAN20802
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Anthropology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Who do you think you are? Kinship is at the heart of social life in every society, and kinship has been a central concern of social anthropologists since the beginning of the discipline.  Kinship is inextricably bound up with issues of personal identity, concepts of personhood, and the formation of households. In this course we will examine ethnographic case studies that demonstrate how relatedness, relationships and identities are differently constructed and imagined.  Anthropologists' theoretical interests in kinship lead also to the interrogation of  the relationship between sex and gender and open a window on to various understandings  of masculinity and femininity - offering important insights into such topics as marriage, parenting, adoption, the family, and the role of the state.  Matters of historical interest to social anthropologists will be investigated together with questions of contemporary concern.


  • to examine some of the major issues which have dominated kinship theory
  • to chart the recent chronology of kinship studies and in particular to assess contemporary trends which have brought issues of sex and gender to the fore
  • to encourage a careful, critical, reading of a number of ethnographies
  • to situate the themes of kinship studies within the general field of social anthropology

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Weekly Tutorials

Assessment methods

5000 word Essay

Feedback methods

You will receive informal verbal feedback continuously throughout the course from your tutor within tutorials.  Written feedback will be given on your mid-term essay.  Students are also invited to make office hour appointments with their lecturer to receive feedback, discuss their progress.

Recommended reading

Parker, R., Barbosa, R.M. and P. Aggleton 2000
Framing the Sexual Subject
London; Berkeley: University of California Press

Carsten, J. 2000
Cultures of Relatedness
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Kulick, D. 1998
Travesti: Sex, gender and Culture amonst Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes,
Chicago: Chicago University Press

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 9
Independent study hours
Independent study 171

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jeanette Edwards Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 12 weeks

Monday 11.00-13.00


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