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Unit of study_

ANTH2700: Key Debates in Anthropology

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit introduces students to contemporary issues in anthropology and the world. Students will learn approaches to climate change, illness and well-being, human-animal relations, life in cities, new forms of media, work and welfare, inequality, poverty and development, the social life of new digital technologies, the changing character of the family, emergent forms of violence and domination and the new forms of protest and resistance that are occurring in the world today. The unit will provide students informed and practical approaches to contemporary social problems and an appreciation of the different cultural lenses through which they are understood.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ANTH2700
Academic unit Anthropology
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Anthropology
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Luis Angosto Ferrandez,
Lecturer(s) Luis Angosto Ferrandez,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Group presentation
Group work on a topic chosen by students (weeks 6/7/8)
20% Multiple weeks 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Online task Participation
Demonstrated continuous engagement with lecture and tutorial activities
10% Ongoing N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Short written reflection
Response to pre-selected question (related to contents from first 5 weeks)
25% Week 05
Due date: 23 Mar 2023 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment Essay
Written essay on pre-selected topic
45% Week 13
Due date: 25 May 2023 at 23:59
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

The complete instructions for each of the assignments in this class is posted on the class Canvas site. The procedures for submission and what to do if you fall behind and need an extension on your work are posted there as well.


Assessment criteria

See assessment criteria and descriptors on our Canvas site

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Students have to submit all of the assignments in order to pass the class. Any missing assignments will result in an AF. The university policy for accepting late work, including late penalties, will be applied to students’ work. It is very important for students to keep in regular contact with their tutor about their progress in the class.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Theory in anthropology: where to find it, and why it matters (I). Cultural difference Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Theory in anthropology: where to find it, and why it matters (II) Ethnicity Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Theory in anthropology: where to find it, and why it matters (III) Ideas and actions in times of “economic” crises Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Why do people do what they do? Anthropologists looking at people in and around sporting activities (I) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Why do people do what they do? Anthropologists looking at people in and around sporting activities (II) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Where is the key divergence? (I) On materialisms Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 07 Where is the key divergence? (II) On Infrastructure Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Where is the key divergence? (III) On perspectivism Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Where is the key divergence? (IV) On property Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Politics: what is it, and what drives it? (I) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Politics: what is it, and what drives it? (II) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 12 Politics: what is it, and what drives it? (III) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Politics: what is it, and what drives it? (IV) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

According to university policies, attendance is required in lectures and tutorials whether they are online or on campus.

More importantly, though, your instructors and tutors want to get to know you as an individual and to help you and every student develop his or her own individual perspective on the field of anthropology. For that reason, we want to see you in class on a regular basis and to have regular (weekly) contact with each student to see how their thinking is developing.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

 See link to our "Reading List" on Canvas.

In the "Modules" section of our Canvas site, you'll also get to see readings set for each of our weekly meetings.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand how anthropological arguments are constructed through analysis of relevant evidence and theory.
  • LO2. identify differing methodologies used in ethnographic research and understand how they can enable analytical insight and theoretical innovation.
  • LO3. demonstrate proficiency in the use of anthropological databases and scholarly literature relevant to research in the discipline.
  • LO4. use anthropological knowledge to inform and critique social theories
  • LO5. understand the potential of anthropological knowledge to generate societal impact

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is a new class that has been developed as a requirement for anthropology majors to give them a firm foundation in the field.

Please see the class Canvas site for a comprehensive guide to the class, including a guide to each week’s topic, required readings, and full instructions for each assignment.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.