Thinkers and Theories: An Introduction to the History and Development of Anthropology - SE307

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) PROF J de Pina Cabral


SE308 Skills for Anthropology and Conservation;
SE301 Introduction to Social Anthropology;
SE302 Foundations of Human Culture





The module introduces students to the major figures who have shaped the discipline of Anthropology (both socio-cultural and biological) and take them through the historical development of the discipline. Major thinkers such as Marx, Weber and Durkheim on the one hand, and Linnaeus, Lamarck, Darwin and Mendel on the other, are introduced, and their influence on and contribution to the discipline traced. The module will provide an historical outline of major schools of thought within Anthropology - evolution, diffusionism, functionalism structuralism, postmodernism, socio-biology, evolutionary psychology - in both Britain and the USA, and examine the relationship between socio-cultural anthropology and biological anthropology from an historical perspective.


This module appears in:

Contact hours



This module contributes: BA Social Anthropology; BSc Anthropology and BSc Biological Anthropology; with a Year Abroad / Professional Practice

Method of assessment

100% coursework:
In-Class Assessment 40%
Essay 60%

Indicative reading

Bowler, P.J., "Evolution: The History of an Idea", California: University of California Press, 2003
Desmond, A. and Moore, J., "Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist", 1994
Moore, J.D., "Visions of Culture: An Introductio of Anthropological Theories and Theorists", Walnut Creek: Altimira Press, 1996
Barnard, A., "History and Theory in Anthropology", Cambridge: CUP, 2000
Barnard, A. and J. Spencer (eds). 1996. Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Routledge.
Kuper, A. 1996 Anthropology and Anthropologists: The Modern British School. London: Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

8.1 Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major thinkers who have influenced the history and development of anthropology as a discipline
8.2 Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the major schools of thought within anthropology
8.3 Demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of, and changes within, anthropology
8.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the historical relationship between sociocultural and biological anthropology

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