Environment and Culture - SE542

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.


SE301: Introduction to Social Anthropology or equivalent





This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

12 Lectures; 12 Seminars


This module contributes:
BA: Social Anthropology; Joint Honours; with a Language; with a Year Abroad; BSc Anthropology; Biological Anthropology; Medical Anthropology

Method of assessment

Essay: 2500 Words: 50%
Exam: 2 hours: 50%

Indicative reading

Moran, E. 2000. "Human Adaptability": an introduction to Ecological Anthropology.
Marten, Gerald. 2001. Human Ecology: basic concepts for sustainable development.
Dove, M.R and Carpenter, C. 2007. Environmental Anthropology: A Reader.
Sutton, M.Q. and E.N. Anderson, 2004. Introduction to cultural ecology.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Acquire a broad outline knowledge of the comparative human ecology of different kinds of subsistence system.
Develop theories to handle socio-ecological data and problems in applying this knowledge to practical situations.
Competently assess evidence and articulate theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organization and ecology.
Evaluate critically arguments and data in the field of environmental anthropology.

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