Environment, Culture and Society - SE542

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 4)
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR R Puri checkmark-circle


This is an introduction to anthropological approaches to the environment, 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, cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, indigenous and local knowledge systems, the concept of adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, small scale agriculture and pastoralism, development and the SDGs, the anthropology of the environmental movement, multispecies ethnography, the more-than-human and the anthropology of climate and climate change.


This module appears in the following module collections.


BA Environmental Social Science
BSc Human Ecology
BSc Wildlife Conservation
BA Social Anthropology
BSc Anthropology
BSc Human Geography
BSc Biological Anthropology
Avaliable as a wild module

Method of assessment

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

Indicative reading

Howard, P., G. Pecl, R. Puri and T. Thornton. 2019. Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change in the Anthropocene. Ambio Vol 48, no 12 Special Issue. Springer.
Kopnina, H. and Shoreman-Ouimet, E. eds., 2016. Routledge handbook of environmental anthropology. Taylor & Francis.
Barnes, J. and M. Dove 2015. Climate Cultures. Yale UP.
Dove, M.R. and Carpenter, C. 2008. Environmental Anthropology: A Reader.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Demonstrate broad outline knowledge of the comparative human ecology of different kinds of subsistence systems
Assess evidence and articulate theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology
Evaluate critically arguments and data in the field of environmental anthropology
Compare and contrast natural and social science approaches to the understanding of human environment relations


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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