Culture and Cognition - ANTS5520

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


An introduction to cognitive anthropology and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between cognitive processes, culture and social organisation. The topics covered will include the forming of categories, relations between categories, the symbolic construction of nature, the classification of natural kinds, the convergence of cognitive and symbolic approaches, the evolution of hominid cognitive processes, the development of second order representations, social cognition and classification, spatial orientation, time reckoning and the cultural construction of knowledge.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22

Private study hours: 128

Total study hours: 150


BSc Anthropology and associated programmes

BA Social Anthropology and associated programmes

Method of assessment

Essay, 2000 words (20%)
Examination, 2 hours (80%)

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

D’Andrade, R. "The Development of Cognitive Anthropology"
Douglas, M. "Rules and Meanings"
Ellen, R. "The Categorical Impulse"
Tyler, S. (ed.) "Cognitive Anthropology"

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 demonstrate a broad outline knowledge of anthropological approaches to the study of cognition;
8.2 competently assess evidence and articulate theories concerning the relationship between cognition, culture, and social organisation;
8.3 evaluate critically arguments and data in the field of the anthropology of cognition.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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