Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Victoria Graham


This unit takes an anthropological approach to critiquing international development and understanding the developing world and the 'global south.' The unit shows how ethnography can improve our understanding of the development process. It also provides a historical contextualisation and understanding relationships between the 'north' and 'south' in contemporary globalisation from an African viewpoint. The unit uses anthropology to help understand social and economic patterns of change; how development policy is imagined, produced, and received (or resisted) across multiple cultural contexts; and how development is imagined and defined through specific case studies (including African case studies) of approaches, institutions and practitioners in the field.


Students can expect to develop:

  1. An understanding of global inequalities and how these impact on different groups of people, especially in the African context;
  2. An understanding of development theories and models;
  3. An awareness of the culture of development organisations, institutions and practitioners;
  4. An understanding of how development has affected particular cultures and places, with an emphasis on the continent of Africa;
  5. The analytical skills to evaluate approaches to development from an anthropological perspective and the associate problems/concerns;
  6. An appreciation of the history, philosophy and practice of qualitative social research;
  7. An understanding qualitative social research and the range of methods used;
  8. An understanding of the of the practice of qualitative research, and the role of ethics in conducting that research.


Written work: 80%
Seminar participation and presentations: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study