ATS2378 - The anthropology of international development - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Sara Niner

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit takes an anthropological approach to critiquing international aid and development and the global structures it is embedded within. It explores how ethnography can improve our understanding of the development process, and the notions of human progress it rests on. The unit examines the ways anthropologists theorise social and economic patterns of change; how development policy is imagined, produced, received or resisted across multiple cultural contexts; and how development and those being developed are imagined and defined through specific 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;
  2. A thorough grounding in theories and models explaining the historical context of global inequalities;
  3. A comprehension of dominant discourses and trends in development;
  4. An awareness of the culture of organisations, institutions and practitioners of development;
  5. An understanding of how development has affected particular cultures and places;
  6. The analytical skills to evaluate approaches to development from an anthropological perspective;
  7. An awareness of problems and issues in utilising development strategies and theories;
  8. An appreciation of the alternatives offered to mainstream development;
  9. An understanding of methods used in qualitative social research.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two gateway units in Anthropology.


ATS3378, AZA2378, AZA3378