Social Anthropology

The broad objective of this course is to understand histories, methodologies and theories of social anthropology. Towards this end,

  • The aim is to visit and revisit the originary moment of social anthropology. To understand how the beginning of the discipline is rooted into its encounter with the colonialism; how the encounter configured a power-effect at the heart of the discipline, whose basis was a form of economic and political (colonial) domination.
  • To understand ways in which in initial phases of development of the discipline, this domination or power-effect has been negotiated and re-negotiated through methodological innovations and construction of conceptual repertoire; and how such attempts are characterized by rethinking the figure of ‘primitive’/’savage’ and the issues such as differences.
  • To grasp how this initial journey has enabled the discipline to cast a critical gaze on other forms of power and domination, for example hierarchy of sex and gender. And finally how that subsequent journey of the discipline over the last century has endowed the discipline with theories and methods to reflect back on colonialism, neo-colonialism (besides other configurations of power and domination), where from once all began.