1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
ARCH1005 has been successfully completed
Assignments, Examination, Presenation
Topic description
This topic provides an introduction to cultural theory and its application to anthropological and archaeological studies of human behaviour variability. Relations between culture and material objects employed within human societies will be emphasised to address the important links between symbolic behaviour and the material world. Film will be employed as the primary medium to immerse students within the various cultural realms common to all societies. Key subject areas will include age, gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion, culture contact and complex societies. Case studies are employed so that students can develop a sound understanding of the relationships between culture, material objects and human behaviour. All archaeological interpretation is guided and underpinned by specific theoretical positions and cultural theory is a dominant paradigm of the contemporary behavioural sciences.
Educational aims
This topic aims to provide students with an introduction to cultural theory and appreciation of cultural diversity. It will support students as they gain insight into the relationships between culture, material objects, and human behaviour within various social contexts and learn to examine the variety of social and environmental contexts in which culture provides a significant influence on human behavior. Students will develop a critical understanding of how both behavioural diversity and conformity are related to individual learning within various social-cultural contexts.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the relevance of cultural theory to various areas of archaeological research

  2. Critically evaluate the limitations of the use of cultural theory in the reconstruction of human behaviour

  3. Assess the impact of culture on human behavioural variability in various social and environmental settings

  4. Discuss the impact of culture on human behaviour

  5. Develop critical thinking and written presentation skills.