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Social, Economic and Political Theory in Archaeology

Code: 100724 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500241 Archaeology OB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Jordi Cortadella Morral

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

First part of this subject, by Professor P.V. Castro Martínez, teaching will preferably be in Spanish


Pedro Vicente Castro Martínez


It is recommended that the students have previous knowledge of detail in History in general, from the "Prehistory" and "Ancient History" to the "Contemporary". Likewise, a slight knowledge of current, modern and postmodern critical thoughts is desirable.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The subject aims to be a scenario for debate on how economic, social and ideological factors that generate and manage archaeological knowledge operate.


  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Providing a context for the concepts of archaeological theory and its origin and distinguishing the main epistemological and methodological debates in social sciences.
  • Respecting the diversity and plurality of ideas, people and situations.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Carrying out oral presentations using appropriate academic vocabulary and style.
  2. Critically assessing the sources and theoretical models.
  3. Identifying main and supporting ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  4. Mastering the relevant languages to the necessary degree in the professional practice.
  5. Using specialized knowledge acquired in an interdisciplinary context when debating.
  6. Using suitable terminology when drawing up an academic text.
  7. Using the specific interpretational and technical vocabulary of the discipline.



1. Knowledge, Science, Methods and Explanations

2. Types: Description, Classification, Taxonomy

3. Labour and Production

4. Economic Forms

5. Value


6. Complexity, Hierarchy and Stratification
- Prestige, status, role
- Property, social classes

7. Culture, System and Society

8. Ideology

9. Gender

10. War and Violence


The subject is composed of theoretical classes and seminars. Theoretical classes will introduce the contents central to each one of the topics, linking the different theoretical trends with their historical context and the problems that are trying to solve.
Seminars will be carried out in a team of theoretical application analysis in the practice of archeology.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Theoretical classes 47 1.88 2, 5
Type: Supervised      
Classroom practices - discussion seminars 25 1 2, 5, 4, 1, 3, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Individual or group study 75 3 2, 4, 7


- 60%: Works in group (maximum 3 people and 4 pages). One for each block. Possibility of recovery.

- 30%: Presentations to class of work (maximum 3 people)

- 10%: Participation in classes


At the moment of completion/delivery of each assessment activity, will inform (Virtual Campus) of the procedure and date of revision of qualifications.

Will be classified as Non-evaluable when has not delivered more than 30% of the evaluation activities.

In the event of committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the person will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Delivery of written works 60 0 0 2, 5, 4, 1, 6, 3, 7
Presentations in class 30 0 0 2, 5, 1, 3, 7
participation in class 10 3 0.12 2, 3, 7


AAVV (2000). "Queer Archaeologies". World Archaeology,  vol.32 (2),

Anderson, P. (2000), Los orígenes de la postmodernidad. Anagrama, Barcelona.

Bate, L.F. (1998). El proceso de investigación en arqueología, Crítica, Barcelona.

Binford, L. (1977), For Theory Building in Archeology, Academic Press, New York.

Castro-Martinez, P.V. et al (1996). “Teoría de las Prácticas Sociales”, Complutum Extra, 6 (II): 35-48.

Castro-Martinez, P. V., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C., Risch, R. i Sanahuja, E. (1998). “Teoría de la producción de la vida social. Un análisis de los mecanismos de explotación en el sudeste peninsular (3000-l550 cal ANE)”. Boletín de Antropología Americana, 33: 25-78.

Castro-Martinez, P. V., Escoriza-Mateu, T. (2005). "Trabajo y Sociedad en Arqueología. Producciones y relaciones versus orígenes y desigualdades". Revista Atlántica-Mediterránea de Prehistoria y Arqueología Social, VII: 131-147.

Castro-Martinez, P. V., Escoriza-Mateu, T. (2009). “Lugares Reales y Lugares Ideales. Mujeres y Hombres: Realidad e Ideología en Arqueología”, Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 19: 37-64.

Castro-Martinez, P. V., Escoriza-Mateu, T. (2014) “Por una Arqueología Social, contra las Manipulaciones Convenientes”, Arkeogazte. Revista de Arqueología, 4: 25-42.

Clarke,D.L. (1984) Arqueología analítica. Ed. Bellaterra. Barcelona.

Conkey, M. i Spector, J. (1984). “Archaeology and the study of gender”. Hays-Gilpin, K. i Whitley, D.S. (ed.). Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory , 7:1-38.

Escoriza-Mateu, T., Castro-Martinez, P.V. (2009). “Cuidándonos. Mantenimiento de Mujeres y Hombres en las Sociedades Agrafas”, en M. E. Jaime de Pablos, ed (2009), Identidades Femeninas en un Mundo Plural, Arcibel, Sevilla, “Colección AUDEM”: 203-216.

Foucault, M. (1979). Microfísica del poder. Las ediciones de La Piqueta, Madrid.

Foucault, M. (1988). La arqueología del saber. Siglo XXI, México.

Hodder, I. (1987). “La arqueología en la era post-moderna”, Trabajos de prehistoria, 44: 11-26.

Hodder, I. (1988). Interpretación en arqueología. Corrientes actuales. Crítica, Barcelona.

Jameson, F. (1991). El posmodernismo o la lógica cultural del capitalismo avanzado. Paidós, Barcelona.

Kuhn, T.S. (1971) La estructura de las revoluciones científicas, F.C.E., México.

Lyotard, F. (1996). La posmodernidad explicada a los ninos. Gedisa. Barcelona.

Lakatos, I. (1983). La metodología de los programas de investigación científica. Alianza Editorial. Madrid.

Lull, V. (2005). “Marx, producción, sociedad y arqueología”. Trabajos de Prehistoria, 62 (1): 7-26

Lumbreras, L. (1974). La Arqueología como Ciencia Social. Ediciones Histar, Lima.

Marx, K. 1844 (1968). Manuscritos: economía y filosofía. (Traducción de Francisco Rubio Llorente). Alianza Ed. (Madrid 1968).

Marx, K. 1857 (1989). Introducción a la crítica de la Economía Política.(Traducción de Marat Kuznetsov). En Marx, Engels, Lenin: Obras. Ed. Progreso (Moscú 1989: 178-208)

Marx, K. i Engels, F. 1845-46 (1970). La Ideología Alemana. (Traducción de W. Roces). Ed. Grijalbo. Barcelona.

McGuire, R. H. (1992). A Marxist Archaeology, Academic Press.

Narotzky, S. (1995). Mujer, Mujeres, Género. Una Aproximación Crítica al Estudio de las Mujeres en las Ciencias Sociales, CSIC. Madrid.

Shanks, M. i Tilley, C. (1987). Re-constructing Archaeology. Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Shanks, M. i Tilley, C. (1987). Social Theory and Archaeology. Polity Press, Cambridge.

Trigger, B. G. (1992). Historia del pensamiento arqueológico. Crítica, Barcelona.


Virtual Campus