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Social and Cultural Anthropology

Code: 106216 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504235 Science, Technology and Humanities FB 1 2


Montserrat Ventura Oller

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


There are no pre requisites.


Objectives and Contextualisation

The subject Social and Cultural Anthropology is part of the main subject "Anthropology" and analyzes the nature / culture binomial from an anthropological perspective, based on the affirmation of the existence of a shared and diverse humanity, and its intrinsic link with the environment and with its interpretation.


The subject Social and Cultural Anthropology seeks to ethnographically illustrate human cultural diversity, discuss the concepts and theoretical explanations related and reflect critically on the scientific study of sociocultural differences in fields such as social, economic organization and symbolic systems, with especial emphasis on knowledge of the environment. Along with the dichotomous Western conception of
nature / culture, the subject opens to the consideration of other relational ontological conceptions existing both in human history and in contemporary non-Western cultures to understand how human beings, mediated by technology, give form and meaning to its relationship with what exists.


  • Analyse the relationships between nature and culture using concepts from anthropology, philosophy and history.
  • Make critical use of digital tools and interpret specific documentary sources.
  • Produce written papers and give effective oral presentations, adopting the appropriate register in different languages.
  • Recognise the political, social and cultural dimension of science and technology development in the different historical periods.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Work collaboratively in teams.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply the knowledge acquired in complex or professional work settings.
  2. Assess the reliability of sources, select important data and cross-check information.
  3. Critically analyse the successes of science in its historical and cultural development.
  4. Develop teamworking skills, blend in and actively collaborate in achieving common goals.
  5. Distinguish between natural origin and cultural construction in the scientific analysis of human expressions.
  6. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  7. Recognise the achievements of the various knowledge systems of the world.


The subject Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology is a first approach to the study of human sociocultural variability, from a comparative perspective. Throughout the semester, we will present the basic concepts and key topics of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Students will learn on Classical thematic areas, like anthropological perspectives on difference and inequality and some of the most recent developments in the discipline. By studying ethnographic cases that illustrate cultural diversity and highlight the contrasts and similarities with the student’s sociocultural context, and with the support of reading and audiovisual materials, students will gain a basic knowledge about the anthropological discipline. The course will place special emphasis on reflecting on the nature / culture dichotomy, on explaining the diversity of thought and knowledge systems, ethno-sciences and the relationship between technology and society.

Topic 1:
Fundamental concepts of anthropology: culture, nature, diversity, ethnocentrism, relativism, humanity, difference, inequality and other related concepts.

Topic 2:
Natural environment, economic and technological organization.

Topic 3:
Social organization and environment. Kinship, Power and Authority.

Topic 4:Symbolic effectiveness. Belief systems.

Topic 5:
Systems of thought and ethno-sciences, local forms of knowledge.

Case studies: During the course, we will introduce case studies that reflect the diversity of forms of social organization, techniques and knowledge.


The first day students will receive the program of the training activities and it will be mandatory to follow the evaluation date of the exercises.

The students’ work consists fundamentally in to actively follow-up the explanations given in the classroom, to participate in the programmed or spontaneous debates, the search, reading and analysis of information, the realization and on-time delivery of the essays.

The readings are oriented to the preparation of three basic forms of learning and evaluation: discussion in debates (face-to-face or virtual) of the group, thematic essays proposed and preparation of the contents of the course useful for the evaluation in the written exam.

The student must keep in mind that the Virtual Campus is the space through which are notified the basic information of the subject, incidents, novelties, evaluations, and also the space where he/she will find the syllabus, the essays guidelines and teaching materials, among others. In addition, it is the usual space for the delivery of course essays. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to consult and use it regularly.


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      
Theory classes with computer and audio-visual support 33 1.32 3, 7, 5
classroom practices 16 0.64 3, 1, 4, 7, 5
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials and work supervision 4.25 0.17 3, 7, 5, 2
Type: Autonomous      
Study and personal work 80 3.2 3, 6, 7, 5, 2


The evaluation system is organized into three modules, each of which is assigned a specific weight to the final grade. The teacher will present a specific proposal on the first day of the course, following the distribution bellow. Each module can provide for more than one assessment activity (always in accordance with the planned minimums and maximums). 

At the time of each assessment activity, the teacher will inform the students via Moodle of the procedure, date of delivery, grading and review of the assessment tests.

The three types of evaluation modalities with the planned minimums and maximums are the following:

1) WRITTEN TEST MODULE. They can be one or more written tests of different types and characteristics. Its value ranges from 30% to 50% of the final grade.

2) MODULE OF PARTICIPATION in group discussions and public presentations of work in the classroom. Value between 20% and 40% of the final grade.

3) WORK DELIVERY MODULE. This module will evaluate one or more works that can be individual or in groups, based on a specific bibliography. Value between 20% and 40% of the final grade.

The Faculty establishes the dates of final evaluation and re-evaluation and the professor communicates it to the students.

In order to participate in the re-evaluation process, students must have been previously evaluated (not necessarily approved) in a set of activities, the weight of which must be equivalent to a minimum of 2/3 parts
of the total rating.

The student will receive the grade of “Not assessable” as long as he / she has not submitted more than 30% of the assessment activities.

The UAB is very careful in controlling plagiarism and the virtual Campus has tools to detect it.

In the event that the student commits any irregularity that could lead to a significant variationin the grade of an assessment act, this assessment act will be graded with 0, regardless of the disciplinaryprocess
that may be instructed. In the event of several irregularities in the assessment acts, the final grade for this subject will be 0. Those assessment acts in which there have been irregularities are not recoverable.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essays delivery 20-40% 3 0.12 3, 4, 6, 7, 5, 2
Participation and classroom practices 20-40% 11.75 0.47 3, 1, 4, 6, 7, 5, 2
Written exams 30-50% 2 0.08 3, 6, 7, 5, 2


Note: This is a generic collection. During the course there will be a bibliography recommended by subject, and a collection of readings in the virtual Campus.


ADICHIE, Chimamanda N. (2018 [2009]), El peligro de la historia única, Madrid: Literatura Random House; (2018 [2009]) Sobre el perill dels tòpics, Barcelona: Fanbooks. TedTalk : https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story/transcript?language=es

ÁLVAREZ, Silvia G. (eds.) (2004), Comunas y comunidades con sistemas de albarradas. Descripciones etnograficas, Quito: Abya-Yala-ESPOL.

APPADURAI, Arjun (Ed.) (1991 [1986] La vida social de las cosas. Perspectiva cultural de las mercancías, México: Grijalbo

BARTH, Fredrik. (1969) Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The Social Organization of Culture Difference, Scandinavian University Press.

CARBONELL, Eliseu (2004) Debates acerca de la antropologia del tiempo, Barcelona: Publicacions Universitatde Barcelona.

CAVALLI SFORZA, Luca; CAVALLI SFORZA, Francesco (1994)  Quienes somos. Historia de la diversidad humana. Barcelona, Crítica.

DESCOLA, Philippe (2012) Más allá de naturaleza y cultura, Buenos Aires, Amorrortu editores.

DIAZ CRUZ, Rodrigo (1998) Archipiélago de rituales. Teorías antropológicas del ritual, Barcelona: Anthropos.

DOUGLAS, Mary (1973 [1966]) Pureza y peligro. Un análisis de los conceptos de contaminacion y tabu. Madrid: Siglo XXI.

DURKHEIM, Émile (2014 [1912]) Las formas elementales de la vida religiosa, Madrid: Alianza editorial. / (1987 [1912]) Les formes elementals de la vida religiosa, Barcelona: Edicions 62.

EVANS-PRITCHARD, Edward E. (1973 [1965]) Las teorías de la religión primitiva, Madrid: Siglo XXI (cap. II y III).

GELL, Alfred (1992) The anthropology of time. Cultural constructions of temporal maps and images,, Oxford: Berg.

GLEDHILL, John (2000) El poder y sus disfraces: Perspectivas antropológicas de la política. Barcelona: Bellaterra.

GONZALEZ ECHEVARRIA, Aurora. (1994) Teorias del parentesco. Nuevas aproximaciones, Madrid: Eudema.

GOODY, Jack 1985 (1977) La domesticación del pensamiento salvaje, Madrid: Akal.

HÉRITIER, Françoise, (1996)  Masculino / Femenino. El pensamiento de la diferencia, Barcelona: Ariel.

LATOUR, Bruno (2006 [1991]), Nous n’avons jamais été modernes. Essai d’anthropologie symétrique. Paris: La Découverte. / (2006 [1991]) Nunca fuimos modernos. Ensayo de Antropología simétrica, Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI.

LATOUR, Bruno & Steve WOOLGAR (1995 [1979]) La vida en el laboratorio: la construccion de los hechos cientificos, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

LATOUR, Bruno & Pierre LEMONNIER (eds) (1994) De la préhistoire aux missiles balístiques. L’intelligence sociale des techniques, Paris: La Découverte.

LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude (1964 [1962]) El Pensamiento Salvaje, México: FCE / 1971 El Pensament salvatge, Barcelona: Edicions 62. (esp. cap.”La ciència de los concreto”)

LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude  (1993).- Raza y cultura. Madrid, Cátedra.(Incluye “Raza e Historia”).

MALGESINI, Graciela y GIMÉNEZ, Carlos (2000) Guia de conceptos sobre migraciones, racismo e interculturalidad. Madrid: La Catarata.

MARTÍ, Josep y AIXELÀ, Yolanda (eds), (2010), Desvelando el cuerpo. Perspectivas desde las ciencias sociales y humanas. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

MARTÍN CASARES, Aurelia (2020) Antropología del género. Culturas, mitos y estereotipos sexuales, Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra.

MARTÍNEZ MAURI, Mònica y Cristina LARREA KILLINGER (2010) Antropología social, desarrollo y cooperación internacional, Barcelona: UOC.

MOLINA, José Luis i VALENZUELA, Hugo (2007) Invitacion a la antropologia economica, Editorial Bellaterra, Barcelona.

PICQ, Pascal 2019 La nueva era de la humanidad: el transhumanismo explicado a una adolescente, Madrid: libros de Vanguardia.

REYES-GARCÏA, V. y Martí SANZ (2007) “Etnoecología. Punto de encuentro entre naturaleza y cultura”, Ecosistemas, 16 (3), pp. 46-55.


SAHLINS, Marshall (1972) La economia de la edad de piedra, Madrid: Akal

SAHLINS, Marshall (1988 [1976]) Cultura y razón práctica. Contra el utilitarismo en la teoría antropológica, Barcelona: Gedisa. (esp. Cap. 4).

SANTOS GRANERO, Fernando (ed.) La vida oculta de las cosas. Teorías indígenas de la materialidad y la personeidad, Quito: Abya-Yala

SEGALEN, Martine (2014 [2005]) Ritos y rituales contemporáneos, Madrid: Alianza editorial.

TURNER, Victor (1980 [1967]) La selva de los símbolos, Madrid Siglo XXI.



AIXELÀ, Yolanda (2000). Mujeres en marruecos. Un analisis desde el parentesco y el genero. Ed. Bellaterra

BENEDICT, Ruth (1974 [1946]) El crisantemo y la espada. Patrones de la cultura japonesa. Madrid: Alianza.

CARO BAROJA, Julio (1990 [1955]) Estudios saharianos. Madrid: Júcar Universidad.

CLASTRES, Pierre (2001 [1972]) Crónica de los indios guayaquis, Barcelona, Altafulla.

DESCOLA, Philippe (1989 [1988]) La selva culta.. Simbolismo y praxis en la ecologia de los Achuar, Quito: Abya-Yala.

EVANS-PRITCHARD, Edward E. (1976 [1937]) Brujeria, magia y oraculos entre los azande. Barcelona:  Anagrama.

EVANS-PRITCHARD, Edward E. (1977 [1940]) Los Nuer. Barcelona: Anagrama.

FEIXA, Carles (1998). De jovenes bandas y tribus, Barcelona Anagrama

FONS, Virginia (1997) Vora el mar. Organització de la procreació i estructures domèstiques dels ndowe de Guinea Equatorial, Bellaterra: Piblicacions d’Antropologia Cultural, UAB.

GODELIER, Maurice. (1986) La producción de los grandes hombres: Poder y dominación masculina entre los Baruya de Nueva Guinea. Madrid: ed. Akal.

GRIAULE, Marcel (2000 [1966]) Dios de agua. Barcelona, Alta Fulla.

MALINOWSKI, Bronislaw (1975 [1922]) Los argonautas del Pacifico Occidental. Un estudio sobre comercio y aventuraentre losindigenas de los archipielagos de la Nueva Guinea melanesica. Barcelona: Península.

MALLART, LLuís (2021 [2009]) Soc fill dels evuzok, Barcelona, Penguin/ Random House, Col.Debutxaca./ (2009) soy hijo de los evuzok, Madrid: Ariel.

MEAD, Margaret. (1990 [1939]) Adolescencia y cultura en Samoa. Barcelona: Paidós.

MONTERO BARTOLOMÉ, Mercedes (2020) Otrosmundos, otras tecnologías. Andanzas africanas de una antropóloga, Madrid: Tecnos.

PIELLA, Anna (2002). Parentiu a Jambun. Canvis i continuitats en una comunitat aborigen d'Australia, Bellaterra: Servei de Publicacions de la UAB, Publicacions d'Antropologia Cultural, no21

RABINOW, Paul (1992 [1977]) Reflexiones sobre un Trabajo de campo en Marruecos, Madrid: Júcar Universidad.

RAPPAPORT, Roy A. (1987 [1968]) Cerdos para los antepasados. El ritual en la ecología de un pueblo de Nueva Guinea, Madrid: Siglo XXI.

SAN ROMAN, Teresa (1997). La diferencia inquietante. Viejas y nuevas estrategias culturales de los gitanos. Siglo XXI.

TOMÀS, Jordi & LAMBAL, Patrick (2013) El pescador que volia anar al pais dels blancs. Barcelona: Editorial Pòrtic.

TURNBULL, Colin (1984 [1961]) Los pigmeos, el pueblo de la selva. Barcelona. Javier Vergara.

VAN DEN BOGAERT, Alice (2018) Les rapports entre castes dans l’Himalaya indien, Paris: L’Harmattan

VENTURA I OLLER, Montserrat (2012 [2009]) En el cruce de caminos.Identidad, cosmologia y chamanismo Tsachila, Quito: FLACSO/ Abya-Yala / IFEA.



AUGÉ Marc, COLLEYN Jean-Paul (2005) Que es la antropologia, Barcelona: Paidós.

BESTARD, Joan CONTRERAS, Jesús (1987).- Barbaros, paganos, salvajes y primitivos. Una introduccion a la Antropologia, Barcelona: Barcanova.

BOHANNAN, Paul. (1996) Para raros, nosotros: introducción a la antropología cultural, Madrid, Ediciones Akal.

BOHANNAN, Paul y GLAZER, M. (eds.) (1992) Antropología: lecturas. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

BARTH, Fredrik. (1969) Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The Social Organization ofCulture Difference, Scandinavian University Press.

BONTE, Pierre y IZARD, Michel (1997 [1991]) Diccionario Akal de Etnología y Antropología. Madrid: Akal. 

EMBER, Carol (2003) Introduccion a la Antropologia, Madrid, McGraw-Hill

EMBER, Carol R. y EMBER, Melvin (2004) Antropologia cultural. Madrid: Prentice Hall.

KOTTAK, Conrad Phillip (2002) Antropologia cultural. Espejo para la humanidad, Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

HALLER, Dieter. (2011), Atlas de Etnología, Madrid: Akal

HARRIS, Marvin (1999) El desarrollo de la teoría antropológica: historia de las teorías de la cultura, Madrid: Siglo XXI.

LAURTHE-TOLRA, Pierre y WARNIER, Jean-Pierre (1998), Etnologia y Antropologia. Madrid: Akal

LISÓN Carmelo (ed.) (2007) Introduccion a la Antropologia Social y Cultural. Teoria, metodo y practica, Madrid: Akal.

LLOBERA, Josep Ramon (1999) Manual d'antropologia social : estructura i evolucio de les societats humanes, Barcelona: UOC/ Pòrtic

LLOBERA, Josep Ramón (Ed.).(1988) La antropologia como ciencia. Barcelona: Anagrama.

OLIVER SANCHEZ, J. (2019 [2012]), Antropologia, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.


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