Anthropology (ANTH) 434

The History of Anthropological Thought (Revision 4)

ANTH  434 Course website

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Reading course—Social Science

Prerequisite: ANTH 275 and 3 other credits in anthropology at the 300 or 400 level.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Anthropology Studies home page

ANTH 434 is not available for Challenge.

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Anthropology 434: The History of Anthropological Thought is a senior-level course that examines the range of responses to the fact of human diversity through the ages, with emphasis on modern and postmodern anthropology.


The course consists of the following eleven units:

  • Unit 1: Anthropological Thought to the Nineteenth Century
  • Unit 2: Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Thought
  • Unit 3: Race
  • Unit 4: The Formation of General Theories
  • Unit 5: Boas and His Students
  • Unit 6: Functionalism/Structural Functionalism
  • Unit 7: Structuralism
  • Unit 8: Change and Conflict
  • Unit 9: Materialist Explanations of Culture Change
  • Unit 10: The Individual and Society
  • Unit 11: Postmodernism, Feminist Theory


To receive credit for ANTH 434, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent), and a grade of at least 50 percent on the examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Telephone quiz 6%
Essay 1 22%
Research Paper 25%
Essay 2 22%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Barnard, Alan. History and Theory in Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Moberg, Mark. Engaging Anthropological Theory: A Social and Political History. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Other Materials

All other course materials can be found online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, June 6, 2017.

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