ASS204 - Urban Spaces, Global Places

Year: 2019 unit information
Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Unit chair:

David Giles





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week.

Cloud (online): 1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1-hour online seminar per week.


For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than outside of them. Cities around the world swell and transform. New ones spring up virtually overnight. The anthropology of the twenty-first century, therefore, must be an urban anthropology. Meanwhile, these transformations in habitation and migration reflect a sea shift in global economies and political systems with parallel implications for diverse people in far-flung corners of the world. New kinds of cities emerge to reflect this shared landscape, from sleek financial centres to cosmopolitan postcolonial crossroads to industrial megalopolises. An urban anthropology, therefore, must be an anthropology of global connectedness. This unit will explore the intersection of these two approaches.

We will ask a range of questions. What are cities and how are they constructed, socially and materially? How do urban environments remake everyday life, and vice versa? How does space become place? How do cities facilitate the comings and goings of people, things, and ideas around the world?  The unit will feature the work of anthropological researchers, urban ethnographers, and other social scientists who have wrestled with these questions. In addition, students will conduct their own experiential research in their own urban environments.


Online exercises 25%

Journal 35%

Essay 40%

Unit Fee Information

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