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ASS705 - Anthropology of Poverty and Development

Unit details

Year2018 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:

Tanya King





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin


This unit addresses the subject of poverty in the contemporary world, and introduces students to anthropological perspectives on the cross-cultural and local dimensions of this complex social and economic issue. In this unit, students learn about the ways in which anthropologists analyse poverty and how they apply this knowledge critically towards effective remedial action in the global environment. In particular, the unit emphasizes the distinctive approaches that anthropologists bring to this field of study, and how these perspectives both complement and diverge from other approaches (e.g., development studies, aid intervention, and activism).

Topics include the culture of poverty, the history of the concept of poverty, the causes of poverty and also its effects. Students will explore how anthropologists engage with global organisations such as the WHO, the UN and other non-government organisations committed to development and the eradication of poverty. The global development industry is examined critically as an aspect of contemporary capitalism and world trade that has generated certain discourses such as relative deprivation, sustainable development and the Human Development Index in its attempts to understand poverty as a global phenomenon consisting of local and varied instances.


Short Essay, 40%

Research Essay, 60%

Unit Fee Information

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