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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA2134: Ethnography of the Middle East

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim will not merely be to obtain information about the region, but students will be exposed to different methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks, stressing the disciplinary contributions of anthropology. Within the general context of macro processes of social change, i.e. modernization and globalization, the course will pay special attention to micro level analyses addressing specific settings, social conditions, activities and life experiences. Despite the focus on cultural particularities and diversity within the Middle East, the course is also intended to draw out broader issues, which would allow a comparative analysis with other regions in the world.  It provides a basis for anyone interested in research involving fieldwork which might include interviews or participant observation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate specific knowledge about a variety of peoples and cultures of the Middle East, in greater detail than the very general Level 4;
2. Challenge homogenizing and essentialist accounts of the region and its people, especially those of earlier Orientalists;
3. Show understanding of the relationship between representations of the Middle East and preconceptions, by applying detailed knowledge and basic ethnographic theory;
4. Identify different basic techniques in ethnographic fieldwork, such as participant observation, surveys, questionnaires, oral and life histories, and evaluate some of their uses in the Middle Eastern context;
Discipline-Specific Skills5. Analyse and critically assess academic texts dealing with the Middle East;
6. Articulate and develop a coherent argument embedded in relevant theory, applied to examples from the Middle East;
7. Distinguish between some basic methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks used in the study of the Middle East;
Personal and Key Skills8. Demonstrate a capacity for independent study and work planning; and
9. Show an ability to make an analytical and thoughtful contribution to group discussion.