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The University of Southampton

ANTH2002 Culture, Communication and Cognition

Module Overview

Anthropology actively studies people in real-life settings in order to investigate the crucial roles that culture and social organisation play in their lives. Sociology actively pursues strong theoretical perspectives which further explores the relationship between the contexts of human communication, culture and cognitive processes. This module combines both disciplines to enable an effective fusions of traditionally separated academic disciplines.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the theoretical relationship between thought and language.
  • Identify, select and evaluate appropriate data and evidence from relevant sources and present conclusions in an appropriate social science format.
  • Recognise and formulate social science questions.
  • Be competent in the use of theoretical perspectives and concepts in anthropology and sociology while being able to apply them to the areas of culture, communication and cognition
  • Undertake an investigation of one area of the social sciences relevant to this module in detail, paying attention to appropriate methods, styles of analysis, evidence, theory, and the presentation of research findings.
  • Discuss the impact of writing on oral traditions.
  • Critically evaluate selected theories of the relationship between culture and cognition.
  • Organise and make sense of different types of social scientific argument.
  • Further develop your understanding of communication while enhancing your own communication skills.
  • Enhance your skills of self-reflection with regard to academic work.
  • Undertake independent work in the area of information gathering using libraries and access to different sources of information.
  • Develop time management and organisational skills.
  • Enhance your capacity to engage in critical analysis and problem solving.


The module concentrates mainly upon human communication by exploring the relationship between thought (perception, cognition, attitude, memory, etc), cultural practices (ritual, dress, music, film, etc) and social organization (age, gender, social division etc). Core theoretical perspectives will be applied to ethnographic examples throughout the unit within a wide range of contexts (eg life narratives, the human body, war memories and filmic traditions). The module also considers the influences of various forms of communication upon culture and social organizations, as well as investigating the historically durable role of images as a communications medium. In effect, the module explores the connections between what you think, what you recognize, what cultural things you 'do', and the society you do them in.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Two lectures a week and one discussion seminar every fortnight.

Independent Study129
Total study time158

Resources & Reading list

Please contact the module co-ordinator via email.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 60%
Investigation Report 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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