Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

SPAN2014 Ethnography of Latin America

Module Overview

This module uses ethnographic approaches to understand the diversity of Latin America’s peoples and cultures. Emphasizing the emergence within Latin American anthropology of focuses on everyday life through topics such as kinship and family, ritual and religion, illness and healing, and race and gender, we examine how micro-processes entwine with macro-processes of globalization, social transformation and inequality. We therefore integrate details about particular peoples and cultures with analyses of the wider historical and social themes that are central to critically understanding the complexities of Latin America. Module materials are centred on ethnography as both research process and scholarly product. Ethnography is supplemented with literature, film (both documentary and non-documentary), and journalism.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Students will develop: • An understanding of the cultures of different Latin American peoples • Knowledge of central themes in the anthropology of Latin America • Critical insights into general questions of ethnographic representation • Awareness of the dominant social issues and historical contexts of the region • Knowledge of the tools needed to pursue independent research in and about Latin America


Topics covered in this module are likely to include: • Anthropology and Latin America • Conquest and colonialism • Ritual and religion • Kinship and family • Gender, race and ethnicity • Illness and health • The State, civil strife and social movements • Neoliberalism and migration • Transnational Communities in the U.S.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture and discussion

Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Wider reading or practice38
Completion of assessment task40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Donna Goldstein, Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown.

Amores Perros.

Daniel R. Reichman, The Broken Village: Coffee, Migration and Globalization in Honduras.



MethodPercentage contribution
Class participation 20%
Essay  (2000 words) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.