SANT3508 - Globalisation Theory and Culture


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

Globalization is maybe the big buzzword of the 21st century. According to one theoretician, it is a name for the evolving world of connections we know but can’t adequately represent. According to another prominent thinker globalization may not be a particularly attractive and elegant word, but absolutely no one who wants to understand our prospects at century’s end and beyond can ignore it. What then does these prospects have in store for us? On a positive note, it can be argued that globalization is a process of homogenization and standardization and hence an opportunity for forging closer bonds among societies by ironing out linguistic and cultural difference. Yet again, the main lesson from anthropology is that in the present-day world, a multitude of local societies are reacting to globalization by trying to re-affirm or re- invent their cultural and political identities. This is in turn related to the fact that people across the world (some more than others) find it difficult to sustain themselves economically the way they used to; their right to define who they are and the right to self-rule is under pressure, resulting in a crisis of identity and autonomy. The physical environment changes too and in ways which indicate that human activity at the outset of the 21st century is ultimately unsustainable. This course investigates how local cultures, ecologies and people’s lives are being affected by globalization processes in multiple ways, including how people respond to their changing environmental, cultural, and economic predicament. Do they/ how do they/ why do they not come to terms with possible crisis of reproduction that goes with globalization at the turn of the 21st century?

For analytical purposes, we reflect on globalization through two distinct processes:

  1. The emergent Anthropocene: On the relationship between the extinction of organic beings and the extinction of cultural formations
  2. Emergent state-making in the post-colonial order: On social movements between cultural heritage and the state

Learning outcome

Learning Outcome: The students shall gain knowledge of recent anthropological approaches to globalization with an emphasis on cultural complexity. The specific objective is to explore the many unexpected and often paradoxical consequences that comes with globalization processes and thus to be able to identify both the dazzling cultural and social heterogeneity that marks our contemporary world amid real threats to biological and cultural extinction.

Skills: Insights into different ethnographic and historical approaches for understanding these complex and often paradoxical contemporary processes of globalization.

Learning methods and activities

The course combines lectures and seminars with a mandatory midterm oral presentation and a final exam (written term paper) at the end of the semester. Both the mandatory presentation and the exam is done in groups. The students will be divided into groups of their own choice. The group should not have more than 5 members. The groups will first do a co-presentation (mandatory activity, approved/not approved) based on a few questions given at the start of the semester, and then go on to co-author a final exam paper based on their own research formulation.

Approved oral presentation is a prerequisite for handing in the final exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Plenary presentation of group assignment

Further on evaluation

The examination is a group exam.

It is possible to retake the exam, but the examination is only offered in the spring semester.

Required previous knowledge

Either 60 ECTS in Social Anthropology or a bachelor's degree or equivalent.

Course materials

See reading list available at the beginning of the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SANT3507 5.0 AUTUMN 2013
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Globalisation
  • Social Sciences
  • Social Anthropology
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Social Anthropology


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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