ANTH7019 - Communication & Culture

Term 2


The Communication & Culture course has two main aims. The first aim is to introduce students to the complexity of human communication. This will be achieved ethnographically via the study of a series of communicative modes such as deception, irony, rhetoric and joking. This ethnographic exploration will be complemented by an introduction to some apparently universal underpinnings of communication such as inference, innovation, and influence.

The second aim of the course is to test the hypothesis that these characteristics of communication are in fact the key characteristics of culture itself. Rather than communication and culture, can we talk about communication as culture?

Topics of study will include:

  • The origins of human communication
  • Human versus animal communication
  • Inference and influence
  • Imitation and innovation
  • Lying and deception
  • Secrets and secrecy
  • Irony and ambiguity
  • Persuasion and rhetoric
  • Culture and communication


Taught by: Dr Luke Freeman
Assessment: 1 x 2000 words essay (50%) + 1 x 2000 words project (50%)
Student Contact Hours:
One hour lecture followed by one hour tutorial per week

Only open to the students on the following programmes: BSc Anthropology, BSc Human Sciences, BSc Archaeology & Anthropology.

Students from other courses wishing to do the module must have completed ANTH1005A and ANTH1005B Introduction to Social Anthropology (or equivalent).

Option Type:
Social Anthropology

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