Course Number

ANTH 362

Course Title

Political Anthropology: States, citizens, and Identities

Course Date

Fall 2013

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Mary Moran, Sociology & Anthropology, Africana & Latin American Studies

Document Type



Sociology and Anthropology


This course examines human political action in a variety of societies, both within and outside established political structures. Beginning with the attempt to construct truly cross-cultural definitions of power and politics, the class looks at examples of both centralized and un-centralized systems of authority and management. Topics include the management of cooperation and collective action in the absence of formal leadership roles; the use of informal mechanisms such as gossip, witchcraft, and influence; succession to office and the symbols and ceremonies surrounding the transfer of power; the construction of group identities based on race, ethnicity, and class; gender relations as a domain of political action; ethnicity, nationalism, and ethnic conflict; and the particular perspective anthropology can bring to the study of politics. No first-year students are admitted. (Formerly SOAN 362.)


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.