The Anthropology of Kinship and Relatedness (L6069)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

The study of human relatedness and kinship has been central to the history of British social anthropology. This module draws upon material from a wide range of ethnographic contexts to examine the ways in which societies organise and conceptualise human relationships cross-culturally. It is concerned with the transformation of social structures and processes, as well the ways in which power, politics and economic exchange characterise these relations.

The module considers both accepted and more novel ways in thinking about human kinship, including how we become related through ‘substance’, the role of emotion, place and technology. It covers the evolution of kinship theory and engages with contemporary debates in the study of human relationality.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 126 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: