South African Studies 2739

Course Objectives

The course will provide insight into social science approaches to culture and society in South Africa, in addition to relevant methods.

Course Description

The course will give a basic introduction to the historical and economic development of South Africa; its societies and cultures. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how values, interpretations of reality and attitudes influence all aspects of social life and work relationships in a culture. The course deals with fundamental South African cultural and social factors, and how these factors are relevant to project work in other parts of South Africa

During the course, the students will carry out a small field project on South Africa.


Dahl, Øyvind (2001) Møter mellom mennesker. Interkulturell kommunikasjon. Gyldendal Akademisk, Oslo. ISBN 9788200453680

Simensen, Jarle (2004), Afrikas Historie. Cappelen, Oslo. ISBN 9788202234980


Barth, F. (2006): ”Sosialantropologi som fag, som opplevelse, som opplevelsessport” i Vi mennesker. Fra en antropologs reiser, Gyldendal Oslo.

Eriksen, T. H. (1998) kap. 2: ”Forskningsprosessen: Hvorfor tror vi at vi vet noe” i Små Steder. Store spørsmål, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo.

Learning Methods

The course includes lectures, fieldwork and seminars. The instruction will include an introduction to South African history, development and today’s society and culture in South Africa. Halfway through the course, the students will execute a mini-field project and submit a field report of 2000-2800 words. They will receive appropriate method instructions prior to the fieldwork, and guidance during and following the actual field project.

The students will be expected to have a high attendance rate, show personal initiative, and to take an active part in the teaching.

Assessment Methods

The mini-field work, active participation in the seminars and the lectures are all obligatory. After completing the fieldwork, the student must submit a final field report to the course teacher for assessment and receive passing marks before being permitted to take the final examination.

The field report counts for 40% of the final grade. The 4-hour final examination counts for 60% of the final grade. The course will be graded from A to F, where E is the lowest passing grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 09/10/2009