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Culture and Globalisation


Please note: this course description is not fully up-to-date for the academic year 2019-2020. A new version with marginal changes will be presented on this page shortly.

Admission requirements

Only theose who have followed the course "Culture and Comparison" may follow this course.
This course is open to the following categories of students:

  • Bachelor’s CA-DS,

  • Pre-Master’s CA-DS admitted for this specific course during their application procedure,

  • Exchange students admitted for this specific course during their application procedure,

  • Contract students registered in accordance with the procedure set out on this page of the faculty website.

Language of Instruction

Lectures are taught in English.
Tutorials: First years bachelor students of CA-DS have chosen the preferred language of instruction for tutorials during their application. Pre-master and Exchange students follow the tutorials in English. Contract students may indicate the preferred language of instruction for tutorials during their application.
Exams are in the same language as tutorials.


This is the sequel to "Culture and Comparison". Only those who have followed the course "Culture and Comparison" may follow this course.

This programme introduces the key concepts cultural anthropologists need to describe human differences in the global relations of today. Since the nineteenth century the core problem of anthropology and development sociology has been to investigate what exactly are the differences between people, and how they can be maintained, changed or manipulated. Anthropology has long assumed that such differences were either biologically or culturally established – in other words were "essential" differences. The first lectures will show how globalization challenges essentialist notions of culture from the very first studies of race relations in the mid–20th century colonial world. The lectures will discuss how contemporary views on culture and globalization leave little of the modern belief in progress. That belief has been based on the essentialization of tradition and heritage on the one hand, and on the other an unshakeable confidence in a better future through superior technology. The lectures then continue, to show how race, kinship, culture and social relations formed the four main ways in which anthropologists tried to understand human differences, and how those forms of interpretation too became cross-pollinated as a result of globalization. For example, the lectures consider how the early belief of anthropologists that they were helping by emphasizing cultural differences were turned upside down, so that racist forms of difference have now returned twice over, partly under the influence of genetic technology and stubborn historical relationships. The third and fourth groups of lectures will show how culture under globalization is increasingly dominated by relationships of consumption instead of kinship, and how such relationships are taking shape in a world where people increasingly attribute sometimes racist ethnic and religious differences, which are often essentialized and contribute to the maintenance of human inequality within the globalized society itself.

Course objectives

"Culture and Globalization" aims to offer students insight into how globalization has changed the anthropological image of human differences, but so that the classical anthropological critique of the relationship between culture and biology and therefore race and kinship remains relevant, albeit differently from how it was thought of for most of the twentieth century.

  • Knowledge of the main approaches to culture in the history of anthropology

  • Critical insight into why older views of culture, which still occur in everyday speech, are invalid

  • Basic insight into the foundations of a historicising science theory for social science

  • Ability to relate arguments from different scientific sources;

  • Acquaintance with group discussion and processing of material learned


See our website

Mode of instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):

  • lectures 28 hours = 42 sbu

  • tutorials 3 x 2 hours = 6 hours = 12 sbu

  • literature 516 p. = 86 sbu

Assessment method

  • Two written partial examinations (open book examinations).

  • Compulsory participation in tutorial meetings.

  • If the final mark for the course is inadequate it will be possible to re-take the examination. The substance of the entire course will be treated in any such re-sit. The partial examinations may not be re-sat separately.

Registering for examinations

First years students, Exchange students and Pre-Master students are not required to register.
Other students are required to register in uSis for every examination and may do so up to 11 calendar days before the examination. Read more

Registration in uSis

  • First-year CA-OS students, Exchange students and Pre-Master students: registration for lectures, tutorials, exams is NOT necessary as students will be registered by the Student Services Centre (SSC).

  • Other students must register for all lectures and examinations (see above), but are not required to do so for tutorials.

  • Enrolment in mandatory tutorials will be done by the student administration and announced via Usis in the first week of lectures.

Registration periods and further information about procedure is given on the website on course registration.


Brightspace will be the digital learning environment of Leiden University as of the 2020/2021 academic year. This means Brightspace will replace the current system Blackboard.

Students attending the first year of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology or resitting courses, will be the first working with Brightspace as their learning management system as of the academic year 2019-2020. Through Brightspace you can access news messages, retrieve study material and hand in assignments. You will need to visit Brightspace on a regular basis to be sure to have the latest information. Lecturers will assume that all students read the information provided in Brightspace.

How to login:
The homepage for Brightspace is:
Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

To get access to your courses in Brightspace you need to be registered in uSis for these courses.

Leiden University app
In this app, you can find most of your personal study information in one place. The Blackboard app will be replaced by the Brightspace app over time. Until then you have to use them both.

Study material

Literature for Culture and Comparison and Culture and Globalization (UNTIL JULY 2018 UNDER CONFIRMATION):

  • David Crawford (2008) Moroccan Households in the World Economy, Labor and Inequality in a Berber village. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008.

  • Other literature consists mainly of articles from electronic journals. Titles are announced via Blackboard.


Dr. Jasmijn Rana Dr. Igor Boog