SOSANT2510 – Environmental Anthropology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides students with a basic introduction to anthropological perspectives on the relationship between people and nature. The course is divided into three components:

  1. In Part 1 we discuss the themes and debates central to the field of "nature and society" studies as well as anthropology more generally, and investigate these themes from different perspectives on nature:
    • nature vs. culture
    • perceptions of risk and causality
    • local knowledge (including indigenous knowledge) vs. scientific knowledge
  2.  Part 2 provides a general introduction to anthropological perspectives on the utilization of natural resources (e.g. knowledge, rights, institutions).
  3. In Part 3 we turn our attention to studies of environmental movements and environmental discourses.

This division represents a heuristic approach as our ultimate objective is to explore the ways in which these themes are in fact integrated and can be said to constitute a whole.

Learning outcome


• Knowledge of environmental issues and anthropological approaches to studying these
• Understanding of the nature of environmental threats
• Understanding of people's knowledge, attitudes, and feelings regarding nature
• Understanding conflicts between different user-groups as well as between user-groups and environmental interests, both locally and globally
• Knowledge of the multitude of existing discourses of nature


• The ability to critically analyse arguments and statements
• The ability to set forward theoretical arguments based on case studies
• Present a scientific argument in a written paper


• Achieve independent academic thought
• The ability to express arguments both verbally and in the written form


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Students are graded on the basis of a take-home exam.

Previous exams

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2014

The course is offered irregularly


Autumn 2014

Teaching language