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This course will explore the major classical socio-anthropological paradigms underlying the existing relation between theory and fieldwork and how early theorists have influenced modern and contemporary social-anthropology. The course begins with general social science epistemological problems and early anthropological and sociological approaches and proceeds with the intellectual currents, major schools and their main representatives.

The seminars are intended to provide an analytical dimension to the course and guide the students through the understanding and interpretation of the theoretical assumptions underlying the fieldwork of some of the most important figures in anthropology and sociology. One of the main objectives is to stimulate critical thinking and to provide an overview of the general hermeneutical structures and methodology subsequent to the most influential approaches in social-anthropology in the 19th and the first part of the 20th century by showing how anthropology and sociology advanced and changed through the constant interaction between different theoretical systems in the light of new ethnographic and sociological studies.

By the end of the course students should be able to provide an overview of the main trends in classical anthropological and sociological theory, be capable of giving a critical account of the key problems, theoretical framework and the application of those theories to different fieldwork problems. It is intended that this course should provide the basic foundations for the modern and contemporary social-anthropological theory course for the next semester and to some additional more specialized courses.

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