General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Social Mobility, Identity And Power
Language English
Module lecturer dr Łukasz Kaczmarek
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Assistant Professor
Faculty Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 20-SM-11-EtnC


Module aim (aims)

Providing students with knowledge on current theoretical discussion in the field of social mobility, social status and hierarchy, and identity construction from the perspective of anthropology of politics, critical anthropology and cultural studies.Incenting students critical reflection on concepts of race, class, gender, agency, subjectivity, resistance, hegemony, domination, subalternity/subordination, as well as imaginaries (representations) in the context of ethnic/cultural identity constructing process

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


1. Approaches towards social mobility, identity and power relations in social and human sciences (social and cultural anthropology, migration studies, ethnic studies, social geography, cultural studies: discussion and critique of terminology, discourses and their impact on social imaginaries/ representations (so-called public and private discourses);
2. Habituses and power relations – social imaginaries and memory; axiological sources of socio-economical and ethno-racial stratification; legitimisation of power and hegemony; regimes of identity – comparative analysis based on ethnographical and historical data, as well as public discourse (e.g. newspapers) deconstruction;
3. Spatial forms of mobility – transnational and domestic migrations, tourism, and distribution of population regarding socially and politically constructed boundaries and borders and functioning power relations;
4. Social forms of mobility – ability (and mechanisms) to change position within social structure and hierarchy. Ethnic and racial segregation, stratification and exclusion in society and space – cases from different countries.
5. Social spaces and their imaginaries (representations): values, convictions, self- and outer representations of individuals and groups concerning position and role of these social actors;
6. The ways of constructing and communicating identity in the context of power to draw and cross visible and invisible borders of social and ethnic groups, Self and the cultural Other, as well as the power to modify and guard these borders;
7. Conclusion: Tasks of anthropology in the area of multiculturality and social diversification and stratification. Promoting qualitative research methods and bottom-up perspective in science, administration and local activity.

Assessment: evaluation of ovarall activity and final essay.

Reading list

1. Anderson B. (1991) Imagined Communities. Reflections on Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London-New York: Verso.
2. Barth F. (1969) “Introduction.” In Fredrik Barth, ed., Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The Social Organization of Cultural Difference. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (Scandinavian University Press).
3. Basch L., Glick Schiller N., Szanton-Blanc C. (1994), Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-States, New York: Gordon & Breach.
4. Clifford J. (1988), “Identity in Mashpee”, [in:] J. Clifford Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art, Harvard University Press.
5. Cohen A. (1974), Two-Dimensional Man: An Essay on the Anthropology of Power and Symbolism in Complex Society, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
6. Eriksen T.H., (2002) Ethnicity and Nationalism, London-Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press.
7. Gupta A., Ferguson J. (1992) Beyond "Culture": Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference, “Cultural Anthropology”, Vol. 7, No. 1, (Feb., 1992), pp. 6-23.
8. Hall S. (1994), “Cultural Identity and Diaspora”, in Patrick Williams and Chrisman (ed.) Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory: a Reader, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 392-401.
9. Hanson A. (1989), The making of the Maori: Culture Invention and Its Logic. “American Anthropologist”, New Series, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Dec., 1989).
10. Khosravi S. (2010) ‘Illegal’ Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders, Basingstoke and New York, Palgrave Macmillan.10.
11. Said E. (2003) Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient. London: Penguin11.
1. Sibley D. 1995, Geographies of Exclusion: Society and difference in the West Routledge: London.1.
2. Vertovec S. (2009), Transnationalism, Routledge: London and New York.