Pacific Societies

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Pacific Societies

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Pacific Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to selected Pacific societies in traditional and contemporary contexts, with a focus on indigenous perspectives.

    The paper will provide a basic understanding of issues and themes pertaining to Pacific Societies, such as pre-history, traditional history, language, leadership, gender roles, colonisation, migration and identity. Students will be introduced to particular Pacific Societies using case studies focusing on selected themes - such as land, environment, religion, colonisation and post-colonial issues, such as modern political change and urbanisation - as well as examining political, economic, social and cultural issues in traditional and contemporary contexts.

    Teaching Arrangements
    Internal Assessment 50%
    Final Examination 50%

    Course Structure
    This paper will look at selected topics presented in two 50-minute lectures each week, with discussions of the associated readings and issues at weekly small class tutorials.

    Learning Outcomes
    On completion of this paper, students will be able to:
    - Demonstrate a knowledge of Pacific Societies and an understanding of their development since human settlement of the Pacific
    - Demonstrate some insight into Pacific Societies from an indigenous perspective
    - Demonstrate an understanding of political, social and cultural issues in Pacific Societies, both in traditional and contemporary contexts

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.