The Anthropology of Exchange, Money and Markets (L6070)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to how anthropologists conceptualise, research, and generate new understandings of the human activities that comprise economic life.

Studying economic life from an anthropological view requires us to rethink concepts such as work and leisure, poverty and wealth, gifts and commodities, money and markets, and the term 'economy' itself. Therefore, economic anthropology enables us to critique some of the universalisms of mainstream economics through which capitalism has become naturalised.

Traditionally, economic anthropology has been concerned with systems of exchange, non-industrial economies, and livelihood systems. In addition to covering these topics, we will examine issues of contemporary concern such as:

  • class, money, debt and shopping
  • factories, fair trade, globalisation and bioeconomies
  • new strategies and practices of resistance.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 24 hours of contact time and 126 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2017/18. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: