The Anthropology of Exchange, Money and Markets

Module code: L6070
Level 4
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Unseen examination

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.

Module learning outcomes

  • To demonstrate understanding of anthropological approaches to production, consumption and exchange.
  • To summarise the impact of global forces on non-western economies and societies.
  • To apply anthropological theory to different cultural and historical contexts.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of forms of social stratification and economic inequality.