Anthropology of Global Capitalism

Module code: 005A7
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay, Coursework

This module is the flagship module for our Social Anthropology of the Global Economy MA.

On this MA, you take two core modules in the autumn term; this module (Anthropology of Global Capitalism), which is unique to the Social Anthropology of the Global Economy MA programme, and the 'Understanding Processes of Social Change' module, which is also taken by our Anthropology MA students.

This module therefore represents the distinct intellectual foundation of the Social Anthropology of the Global Economy MA.

It equips you with the theoretical and historical tools and knowledge for advanced study in economic anthropology - with a focus on the anthropology of capitalism and global transformations, together with those movements and actors whose aim is to resist/change/provide alternatives to contemporary capitalist systems.

In this module, you gain a grounding in the evolving field of the anthropology of global capitalism - from its multilateral foundations in the post-war era to its present-day globalising tendencies.

You focus on key areas including:

  • the changing nature of work and labour
  • post-industrialisation and unemployment
  • the changing nature of political authority and the role of the state
  • economic rights and social justice
  • the relationship between markets and morality
  • the globalisation of finance and economic crisis
  • new social movements and alternative economies.

The module includes (but isn't limited to) the following key topics:

       Theoretical Foundations

  1. Among the economists: Anthropological approaches to economic theory and policy
  2. Understanding Markets Labour and Work
  3. On the assembly line: labouring in the global economy
  4. Gender and the neoliberal workplace
  5. The End of the Line: Post-Industrialisation and post-work Informal Economies
  6. The margins of the market: second economies and informal labour
  7. Petty capitalism and informal trade

    The New Enterprise

  8. Inclusive markets and small enterprise
  9. Bottom of the Pyramid economics & the marketization of poverty Millennial Capitalism: winners and losers?
  10. Financialisation and Crisis
  11. The 99%: Anti-capitalism and New Social Movements

Module learning outcomes

  • To demonstrate an advanced understanding of theory and method in economic anthropology.
  • To critically assess ethnographic accounts of economic change.
  • To demonstrate systematic and critical understanding of key anthropological approaches to the global economy.
  • To apply advanced anthropological theories and methods to case studies of economic processes.
  • To develop and express advanced reasoned arguments in written form.