Anthropology of Capitalism, Care and the Environment (L6070)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to the anthropological study of economic life.

Economic anthropology allows us to critique the universalism of mainstream economics, through which capitalism has become 'naturalised'. In other words, we question why capitalism has come to be seen as the best, only, or inevitable way of organising economic processes.

We explore how people take part in, alter, or resist the economic relationships in which they find themselves. We broadly define such relationships, including the unpaid and invisible care work that makes human flourishing possible.

On this module, we reflect upon humans’ relationships to their material needs on finite planet. As part of this, we consider environments and non-human beings to be an integral part of economic life.


55%: Lecture
45%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: