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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ANTH 27 Economic Anthropology in a Changing World

The idea of “the economy” is powerful. Government policies try to make it grow and politicians are voted out if it doesn’t. Fortunes rise and fall with economic indicators and market values. But what is the economy? In this economic anthropology course, we will address this question differently than an Economics course would. Rather than approaching the economy as an abstraction that exists apart from human societies, we will critically explore how it is created and experienced through activities and relationships that are part of everyday life.

Our focus will be on how markets, commodities, labor, property, and money shape people’s identities and relationships. We will pay particular attention to the ways that power works, often invisibly, through economic forms, and how this can make inequality and governmental power appear acceptable and even natural. Finally, we will examine relations between “the economy” and “the environment” in the context of climate change and environmental degradation. Through engagement with ethnographic and other scholarship, students will learn to critically understand key contemporary economic issues in the United States, as well as in countries like Brazil, Egypt, and Italy.



Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or SOC

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories



  • Spring