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BASS Sociology and Criminology / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Political and Economic Anthropology
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course examines how social anthropology critically approaches the entanglements of politics and economics in diverse locations around the globe and how these entanglements are inflected in everyday life. The course explores how anthropologists continue to develop new directions in anthropology that provide us with analytical tools to explain and understand current events affecting people's lives around the world.
The lecture course will cover the following themes:
Week 1: Locating ‘the Political’ and Power: Introduction to Political Anthropology
Week 2: European Expansion and the Modern World System
Week 3: The Modern State
Week 4: Militarism and War
Week 5: Cynicism, Irony and Politics
Week 6: Variations in Value: Introduction to Economic Anthropology
Week 7: Capitalism, Money and the Market
Week 8: The Financial Crisis
Week 9: Labour, Post-Industrial Economies and ‘Precarity’
Week 10: Anthropological Approaches and Contemporary Contexts: Course revision and final essay preparation
- Identify different anthropological approaches to the study of political processes and power in the everyday.
- To identify how anthropological analysis embedded in history can explain political and economic phenomena today
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:
- Identify a range of anthropological approaches to the study of political economy.
- Distinguish anthropological approaches to the crises of industrial and financial capitalism and the key social science concepts that these engendered.
- Recognise the diverse set of historical conditions around the world that render making a living in late capitalism a contested domain of human interaction.
- Critically mobilise different theoretical approaches to analyse the workings of power in their everyday forms.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures and tutorials.
Tutorial discussion participation, weekly (10%)
1000 word Book report (20%)
3000 word Final Essay (70%)
Students will receive feedback via:
• Discussions in lectures and seminars, and during presentations
• Mid-semester essay
• Final essay
- Carrier James. 2012. A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
- Hann Chris. & Keith Hart. 2011. Economic Anthropology. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Llewellyn Ted. 2003. An Introduction to Political Anthropology. USA: Praeger Publishers.
- Narotzky, Susana. 1997. New Directions in Economic Anthropology London. Pluto Press.
- Vincent, Joan (ed.). 2002: The Anthropology of Politics: A Reader in Ethnography, Theory and Critique. Oxford: Blackwell.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Jolynna Sinanan||Unit coordinator|
Length of course: 10 weeks