SOSANT1300 - Economic anthropology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is an introduction to economic anthropology. Taking the recent global financial crisis as a starting point, we explore how anthropological explanations of why and how people engage in different kinds of economic activities might offer alternative perspectives and explanations to those of mainstream political or economic analysis.

The course explores these themes through an investigation of classical economic anthropological issues, such as the distinction between gifts and commodities, the relationship between people and objects of exchange, such as money, and most crucially the issue of the moral basis of markets and other forms of economic activity.

Students are made aware of ethnographic variety, with emphasis on the interaction between production, trade, marketing and consumption in different regions. Emphasis is also placed on identifying links between local economic practices and understanding on the one hand, and global economic interconnections associated with for example.

Specific topics studied in this regard include:

  • Markets and social inequality
  • state management and creation of market economies
  • the morality of financial markets
  • understanding the extent and limits of terms such as ‘capitalism’ or ‘neoliberalism’ in understanding contemporary variations in economic life through the use of diverse ethnographic examples

Learning outcome

Knowledge

  • A broad understanding of key anthropological approaches to the study of economics and material life.
  • An introduction to economic anthropological theory and methodology.
  • Knowledge of historical disciplinary approaches to the economy and material culture with a central focus on the application of these approaches to the problems of contemporary economic life.
  • Knowledge of regional variation in economic practice.

Skills

  • An ability to understand and explain how economic life is constituted through social, cultural and material practices.
  • An ability to identify and explain cultural variation in terms of the approach to the economy, and key concepts (eg, person, thing, money, market, gift and care).
  • An ability to formulate relevant approaches to economic life in different societies and locate relevant literature.

General competence

  • An understanding of and respect for scientific values ​​such as openness, rationality, precision, accountability and the importance of distinguishing between facts and opinions.
  • To understand the development of relevant theoretical issues, and to locate and orient these in relevant literature, as well as the ability to written and oral convey anthropological insights in a professional manner in oral and written form.

Admission

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Prerequisites

Formal prerequisite knowledge

There are no compulsory prerequisites for this course.

Teaching

The course is given through a combination of lectures and seminars throughout the semester. Participation in the seminar group is highly recommended.

Examination

5-hour written examination.

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera. Read more about training in Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Evaluation

The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

Bachelor

Teaching

Every autumn

Examination

Every autumn

Teaching language

English

Contact

SV-info