ANTH4620 – Finance, Markets and Resources

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The past ten years has seen an explosion of anthropological interest in the workings of global financial markets and other economic institutions following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. This crisis has also been an intellectual challenge for academic disciplines dedicated to understanding such processes. In particular, Economics was held to account for its failure to predict the impending crisis. In the aftermath of the crisis, ethnographic analysis has become increasingly important, particularily how economies are constructed in practise. This can be seen in the attention paid outside of our discipline to the work of writers such as Karen Ho and Gillian Tett. This course provides you with a unique overview of the theoretical developments of recent ethnographic work in this area whilst also preparing you to reflect on the methodological challenges of working in this growing field.

The course covers a number of key theoretical issues concerning financialisation, and the making of markets, including:

  • Morality and financialisation
  • The changing nature of the corporation
  • The construction, conversion and consumption of resources
  • The role of new financial technologies

Learning outcome


  • Overview of anthropological perspectives on key concepts and debates in political economy, with particular focus on debates concerning financialisation, the construction of markets and resource management
  • Understanding of their relevance for contemporary academic and public policy debates
  • Appreciation of ongoing theoretical debates and the potential position of your own original research to the development of these debates


  • Ability to synthesise and critique a variety of theoretical positions and to use this understanding to contribute to the construction of a unique research agenda
  • Increased ability to reflect critically in writing and oral presentation on the themes of finance, markets, and resources
  • Essay writing/argument construction skills

General competence

  • Enhanced skills needed for independent academic thought
  • Improved team work capability and group-presentations
  • The ability to express arguments in solid academic written English (via essay writing and shorter reflection papers) as well as oral presentation


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.

This course is not available for single course students.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students have to be enrolled in the master’s programme in Social Anthropology, and must have completed ANTH4010 – Advanced Anthropological Theory​, ANTH4020 – Academic Writing and Project Development and, ANTH4030 – Advanced Anthropological Methods


3-hour teaching blocks with a combination of lectures and in-class group discussions moderated by the lecturer.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


In addition to one mandatory oral presentation, eight short reflection papers on individual lecture content (up to 300 words) will be submitted throughout the semester. You will have to submit three revised versions of the above-mentioned papers (the selection of which will be announced during the last lecture) to be evaluated at the end of the semester. 

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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.


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






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language