Course Catalog

UGRD > ANTH > 359

Economies and cultures in comparative perspective

This course approaches economic behavior, ideas and institutions using two of the hallmarks of anthropology: field-based methods of data collection and cross-cultural comparison. Through ethnographic case studies, anthropological theory and first-hand observation, we will consider the embeddedness of the economy in complex socio-cultural systems, ideological and institutional. A range of systems of production, distribution and consumption in contemporary and past economies will allow students to systematically critique familiar economic ideas and institutions. Topics will include reciprocity and redistribution, traditional markets, notions of scarcity, affluence and fairness, the regulation of economic behavior by formal and informal institutions, the economic division of labor and the interface between modern and traditional economies.

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