AANK16107U Economic Anthropology

Volume 2016/2017

Board of Studies, Department of Anthropology


Economic anthropology is one of the classic fields of anthropology, and yet it is also a field that has experienced something of a revival recently and seems more relevant than ever, as global economic crisis, growth ambitions and financial matters have become part of many ordinary people’s lives. This course provides an opportunity to rediscover classics, to explore contemporary economic culture especially in the Western world, and to consider and discuss different approaches.

The aim of the course is to expand  the students’ knowledge of classic and new economic anthropology, to develop their overview and understanding of the field, and to allow for experimental use of economic anthropology in  analysis of own empirical data, planned fieldwork, or theoretical discussions.

During the course we will explore issues like forms of value, work, consumption, distribution and welfare society, spheres of exchange, spirits of capitalism, financialization, precarization, market fantasies and economic cosmologies

Learning Outcome

By the end of the course the student must be able to:

  • Explain different theoretical approaches presented in the course

  • Identify and discuss key-concepts in different theories presented in the course

  • Relate theoretical texts to key-discussions in economic anthropology

  • Choose relevant supplementary theory and reflect on its relation to some of the literature presented in the course

  • Choose and apply a relevant theoretical approach to a problem statement (which can be empirical or theoretical)

  • Critically discuss one or more theoretical approaches in relation to other theories or in relation to empirical data

500 pages of mandatory reading + 200 pages of own choice.

The mandatory readings will be available in Absalon.

A combination of lectures, plenary discussions, group discussions, possibly student’s presentations, “pick a product”, shared drawing of mind-maps on the white board and other. The students are expected to write on their essays/portfolios from the very beginning of the course, and they will be placed in feed-back groups and asked to comment constructively on each other’s writings during the course. By the end of the course, the essays/portfolios should be finished.
The course is accepted as part of the BOA specialisation
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 133
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Total
  • 210
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio exam

Length: The portfolio exam can be taken individually or in groups of maximum four students. The portfolio exam consists of 3-7 submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must not exceed 30,000 keystrokes for a single student. For groups of two students the maximum is 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students the maximum is 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students the maximum is 50,000 keystrokes.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
There is appointed a second internal assessor to assist with the assessment
when the first assessor finds this necessary.

1. re-exam:

A new essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date. The students must sign up for the 1. re-exam.

Please note that the re-exam is an essay even for courses, where the ordinary exam is a portfolio exam.

2. re-exam:

A new essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at the announced date next semester. The students must sign up for the 2. re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See description of learning outcome. Formalities for Written Works must be fulfilled, read more: MSc Students/ BA students (in Danish)/ exchange and credit students