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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Political and Economic Anthropology

Unit code SOAN20821
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Anthropology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course covers 9 topics in 12 weeks. Each week includes an hour lecture or film and a one hour workshop and discussion. A one-hour tutorial group meets on another day following the lecture. The objectives of the course are to make it possible for students to:

·         gain an appreciation of the development of industrial and financial capitalism in England and specifically Manchester, and the key social science concepts that it engendered.

·         appreciate the diverse set of historical conditions around the world that make the transition to global capitalism a contested domain of human interaction

·         evaluate the political and economic implications of anthropology as a particular kind of knowledge practice.


This course examines the political and economic conditions of contemporary livelihoods in diverse locations around the globe in order to establish a cross-cultural appreciation of the ways humans harness and distribute resources, and derive power and influence from doing so. 

Learning outcomes

The course explores the sub-field of political and economic anthropology and addresses how anthropologists continue to develop new directions in anthropology out of their concern to address current events affecting people's lives around the world. Students will become familiar with ethnographic work in political and economic anthropology and gain an understanding of concepts such as capitalism, production and consumption, distribution and exchange, market, money, the state, nationalism, colonialism, globalisation, multiculturalism and indigeneity.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Weekly Tutorials

Assessment - 3 hour examination (3 questions in 3 hours)

Formative Assessment - One practice essay

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Students will receive feedback on non-assessed work.

Recommended reading

Suggested Background Readings 

Carrier J. 2012. A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Hann C. & Hart K. 2011. Economic Anthropology. Cambridge: Polity Press

Llewellyn T. 2003. An Introduction to Political Anthropology. USA: Praeger Publishers.

Narotzky, S. 1997 New Directions in Economic Anthropology London: Pluto Press

Vincent, J (ed) 2002: The Anthropology of Politics: a reader in ethnography, theory and critique. Oxford: Blackwell.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3
Lectures 20
Tutorials 9
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Karen Sykes Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 10 weeks

Tuesday 16.00-18.00

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