AN457      Half Unit
Anthropology of Economy (2): Transformation and Globalisation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Laura Bear OLD 6.07


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MRes/PhD in Anthropology, MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society, MSc in Regulation, MSc in Social Anthropology, MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World) and Master of Public Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course addresses topics in the anthropology of globalisation. Scholars in a wide range of disciplines have sought to understand the new forms of production, consumption, exchange and financial circulation that have emerged since the 1980s. Some emphasise post-Fordist methods of flexible production and neo-liberal elite projects. Others focus on trans-state processes of globalisation. For other theorists shifts in state policies such as austerity, decentralised planning, public-private partnerships and the deregulation of financial markets are at the centre of analysis. Others address new forms of consumer society, popular desires for social mobility and transnational migration. Drawing from ethnographies and anthropological theory this course equips students to evaluate these arguments. Importantly it also revisits classic topics in economic anthropology from the perspective of present realities — for example production and intimate economies; formal markets in relation to informalised, violent economies; circulation in relation to financial debt and risk; and consumption and consumer citizenship.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

This course has a reading week in Week 6 of LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

J Inda and R Rosaldo (eds), The Anthropology of Globalisation (2007); M Edelman and A Haugerud (eds), The Anthropology of Development and Globalization (2004); C.Freeman, High Tech and High Heels in the Global Economy: women, work and pink-collar identities in the Caribbean (2000); M Mills, Thai Women and the Global Labour Force: consuming desires, contested selves (1999); A Wilson, The Intimate Economies of Bangkok: Tomboys, Tycoons and Avon Ladies in the  Global City (2004); A Aneesh, Virtual Migration: the Programming of Globalisation (2004); N Constable, Migrant Workers in Asia: Distant Divides, Intimate Connections (2010); M O’Dougherty, Consumption Intensified: the politics of middle class daily life in Brazil (2002); J Collier and A Ong, Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (2009); A Tsing, Friction: an Ethnography of  Global Connection (2004); C Hann, Life in Debt: Times of Care and Violence in Neo-Liberal Chile (2012); K Ho, Liquidated: an Ethnography of Wall Street (2010).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2018/19: 32

Average class size 2018/19: 11

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information