Culture and Globalisation

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Application code SS-IR115
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Globalisation is one of the most important dynamics of contemporary social life. The world is increasingly interconnected, and some pundits even talk of life in a ‘global village’. But what does globalisation really entail? And what are the cultural forces that shape it? 

This course explores these key questions, largely from the vantage point of anthropology—the social science that has done the most to help us understand culture. We begin by considering the relationship between the culture concept and globalisation, since it is so often a concern with culture that animates the debates about globalisation. Is a ‘clash of civilisations’ inevitable in our globalised world? Does the emergence of a ‘global village’ spell the end of cultural difference?

Session: One
Dates: 22 June – 10 July 2020
Lecturer: Professor Laura Bear 


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment



Programme structure

  • The Culture Concept
  • Culture and Social Evolution
  • Cultural Relativism 
  • Global Flows
  • Families in Flux: Kinship, Migration, and the Movement of People
  • Commodities and Commercials (More Global Flows)
  • The Internet, Social Media and Identity
  • Corporations and Neo-
  • Corporations for the Good?
  • Global Rivers and Seas: the Thames
  • Globalisation, Cultural Knowledge, and the War on Terror
  • Anti-Globalisation and Alter-Globalisation 

Course outcomes

Students will gain an understanding of the culture concept in relation to globalisation, and related topics including: 

  • Economic development and transnational corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • The influence of the internet on politics and identity
  • The role of cultural knowledge in the ‘global war on terror’
  • War and cultural identity in a geo-political perspective
  • Global media networks


LSE’s Department of Anthropology is world famous and world leading, ranked top Anthropology department in the UK in the Guardian League Tables 2018. Anthropology has been taught at the LSE since 1904. Many of the most important figures in anthropology's history (Malinowski, Firth, Leach, Gell, Bloch, and many others) have worked and/or studied at the LSE.

An emphasis on long-term anthropological fieldwork has always been a hallmark, and continues to be a strength, of the Department. Most members of staff, in addition to their responsibilities to students, conduct ongoing field research, which engages both with new research agendas and with well-established anthropological debates.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s anthropology faculty.

Reading materials

There is no set text for this course. Course materials will be distributed in the first lecture.

Readings for the course are organised around a set of important anthropological pieces, but also include perspectives from sociology, political science, media studies and journalism. The readings are complemented by interactive on-line exercises as well as the discussion and analysis of film, news clips, and other media sources. The class also takes a fieldtrip to Tower Hamlets in London, to the areas around Brick Lane, to complement readings on migration.   

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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