Culture and Globalisation

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

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

Globalisation is one of the most important dynamics of contemporary social life. But how has it emerged, what does it really involve, and what are the cultural and social forces that shape it?

During this course you will explore crucial questions from the unique perspective of anthropology - which gives a human-centred account of economic processes like globalisation – as well as drawing on perspectives from sociology and media studies.

Over the course we will examine globalisation from the perspective of global elites, the middle classes and the poor, using ethnography from East Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia, Africa, USA, Latin America and Europe. Together we will seek to understand the effect of globalisation on social and cultural identities, family life, social mobility and political movements; whether globalisation increases inequalities to creating too few winners; and what the future of globalisation might be.

You will also take a field trip to the old communities of East London and along the Thames, to complement your classroom work.

You will examine contemporary issues including:

  • Income insecurity and the gig economy
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Trans-national migration
  • Algorithmic cultures and artificial intelligence
  • The knowledge economy

A background in anthropology is not essential. Whether you are a student, professional or policy maker, you will enjoy this course if you would like to explore a more culturally and socially embedded account of globalisation.


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

  • Culture and Globalisation
  • Global Migration
  • Global Care Work
  • Global Precarity
  • Global Corporate Responsibility
  • The Global Knowledge Economy
  • The Global Attention Economy & Algorithmic Cultures
  • Global Consumption
  • Global Mega-events and Creative Agency
  • Cultures of Global Finance
  • Cultures of Global Debt
  • Global Politics

Course outcomes

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

  • Precarity and the gig economy
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Care-work
  • Trans-national migration
  • Consumption cultures
  • Global mega-events and art
  • Narrative economies and finance
  • Algorithmic cultures and artificial intelligence
  • The knowledge economy
  • The influence of the internet on politics and identity


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. Although Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s book, Globalisation: the Key Concepts (Bloomsbury 2014) provides a good overview of anthropological approaches to globalisation.

Readings for the course are organised around a set of important anthropological pieces, but also include perspectives from sociology and media studies. The readings are complemented by the discussion and analysis of film, news clips, and other media sources. The class also takes a field trip to the old communities of East London and along the Thames, to complement readings in the course on globalisation and 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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