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Theory 1: Anthropology and Political Economy

ANTH 295
Fall 2010
Section: 01  
This course may be repeated for credit.
Certificates: Social, Cultural and Critical Theory

Theory 1 and Theory 2 are core courses for the major, designed to elucidate historical influences on contemporary anthropological theory. While precise topics may vary from year to year, the overall goal of the courses remains the same: to familiarize students with the main traditions from which the discipline of anthropology emerged and to explore the diverse ways in which contemporary anthropological practice defines itself both with and against them. This semester our topic will be anthropology and political economy.

This course provides an introduction to the field of political economy, approached through the lenses of anthropology and transnationalism. We will read classic theoretical and ethnographic works and examine what scholars, working from an anthropological perspective, have contributed to the study of political economy. This course is divided into four units. Unit I introduces the basic concepts and debates that have defined the field of political economy and how they have shaped the anthropological imagination regarding the economies exchange, peasantry, development, and the world capitalist system. Unit II focuses on issues of labor and production in different historical and cultural contexts. We look at concepts such as Fordism, factory discipline, and the gendered division of labor and also delve into the histories of working-class struggles.

Unit III examines the culture of capitalism through the lens of class and looks at how status distinctions are produced through the circulation and consumption of commodities. We also examine how ideologies of class, race, and gender are transmitted through the educational system and how they are received by subjects. The last unit focuses on late capitalism, neoliberalism, and their cultural formations. We look at the reconfiguration of production and work under late capitalism. We will also examine remaking of states, subjects, and spaces under neoliberal capitalist logics. Finally, we will analyze some theorists' ideas of what lies in store for us and delve into the implications of late capitalism.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: None
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ANTH101
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)(CSCT)(CWRC)(SISP-Anth Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on SEP-27-2023
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