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Sex, Money, and Power: Anthropology of Intimacy and Exchange

ANTH 203
Spring 2021
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: FGSS 223
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate, Queer Studies

Sex and money--intimacy and economy--are often imagined to occupy distinct and separate spheres. Sex and intimacy are located in the private or domestic realm, in spaces of leisure, feelings, care, and personal connections. Money and economy, on the other hand, are purportedly public, located in the market and tied to labor, rationality, and impersonal (non)-relations. This course brings these spheres together, focusing on the links, exchanges, and circuits between the intimate and the economic in diverse cultural contexts.

Drawing on anthropological, feminist, Marxist, queer, and critical race theory, we will build
working definitions of key concepts: intimacy, division of labor, domestic labor, sexual labor, exchange, commodity, value, neoliberalism, consumer culture, and more. We'll test, apply, critique, and expand these concepts as we work through ethnographic case studies on contemporary sex work and tourism, marketing and pornography, reproduction and domestic labor, marriage, class and sexual lifestyle, labor and care work, and sex stores and commodities. We will connect economic, cultural, and political formations with race, ethnicity, nation, sexuality, class, and gender, scaling up to consider global and transnational exchanges and down to consider how these circuits impact families and communities. Throughout, we will ask: Whose labor is valued and recognized, and why? How do bodies accrue value, and in what kinds of marketplaces? When are intimacies--sexual and social--commoditized? How is race, gender, and sexuality central to these exchanges? How do new transnational circuits constrain and/or empower people? And finally, who benefits from these relations, and who does not?
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)(CSCT)(FGSS)(HRAD-MN)(STS)
Past Enrollment Probability: Less than 50%

Last Updated on JUL-25-2024
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