Economic anthropology is not dead - it just smells funny...
Course at the Institute of Anthropology, Copenhagen University
By Finn Sivert Nielsen

Course plan and reading list

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Institute of anthropology

Please note:
The monograph by Barraud et al (see Nov. 23-25 below) must be bought! Try!

Nov. 2 – Introduction, overview of the history of economic anthropology

Nov. 4 – What is value?

Marx, Karl. 1867 [1977]. Chapter 1: Commodities, Sections 1, 2 & 4. In Capital, vol. 1. Moscow: Progress. p.43-53, 76-87 [21 pp.] – ISBN: - none -

Simmel, Georg. 1907 [1995]. Chapter 1: Value and Money, Part I. In The philosophy of money. London: Routledge. p.59-79 [20 pp.] – ISBN: 0-415-04641-6

Illich, Ivan. 1969 [1978]. Outwitting the ’developed’ countries. In H. Bernstein, ed. Underdevelopment and development: the third world today. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p.357-68 [12 pp.] – ISBN: - none -

Nov. 9 – Economic anthropology between discourse and practice

Robben, Antonius. 1989. Conclusion: toward interpretive economic anthropology. In Sons of the sea goddess: economic practice and discursive conflict in Brazil. New York: Columbia University Press. p.237-53 [17 pp.] – ISBN: 0-231-06843-3

Warnier, Jean-Pierre. 1995. Around a plantation: the ethnography of business in Cameroon. In D. Miller, ed. Worlds apart: modernity through the prism of the local. London: Routledge (ASA Decennial Conference Series). p.91-109 [17 pp.] – ISBN: 0-415-10789-X

Nov. 11 – Examples of economic rationalities (student presentations)

Geertz, Clifford. 1963. The bazaar-type economy: the traditional pasar. In Peddlers and princes: social change and economic modernization in two Indonesian towns. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.30-47 [18 pp.] – ISBN: - none -

Adler, Patricia. 1993. The dealing lifestyle. In Wheeling and dealing: an ethnography of an upper-level drug dealing and smuggling community. New York: Columbia University Press. p.81-98. [18 pp.] – ISBN: 0-231-08133-2

Nov. 16 – Classical economics meets classical anthropology

Barth, Fredrik. 1967. Economic spheres in Darfur. In R. Firth, ed. Themes in economic anthropology. London: Tavistock (ASA monograph, no.6). p.149-74 [25 pp.] – ISBN: - none -

Joy, Leonard. 1967. An economic homologue of Barth’s presentation of economic spheres in Darfur. In R. Firth, ed. Themes in economic anthropology. London: Tavistock (ASA monograph, no.6). p.175-89 [14 pp.] – ISBN: - none -

Dumont, Louis. 1977 [1983]. Marx’s ideological achievement; digression on his sociohistory. In From Mandeville to Marx: the genesis and triumph of economic ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.169-185 [17 pp.] – ISBN: 0-226-16966-9

Nov. 18 – New institutional economics meets inalienable possessions

Landa, Janet T. 1981 [1994]. The enigma of the Kula ring: gift-exchanges and primitive law and order. In Trust, ethnicity, and identity: beyond the New Institutional Economics of ethnic trading networks, contract law, and gift-exchange. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p.141-71 [28 pp.] – ISBN: 0-472-10361-X

Weiner, Annette B. 1992. Kula: the paradox of keeping-while-giving; Aferword: the challenge of inalienable possessions. In Inalienable possessions: the paradox of keeping-while-giving. Berkeley: University of California Press. p.131-55, notes: p.190-96 [25 pp.] – ISBN: 0-520-07604-4

Nov. 23 & 25 – Exchange and comparison (student presentations and lectures)

Barraud, Cécile et al. 1994. Of relations and the dead: Four societies viewed from the angle of their exchanges. Oxford: Berg (original French edition: 1984). [120 pp.] - ! The book must be bought ! -

Nov. 30 – Economic rationalities in transition (1)

Reddy, William M. 1986 [1995]. The structure of a cultural crisis: thinking about cloth in France before and after the Revolution. In A. Appadurai, ed. The social life of things: commodities in cultural perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.261-284 [22 pp.] – ISBN: 0-521-35726-8

Parry, Bronwyn. 2004. Bodily transactions: regulating a new space of flows of ’bio-information’. In C. Humphrey & K. Verdery, eds. Property in question: value transformation in the global economy. Oxford: Berg. p.29-48 [18 pp.] – ISBN: 1475-536-X

Dec. 2 – Economic rationalities in transition (2) (student presentations)

Lindquist, Galina. 2003. Selling and buying power: the economy of a magic center in Moscow. In K.-O. Arnstberg & T. Borén, eds. Everyday economy in Russia, Poland and Latvia. Huddinge: Södertörns högskola (Södertörn academic studies, no.16). p.53-70 [16 pp.] – ISBN: 91-89315-32-4

Ivleva, Irina & Patchenkov, Oleg. 2003. Street traders in St. Petersburg. In K.-O. Arnstberg & T. Borén, eds. Everyday economy in Russia, Poland and Latvia. Huddinge: Södertörns högskola (Södertörn academic studies, no.16). p.129-45 [15 pp.] – ISBN: 91-89315-32-4

Dec. 7 – From production to consumption

Verdery, Katherine. 1996. Faith, hope and Caritas in the land of the pyramids: Romania, 1990-94. In What was socialism, and what comes next? Princeton: Princeton University Press. p.168-203, notes: p.266-79 [36 pp.] – ISBN: 0-691-01132-X

Baudrillard, Jean. 1998. Towards a theory of consumption. In The consumer society: myths and structures. London: Sage. p.69-86 [18 pp.] – ISBN: 0-7619-5692-1

Dec. 9 – Consumption: objects, bodies

Baudrillard, Jean. 1998. The finest consumer object: the body. In The consumer society: myths and structures. London: Sage. p.129-50 [12 pp.] – ISBN: 0-7619-5692-1

Miller, Daniel. 1987 [1991]. The humility of objects. In Material culture and mass consumption. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p.85-108 [24 pp.] – ISBN: 0-631-18001-X

Dec. 14 – Money, morality and gender

Heen, Hanne. 1995. Money, gifts and gender. In T. Borchgrewinck & Ř. Holter, eds. Labour of love: beyond the self-evidence of everyday life. Aldershot: Avebury. p.71-97 [25 pp.].- ISBN: 1-859732-043-9

Toren, Christina. 1989. Drinking cash: the purification of money through ceremonial exchange in Fiji. In M. Bloch & J. Parry, eds. Money and the morality of exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.142-64 [20 pp.] – ISBN: 0-521-36597-X

Dec. 16 – Conclusions and evaluation of the course