Power and Money: Political and Economic Challenges of our Contemporary Societies - ANTS6310

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Dimitrios Theodossopoulos checkmark-circle


The module is a cross-cultural analysis of economic and political institutions, and the ways in which they transform over time. Throughout the term, we draw upon a range of ethnographic research and social theory, to investigate the political and conceptual questions raised by the study of power and economy. The module engages with the development and key debates of political and economic anthropology, and explores how people experience, and acquire power over social and economic resources. Students are asked to develop perspectives on the course material that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and to apply them to the political and economic questions of everyday life.


Contact hours

Total contact hours 22

Total private study hours 128

Total module study hours 150


Compulsory for BA Social Anthropology (including cognate programs)

BSc Anthropology (including cognate programs)

Method of assessment

Essay 2,500 words 50%
Examination 2 hrs 50%

Reassessment method:
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Indicative reading

Appadurai, A. ed. (1986) The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press

Carrier, J. ed. (2013) A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Edward Elgar

Carrier, J and D. Kalb, eds (2015) Anthropologies of Class: Power, Practice and Inequality. Cambridge University Press

Lewellen, T.C. 2003 (third edition). Political Anthropology: An introduction. Westport: Praeger. GN492

Hart, K, J.L. Laville, and A.D. Cattani eds. (2010) The Human Economy. Polity Press

Humphrey, C and S. Hugh-Jones, eds. (1992) Barter, Exchange, and Value: An Anthropological Approach. Cambridge University Press

Scott, J.C. 1985. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Converse with the key disciplinary themes and trends of social anthropology, i.e. power and economy

8.2 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the historical development of those anthropological debates and theories

8.3 Demonstrate knowledge about the theoretical contributions of the anthropology of the key themes studied to the broader discipline of social anthropology

8.4 Evidence a critical understanding of the global and historical diversity of political and economic institutions

8.5 Apply anthropological insights to contemporary developments in relevant ways


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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