• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Economics, Finance
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

How can we understand the gendered tropes that suffuse our financial system, from the wolves of Wall Street and their double-breasted banker suits to the scandalous promiscuity of money? What are their historical grounds, processes of transformation, and contingent alignments? This course offers an anthropological and interdisciplinary examination of sex, gender, and economic life at their intersection. We read ethnography and social theory to explore the economic dimensions of gender and sex as they are experienced and organized within financial systems and the institutions that make them work. Simultaneously, we question how key aspects of “economy” (especially money, corporations, and finance) are themselves sexed and gendered in theory and practice. Topics include kinship and exchange; social reproduction; cultures of Wall Street; financial labor; money and social relations; nature and biotechnology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss the political economy of sex/gender systems and their intersection with regimes of labor, exchange, and finance.
  2. Draw upon and analyze major schools of anthropological and social theory to make arguments about financial systems and their gender dimensions.
  3. Interpret ethnographic material and evaluate the research methods and contributions to anthropology in writing.
  4. Identify major issues within financial practice and reflect on its use in areas of social life including work, kinship, gender, morality, mobility, and globalization.
  5. Develop an in-depth analysis of a topic in gender and finance using ethnographic sources, media, and archives.

Indicative Assessment

Participation, 10% [learning outcome 1]

Response papers, 20% (4 papers, 5% each), 400 words, [LO 2,3]

Ethnography practicums, 20% (2 assignments, 10% each), 500 words [LO 2,3]

10 minute tutorial presentation, 10% [LO 1,4]

Final writing project, 40%. 2,000 words [LO 4,5]

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A 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a further 7 hours of independent study each teaching week of the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1,000 level courses.

Prescribed Texts

Readings will be indicated on the Wattle course site.

Preliminary Reading

Readings for the course will include selected book chapters and articles from current ethnographies, social theory, media studies, and journalist accounts of the financial system. For example:

  • Kelly, Patty. Lydia’s Open Door: Inside Mexico’s Most Modern Brothel. Berkeley CA: University of California Press (2008).
  • Engels, Frederick. The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. New York: International Publishers (1975).
  • La Berge, Leigh Claire. "The Men Who Make the Killings: American Psycho, Financial Masculinity, and 1980s Financial Print Culture." Studies in American Fiction 37.2 (2010): 273-296.
  • Roose, Kevin. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-crash Recruits. Hachette Digital, Inc., 2014.

Assumed Knowledge

Recommended introductory course ANTH1002




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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