• 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

It’s folded in our wallets, encoded in plastic, written in computer code, forecast on the trading-room floor, paid in bride wealth, locked up in the reserve bank: Money. Anthropology has long been invested in the forms of circulation and exchange that are the grounds for value production in different societies, from shells to cattle to mortgage backed securities. What is distinctive about modern money within these distributional orders? How do we understand money as a social, political and technological phenomenon? This course explores the myriad uses to which money is put. Simultaneously, we question how features of the money form (commensuration, abstraction, quantification, and reification) are experienced and organized. Does money always and in all places repeat the same story of the “great transformation” from socially embedded to abstract and calculative exchange? If not, what might we learn from the pragmatics of money, form high-flying investment bankers to specially designated gift cards? In lecture and tutorial we learn to read and analyze ethnography and social theory, and explore film and fiction, in order to understand the impact of modern money on areas of social life including work, kinship, gender, morality, mobility, and globalization.

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. Discuss the historical transformation of money and debate its variation across different societies.
  2. Differentiate between approaches to economic behavior and explain their relation to concepts in social theory.
  3. Interpret ethnographic material and evaluate the research methods and contributions to anthropology in writing.
  4. Identify major issues with modern money and apply them to case studies drawn from everyday economic practice.
  5. Develop an in-depth analysis of a feature of money, markets and value using ethnographic sources, media, and archives.

Indicative Assessment

Participation, 10% [learning outcome 1]

Ethnography practicums, 30% (2 assignments, 15% each), 750 words [LO 2,3]

Money Biography 20% 1,000 words [LO 3,4,5]

10 minute tutorial "marketplace" debate 10% [LO1,2,4]

Final writing project, 30%. 2,000 words [LO 4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

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

Malinowski, Bronislaw. "The primitive economics of the Trobriand Islanders." The Economic Journal (1921): 1-16.

Readings for the course will include selected book chapters and articles from current ethnographies, social theory, media studies, and fiction. For example:

  • Rogers, Douglas. "Moonshine, money, and the politics of liquidity in rural Russia." American Ethnologist 32.1 (2005): 63-81.
  • Graeber, David. Debt: the first 5,000 years. New York: Melville Press, 2011. (Chapter 2: The Myth of Barter, pp. 21-41)
  • Stout, Noelle. After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba, Durham NC: Duke University Press (2014).
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. "The Dispossessed”: An Ambiguous Utopia. New York: Eos." (2001).
  • Decatur, Mary-Anne. "Chinese Gold Farming: Discourses of Space and Legitimacy in Virtual Worlds." Popular Anthropology Magazine 3.1 (2012).
  • Cooper, Melinda. "Turbulent worlds financial markets and environmental crisis." Theory, Culture & Society 27.2-3 (2010): 167-190.

Assumed Knowledge

Recommended introductory course ANTH1002

Majors

Minors

Fees

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:
1
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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