ANTHRCUL 332 - Exchange, Commodities, and Money
Winter 2017, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Why can’t money buy you love? How about a diamond ring? If “it’s the thought that counts,” why am shopping for presents in the mall? The cash in my wallet is just paper, so why does it let me purchase things when shells and beads don’t? But in some places where shells and beads are valuable, I can’t use money instead—how come? Is bitcoin going to replace money? Are all humans driven by the profit motive? Are there some things, like children or sex, that should be off-limits in a free market—and if so, why? This course is an introduction to the cross-cultural study of value, with readings drawing on research in Africa, the Pacific, Latin America, China, Russia, and the contemporary USA. The case studies range across the spectrum of human social and economic systems, from traditions involving the exchange of shells, beads, cloth, and cattle, to futures markets and other forms of global finance. Along the way we look at ritual uses of currency, changing attitudes toward money in socialist societies, gift giving in contemporary America, and the nature of debt. This course covers some of the same things studied by economists but from a very different angle. The focus is on social bonds, cultural variation, and people’s ways of experiencing and interpreting the economies they live in. Students of all majors are welcome.

Course Requirements:

The requirements include participation in the weekly discussion sections, two essays and two exams.

Intended Audience:

This course has no prerequisites and is open to students of all majors.

Class Format:

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ANTHRCUL 332 - Exchange, Commodities, and Money
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/17 - 4/18/17
002 (DIS)
 In Person
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
1/4/17 - 4/18/17
003 (DIS)
 In Person
W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
1/4/17 - 4/18/17

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