Economic Anthropology

Course content

Economic anthropology is a classic field of anthropological study that has experienced a recent revival making it more relevant than ever. With global economic challenges such as the COVID-19, climate and financial crises, it has become increasingly important to question prevalent economic understandings and to discuss the implications of economic logics for social relations and lived lives around the world. This course provides an opportunity to rediscover classic texts, explore contemporary political, cultural and moral economies, and to develop and discuss analytical approaches to the anthropological study of economies.


The course has several overall goals. First, It aims to expand the students’ knowledge of classic and new economic anthropology.  Second, we will develop curiosity, overview and understanding of the field. Third, it aims to encourage experimental use of the acquired knowledge in analyzing own empirical data, planning fieldwork, and developing theoretical discussions. Finally, the course seeks to engage students actively in participation in planning activities of the course, and in exploring new themes.


During the course we will cover a wide range of themes, concepts and discussions, including: exchange, gifts, global markets, money & debt, forms of capitalism, value, reciprocity, precarization, inequality, and more. Students will also be able to influence part of the course content as part of the syllabus will be formed according to student interests. More specifically, students will be involved in planning and arranging a full day seminar with a theme of their own choosing, where other students (and staff) from the Department are invited.

Learning outcome

The course aims at giving the students the following competences, knowledge and skills:


At the end of the course students are expected to:




Identify key research areas and issues in economic anthropology

analyze different systems, phenomena or imaginaries by the help of theory.





Describe and discuss various theories and theoretical concepts from the field

Demonstrate insight into ‘classic’ as well as contemporary ethnographic research in the field of economic anthropology




Identify relevant ethnographic data, methods and theory in the anthropological study of economies.

To formulate an analysis in a coherent and convincing text

The course will consist of 14 three-hour weekly seminars, involving lectures, group discussions, presentations, etc, as well as ongoing feedback sessions, where the students read and comment on each others writings.

BSc students and MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature.

The teacher will publish 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Course literature will be available through Absalon.


The course is accepted as part of the BOA specialisation

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

During the course, feedback will primarily take the form of students giving each other feedback on the emerging texts. Students will also receive written feedback on their essays along with their grades.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
One BA student: 21600-26400 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 6,750 and Max. 8,250 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

One MA student: 27,000-33,000 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 8,450 and Max. 10,300 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

For groups with both BA and MA students:
A MA and a BA student: 31,900-38,975 (BA: 14.175-17.325 KA: 17.725-21.650)
A MA and two BA students: 38,050 – 46,475 (BA: 11,700-14.300 KA: 14.650-17.875)
A MA and three BA students: 44,525-54,375 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)
Two MA and one BA student: 41,000-50,050 (BA: 11,700-14.300 KA: 14.650-17.875)
Two MA and two BA students: 47,150-57,550 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)
Three MA and one BA student: 49,775-60,725 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)

MA students must include supplementary literature in the exam assignment. The supplementary literature is chosen by the student.

Iof level and contribution
Students must indicate on the first page of the assignment whether they are a BA or MA students. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal co-assessor.
Criteria for exam assessment

See description of learning outcome. Formalities for Written Works must be fulfilled, read more: MSc Students/ BA students (in Danish)/ exchange and credit students 

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See time table on the right.
Department of Anthropology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Pernille Hohnen   (15-7b707d797477777039737a737970794b6c797f737d7a397680396f76)
Saved on the 23-03-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students