Cancelled Social perspectives on money and digital finance

Course content

How can we understand the social world of money and payment infrastructure in today’s digital and credit based markets? What organizational and political challenges for financial institutions as well as for citizens/customers can be identified in new markets of financial services and personal data? What analytical questions do these developments raise in terms of the conceptualization of money and its social, cultural and political role? 

In recent decades, the development of finance capitalism has resulted in a shift in income generation away from manufacturing and commerce and towards the trading of money and financial assets. This shift has not only resulted in a general reorientation in profit making and a growing influence of institutions trading with money (e.g. investment banks, hedge funds, rating and auditing companies), but also in an increasing financialization of everyday life. Private households are drawn into financial markets by mortgages and pension funds and a range of consumer credit forms have entered the scene, e.g. the recent BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) products.  Moreover, digitalization has promoted new block chain based money forms and non-state currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, challenging the financial and regulatory role of states and national banks. Finally, the increasing role of personal data serving as more or less explicit and visible forms of payment raises new policy dilemmas in in terms of surveillance and consumer protection. In the course we will address these issues by drawing on the growing body of studies on money and digital finance. This literature entails an interdisciplinary set of approaches analyzing the far reaching economic, socio-cultural and political implications of digital finance.

During the course we will discuss digitalization and financialization of contemporary markets by studying money and credit forms, payment infrastructure and the business models of various market actors (banks, credit assessment institutions and fintech companies). We will analyse a range of empirical studies with the aim of pin pointing social implications and dilemmas in terms of inequality, surveillance, privacy protection and debt. Throughout, we will engage in critical theoretical reflections across the scales and domains involved in financialization. The format consists of teacher introductions, interactive class activities, oral and written assignments requiring students’ active participation.

Learning outcome


At the end of the course students are expected to:


  • be able to identify key empirical research areas and analytical issues in the field of finance
  • be able to identify contemporary anthropological and social science research in the field of finance



At the end of the course students are expected to:


  • demonstrate insight into empirical studies of digital forms of money and credit in specific socio-economic and political contexts.
  • show knowledge of the main theoretical perspectives in finance understood as an interdisciplinary anthropological and social science field



At the end of the course students must be able to:


  • identify and discuss sociocultural problems and democratic dilemmas arising from the development of new money forms and business models in digital finance.
  • apply and discuss concepts and methods from the literature in studies of concrete empirical contexts

The course will consist of 14 three-hour weekly seminars, involving lectures, group discussions, student presentations, etc.

See Absalon

The course serves as a part of the specialised track in Business and Organisational Anthropology

Continuous feedback during the course
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, -
Type of assessment details
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
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

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


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

1 semester

See timetable.
Department of Anthropology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Pernille Hohnen   (15-7d727f7b767979723b757c757b727b4d6e7b81757f7c3b78823b7178)
Saved on the 22-08-2022

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