Working with Value

Subject ANTH20007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Anthropology, Development Studies or Social Theory at level 1

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Monica Minnegal


Subject Overview:

This subject explores how people come to value things as they do, critically engaging with a range of theoretical and ethnographic literature to ask how value may be created, enhanced and realised in different ways. Students will be introduced to ways that anthropologists analyse and interpret variation in economic behaviour and economic systems, examining the assumptions about human behaviour that inform classical, political and moral approaches to economics, and where these different approaches locate the source of value. Ethnographic examples from systems of different complexity will be used to explore topics such as: division of labour; 'gift' and 'commodity' economies; formal and informal economies; consumption, identity and 'consumer society'; the meaning of 'money' and its effects. Students should become familiar not only with how local economies work, but also with implications of the emerging global economy and the ways it is transforming local and regional economic logics.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to :

  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the different approaches within anthropology to analysing economic behaviour and systems
  • critically analyse ethnographic literature on the dynamics of production, consumption and exchange in systems characterised as "domestic", "tributary" and "capitalist"
  • articulate key debates in economic anthropology regarding processes that are seen as central to the emergence of 'modern' society, such as specialisation, liberalisation, and commodification
  • apply critical and comparative analytical skills to understanding the implications of changing economic systems for subsections of society defined by age, gender and class, and for developing societies in a globalising world
  • systematically evaluate a body of empirical data and identify its theoretical context
  • communicate effectively in a variety of oral and written formats
  • A 750 word class paper (20%) due mid-semester.
  • A 500 word tutorial paper (20%) due during semester.
  • A 2500-word essay (60%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Development Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Anthropology
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Development Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Anthropology

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