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Working with Value (ANTH20007)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeANTH20007
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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 engagement, examining the assumptions about human behaviour that inform classical, political and moral approaches to economics, and where these different approaches locate understandings of value. Ethnographic examples will be used to explore topics such as: division of labour; 'gift' and 'commodity' economies; diverse economies; consumption; debt; and the meaning of 'money' and its effects. Students should become familiar with some of the different ways and reasons people engage in economic behaviour as well as developing a critical approach to the study of capitalism and transnational economic connections.

Intended 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

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Anthropology, Development Studies or Social Theory at level 1

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • A 750 word class paper (20%) due mid-semester.
  • A 500 word tutorial paper (20%) due during semester.
  • An essay outline (5%) due in Week 11
  • A 2500-word essay (55%) 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 marks per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    CoordinatorRebekah Plueckhahn
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours1 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 commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

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

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 11 October 2019