Graham Sustainability Institute



This course is designed to provide an overview of some of the most salient issues for understanding consumption in anthropological research today.  Once a marginalized topic in anthropology, the study of "consumption" per se makes little sense in a world where it is difficult to conceive of an anthropological topic that can avoid engagement with commodified material cultures and related economies, networks, cultural meanings and social organizations.  The study of "consumption" today carries on under various rubrics, from studies of material culture and commercial media, to commodity chain analyses and biopolitics.  The readings to be discussed will provide both theoretical grounding in basic issues and questions, as well as forays into more recent developments.  Topics to be covered include:  morality, commodity, gift, body, shopping, provisioning, sacrifice, class, brand, image, media, value, materiality.

Literature, Science, & Arts » Anthropology
Winter 2018
Winter 2017
Winter 2020