We live in a world which is increasingly characterized by the so-called “global economy”. This course illustrates and problematises the cultural and social processes that make up the “global framework.” A number of issues will be discussed: What kinds of relationships, actors and technologies is the global economy made up of? How are market, politics and policy related? What is the importance of different kinds of social technologies in the formation of the global market? How are knowledge processes related to the knowledge that anthropologists produce when they focus on the global economy? In short, what is the so-called global economy, and what can anthropologists say about the phenomenon?

The course discusses ethnographic examples of some of the cultural processes that shape, and are shaped by the development of the global economy. Among other things we discuss and problematise how different actors – both organizations and individuals – participate in the development of the global economy. We examine how individuals and groups use the market to solve problems, create capital, reach particular political goals, put forward particular arguments, question economic processes and focus on ethical values and areas of responsibility. Thereby we learn different ways of understanding, analyzing and criticizing the “global economy”.