Economic Anthropology


1. To provide the students with synthetic information on the most relevant economic anthropology theories and studies, in the past and
2. To provide the students with the ability to use such knowledge in the observation, study and analysis of the various economic phenomena,
including in the contemporary capitalist societies.
3. To provide the students with the knowledge and competences which allow them:
a) to understand the various ways of sociocultural and politic integration of economic phenomena in the societies, so-called “primitive” or
“modern”, “developed” or “underdeveloped”, “rural” or “urban”;
b) to identify and analyze, from an economic anthropology point of view, daily socioeconomic practices;
c) to identify and analyze the presence of symbolic and political rationalities in the “economical” fields.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Margarida Maria de Menezes Ferreira Miranda Fernandes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Cunha, M I, org. (2006) dossier Formalidade e informalidade. Etnográfica, X (2)
Feliciano, J F & Yañez-Casal, A (2006) Antropologia Económica - velhos e novos campos. Lisboa, U A: 123-139
Galbraith, J K (1980) A Era da Incerteza. Lisboa, Moraes
Godelier, M (1973) Horizontes da Antropologia. Lisboa, Ed. 70
Granjo, P (2004) «Trabalhamos sobre um barril de pólvora»: homens e perigo na refinaria de Sines. Lisboa, ICS
Granjo, P (2009) Saúde e doença em Moçambique, Saúde e Sociedade, 18 (4): 567-581
Ho, K (2009) Liquidated: an ethnography of Wall Street. Durham, Duke U P
Mauss, M (1998) Ensaio sobre a Dádiva. Lisboa, Ed. 70
Meillassoux, C (1976) Celeiros, Mulheres e Capitais. Porto, Afrontamento
Sahlins, M (1972) Stone Age Economics. Chicago, Aldine
Yánez-Casal, A (1996) Antropologia e Desenvolvimento: as aldeias comunais de Moçambique. Lisboa, IICT
Yañez-Casal, A (2005) Entre a Dádiva e a Mercadoria. Lisboa, ed. autor
VVAA (1978) Para Uma História Antropológica. Lisboa, Ed. 70

Teaching method

The CU functioning is based on lectures with schedule to debate, complemented by 2 presentations by senior research experts, and by 3 double seminars, prepared and presented by groups of students.

Evaluation method

individual critical essay, which must depart from, at least, one book from the CU’s main bibliography(15%), individual written test, divided in 3 thematic parts during the semester, and with questions which do not request strictly factual answers, but to reflect on and to use the materials presented in the classroom;(70%), collective preparation and presentation of a thematic seminar;(15%)

Subject matter

1.1 The Adam Smith revolution
1.2 From work-value to plus-value
1.3 Exchange, money and capital
1.4 Economic interpretations as projects of society
2.1 Interations economics/other social fields
2.2 The diversity and polemics of economic anthropology
3.1 From the Essay on the Gift to the reciprocity paradigm
3.2 Uses of reciprocity theory, faced to other interpretations
3.3 The gift in contemporary societies
4.1 Zen strategies and affluent societies
4.2 Tribal economies and kinship
4.3 Paisan economic rationalities
4.4 Health, healing, personhood and word visions
4.5 Development and cultural contraints
4.6 Informal economies
5.1 Cunsumption societies
5.2 Industrial labour, simbolism and power relations
5.3 Precariousness and uncertainty
5.4 Economy, social contract and violence
5.5 Financial capital and the current crisis


Programs where the course is taught: