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ANTH222 – Wealth, Poverty and Consumption

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Chris Vasantkumar
AHH North, W32
Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 and by appointment
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
ANTH150 or (12cp at 100 level or above) or admission to GDipArts
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
We are surrounded by economic activity and yet often oblivious to it, like fish in water. Is greed universal? Is a free market inevitable? This unit explores wealth and poverty across cultures, examining the diverse ways people organise their economic life, decide who gets what, and determine what is valuable. We will trace the often extraordinary human connections that together comprise the global chains of production, distribution, consumption, and destruction that make our relationships with everyday commodities possible. Drawing on recent and exciting work devoted to “following the thing” through global value chains, we will strive to put a human face on often anonymous economic structures. Moreover we will question the ethical basis of such anonymity in the first place. We will do so via a sustained focus on the strangeness of familiar objects. From chocolate and T-shirts to bottled water to coffee to tupperware, papayas and smartphones, we will unravel the historical and contemporary connections that have linked distant and different peoples in emergent global economic institutions. We will attend to both the inherent inequalities of wealth and poverty in contemporary global economic formations and seek to illuminate more equitable potential forms such institutions might take in the future. Are a more just set of connections across distance and difference possible?

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  2. Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  3. Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human economic experience.
  4. Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  5. Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  6. Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.
  7. Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.
  8. Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

General Assessment Information

EXTENSIONS, PENALTIES, AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION 

Extensions and Late Submissions Late submissions on any assignment will incur a penalty, unless the unit convenor has granted an extension due to “unavoidable disruption” certified as such via the formal Disruption of Studies request process (see Undergraduate Student Handbook). Requests for extensions are more likely to be approved if they are submitted well in advance of the deadline.  The late penalty is a 5% deduction in your mark per 24-hour period. The unit convenor at his discretion may waive this deduction for assignments turned in within 1 hour of the deadline.

Word Limits You will be deducted 1 percentage point for each 25 words by which you exceed the word limit. Please take the word limit very seriously and try to make your argument concisely and clearly. It is unfair to fellow students if one person has much more space to argue their case while another student sticks firmly to the length guidelines. The word limit is designed to level the essay-writing field, so to speak. You must provide a word count beneath the title when you submit your work. If you fail to provide a word count, you will be deducted 1 percentage point and the assessor will estimate length and mark accordingly. The word limit excludes end-of-text references but it includes footnotes and in-text citations. 

Failure to reach the minimum word count for an assessment will result in a penalty determined by calculating the percentage of the required word total you were able to complete. For example, if you wrote an essay 734 words in length for an assessment with a minimum word count of 1000 words, your mark would be penalized by 26.6% because you only completed 73.4% of the assessment. Example: your work would have received a 77D had it been 1000 words long, you wrote 734 words, your final mark would be 77 * 0.734 = 56 P. 

Plagiarism The fundamental principle of the University’s Academic Honesty Policy is that all staff and students act with integrity in the creation, development, application and use of ideas and information. This means that:

  • All academic work claimed as original is the work of the author making the claim.
  • All academic collaborations are acknowledged.
  • Academic work is not falsified in any way
  • When the ideas of others are used, these ideas are acknowledged appropriately.

The University defines plagiarism in its rules: "Plagiarism involves using the work of another person and presenting it as one's own." Plagiarism is a serious breach of the University's rules and carries significant penalties. You must read the University's definition of plagiarism and its academic honesty policy. These can be found in the Handbook of Undergraduate studies or on the web here.The policies and procedures explain what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, the procedures that will be taken in cases of suspected plagiarism, and the penalties if you are found guilty.  In this class I use turnitin to detect plagiarism and I take it very, very seriously. Plagiarism may result in a mark of zero for that assignment and, depending on the severity of the plagiarism, may also result in failing the unit and/or referral to the University Discipline Committee.

No consideration for lost work or technology issues

It is the student’s responsibility to keep a copy (electronic or otherwise) of all written work submitted for each unit. No consideration will be given to claims of ‘lost work’ or technology issues no matter what the circumstances. It is your responsibility to ensure that your computer is fully compatible with iLearn during exam periods. 

Extensions and Disruption of Study:

Please view the Disruption to Studies Policy at: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

All Disruption to Studies notifications are to be made online via the University’s Ask MQ system.

Remember, the University has determined that some circumstances routinely encountered by students are not acceptable grounds for claiming Disruption of Studies. These grounds include, but are not limited, to:

  • Routine demands of employment
  • Routine family problems such as tension with or between parents, spouses, and other people closely involved with the student
  • Difficulties adjusting to university life, to the self-discipline needed to study effectively, and the demands of academic work
  • Stress or anxiety associated with examinations, required assignments or any aspect of academic work
  • Routine need for financial support
  • Routine demands of sport, clubs and social or extra-curricular activities

Conditions existing prior to commencing a unit of study are not grounds for Special Consideration. The student is responsible for managing their workload in light of any known or anticipated problems. The student is responsible for contacting Student Support Services if they have a chronic condition.

Remember that you can miss one tutorial without having to complete the Disruption to Studies process. This allowance is to limit the documentation burden for you, the convenor, and your tutors. 

Re-mark of Work During the Semester: 

A re-mark will be considered only on the following grounds:

    1. Administrative error

    2. The feedback provided on the assessment does not justify the grade awarded

Student Procedure:

1.  The student must contact the original marker of the assessment (usually your tutor) to discuss the mark or resolve the administrative error.

2.  If the marking issue cannot be resolved by the original marker, the student will email the unit convenor.  This email must clearly detail the marking issue at hand.

Grade Appeals

The Macquarie Grade Appeal Policy is available here: http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Lecture Attendance 10% Weekly
Tutorial Participation 20% Weekly (Commencing in Week 2)
Group Tutorial Presentation 20% Various
Short Creative Essay 10% See iLearn
Short Scholarly Essay 15% See iLearn
Research Essay 25% See iLearn

Lecture Attendance

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 10%

Details: Lecture Attendance is Mandatory. Lecture provides essential information in an engaging and accessible manner. See iLearn for further information.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.

Tutorial Participation

Due: Weekly (Commencing in Week 2)
Weighting: 20%

Details:  Tutorial attendance is mandatory.  See iLearn for details on how participation is assessed.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.

Group Tutorial Presentation

Due: Various
Weighting: 20%

Details: During weeks indicated on unit iLearn page, groups of four students will do 20 to 30 minutes of presentation (2 x 10-15 minutes for pairs), followed by discussion within the class.  See Unit iLearn page for topics and further details.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human economic experience.
  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Short Creative Essay

Due: See iLearn
Weighting: 10%

750-1000 word Creative Essay on the topic "100% Australian" (written in the style of Ralph Linton's "100% American"). See iLearn Page for further details. To be submitted via turnitin (link on Unit iLearn page) by 23:59 on the due date.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Short Scholarly Essay

Due: See iLearn
Weighting: 15%

Scholarly Essay of 1000-1250 words in the form of a Film Review, comparing two movies on global economic inequality. See iLearn for more details and list of films. To be submitted via turnitin (link on Unit iLearn page) by 23:59 on the due date.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Research Essay

Due: See iLearn
Weighting: 25%

Details:  Essay of 2500-3000 words in length based on independent research on the topic of "Following the Thing." See iLearn for further information. To be submitted via turnitin (link on Unit iLearn page) by 23:59 on the due date.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.

Delivery and Resources

Lectures - Mondays 11am-1pm, 12 Second Way (C5A) 226 Tutorial Rm

Lectures will use videos and other material not available elsewhere.  It is required that all students attend lectures. 

Tutorials meet on Wednesdays--check timetables for the location of your particular tutorial as this may be subject to change.

Check iLearn page for weekly readings, background readings and other resources.

Required readings will be made available on electronic reserve and/or will be accessible through OneSearch on the MQ Uni Library Website. 

Unit Schedule

Week

Date

Lecture (Mon)

Date

Tutes (Wed)

1

31 Jul

“Making the Lunch Meat [Un-]Anonymous”/The Travels of a Fleece

2 Aug

None—Tutorials begin Wednesday, 9 August

2

7 Aug

Global Connections and Frameworks/ False Universals

9 Aug

Introductions; How to do well in the unit.

3

14 Aug

Cultural Economies/ Wealth and Poverty Beyond the Bottom Line

16 Aug

Some things money can’t buy

 

18 Aug

SHORT ESSAY #1 DUE 

23:59 via Turnitin

 

 

4

21 Aug

Beyond North Atlantic Universals I: Exchange

23 Aug

Debate: Altruistic Donation

5

28 Aug

Beyond North Atlantic Universals II: Money

30 Aug

Debate: Cashless Society 

6

4 Sep

Beyond North Atlantic Universals III: Consumption in Critical Perspective

6 Sep

Debate: Welfare Quarantining 

7

11 Sep

Following the Thing/Friction in the Commodity Chain

13 Sep

Typically Australian?

Mid-semester Recess: 18 September-3 October

8

2 Oct

No Class: Labour Day/Queen's Birthday

4 Oct

No Tutorials

 

6 Oct

SHORT ESSAY #2 DUE 

23:59 via Turnitin

 

 

9

9 Oct

Follow the Mobile I—Extraction 

11 Oct

Our phones, our selves

10

16 Oct

Follow the Mobile II—Production

18 Oct

Debate: Buying Australian

11

23 Oct

Follow the Mobile III—Consumption 

25 Oct

Debate: Fair Trade

12

30 Oct

No Class

Work on Your Research Essays

1 Nov

No Tutorials

 

4 Nov

RESEARCH ESSAY DUE 

23:59 via Turnitin

 

 

13

6 Nov

Follow the Mobile IV—Destruction and Recycling

8 Nov

Show and Tell: Obsolete Objects

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Assessment tasks

  • Lecture Attendance
  • Tutorial Participation
  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay
  • Research Essay

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.
  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Assessment tasks

  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay
  • Research Essay

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Assessment task

  • Group Tutorial Presentation

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human economic experience.
  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.

Assessment tasks

  • Lecture Attendance
  • Tutorial Participation
  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay
  • Research Essay

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Assessment tasks

  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.
  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Assessment tasks

  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop familiarity with anthropological approaches to economic institutions and transactions.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of economic discourses and practices using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Question commonly held and taken for granted assumptions about what is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ human economic experience.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation and practice of economic transactions and institutions in different societies.
  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Assessment tasks

  • Lecture Attendance
  • Tutorial Participation
  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Short Scholarly Essay
  • Research Essay

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Describe how global interconnectedness shapes contemporary practices of consumption and structures of inequality.
  • Produce in cooperation with other students an effective presentation about a conflict in economic anthropology-related materials, improving presentation skills and teamwork.

Assessment tasks

  • Lecture Attendance
  • Tutorial Participation
  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Creative Essay
  • Research Essay

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Apply a critical, anthropologically informed understanding of economic transactions and institutions to real world situations and phenomena.

Assessment tasks

  • Group Tutorial Presentation
  • Short Scholarly Essay
  • Research Essay

Changes since First Published

Date Description
19/07/2017 Edited office location and consultation hours.