Economic socio-anthropology


This course provides the theoretical tools for understanding the essential social dynamics that structure the economic activities of contemporary societies through trade, production, consumption or work. Building on the  theoretical framework provided by the anthropology of gifting/market activities, the course will introduce the main concepts that help to understand the organization of social life: rationality(ies), the elaboration of judgments and choices by individuals, the mechanisms of contextualization of economic action. In addition to the theoretical tools proposed, Socio/economic anthropology provides a framework for reflecting  on new objects of social life, such as crypto-currencies (Bitcoin...), new forms of exchange (carpooling, eco-sharing...), of consumption (fair trade, waste recycling, ecological and fair tourism, local exchange systems...) or of production (corporate social responsibility, green finance, informal economy...).


  • Dufy (C.), Weber (F.), L’ethnographie économique. Paris, La Découverte, 2007, 128p.
  • Marx (K.), Le Capital. Paris, Gallimard, 1985, t.1, 442 p. Parry (J.), Bloch (M.) eds., Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989, 275p.
  • Polanyi (K.), The Great Transformation. New York, Hold Rinehart, 1994, [La grande transformation : aux origines politiques et économiques de notre temps, Gallimard, Paris, 1983, intr. Louis Dumont].
  • Simmel (G.), Philosophie de l’argent. Paris, PUF, 1999, 662p.
  • Weber (M.), Économie et Société, tome I, les catégories de la sociologie. [1re édition 1971], Paris, Plon, 1995, 410p.

Educational formula

The course is a lecture course. It requires that students complete the mandatory readings for each session’s topic. This course may provide a useful theoretical complement for students in political science methodology in their field research, for students seeking to engage in the fields of social and solidarity economy, of cooperation, or in the field of research (sociology and political science).

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal oral examination

Optional teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Dufy Caroline [+]