This course has concessions available

An Anthropological Perspective on Current Events and Issues

Gillian Tett of the Financial Times was unusual in predicting the 2008 credit crisis and says thats down
to her anthropological training: I happen to think anthropology is a brilliant background for looking at
finance. Firstly, youre trained to look at how societies or cultures operate holistically, so you look at how all the bits move together. And most people in the City dont do that. They are so specialised, so busy, that they just look at their own little silos. And one of the reasons we got into the mess we are in is that they were all so busy looking at their own little bit that they totally failed to understand how it interacted with the rest of society. But the other thing is, if you come from an anthropology background, you also try and put finance in a cultural context. Bankers like to imagine that money and the profit motive is as universal as gravity. They think its basically a given and they think its completely apersonal. And its not. What they do in finance is all about culture and interaction. This course will build on Tetts approach to investigate selected current events and issues holistically as well as setting them in their cultural context. Topics covered could be drawn from a wide range of areas, e.g. health, politics, society, science, arts . The emphasis will be on discussion, sharing ideas based on materials provided in class, as well as our own individual experiences.

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

The course is for anyone who is interested in finding out what Anthropology can contribute to our understanding and analysis of current events and issues. The only requirement is that you are open-minded, prepared to contribute to discussion and interested in people as well as current events and issues.

What does this course cover

Selection of events and issues will be by negotiation. Some materials will be provided in class. The sharing of relevant materials will be encouraged.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Explain the key features of an anthropological perspective.
- Analyse selected events or issues using an anthropological approach.
- Evaluate the usefulness (to you and to wider society) of using an anthropological approach to investigate current events and issues.

What will it be like

Learning and teaching methods include tutor presentation, discussion, small and large group activities, watching documentary film, research. There is no formal assessment. Your progress will be monitored and supported through observation and discussion.

What else do you need to buy or do

You only need paper and pen.
You should read the material provided by the tutor. This will help you to participate fully in class

What this course could lead to

Students can enrol on next year's Anthropology courses

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’