This module explores daily life in capitalist societies. It considers how ordinary people understand, engage in and produce different kinds of markets as workers, consumers and citizens. It asks students to consider the everyday ethics of these market practices. These ethics affects extreme questions - should there be a market in body parts?; mundane questions - how do couples share resources?; and those of contemporary political relevance - how are different kinds of work valued? We look at extremes of wealth and poverty, as well as asking how money is understood and managed in ‘ordinary’ and ‘average’ ways of living, as we shop for treats or sign up for online dating.
Our focus will be on the present day, and you will be encouraged to bring in readings and insights from any country or region of interest to you: the set readings will explore research from Asia, Europe, South America and the US. We will draw on the theoretical insights and research programme of economic sociology, (New Economic Sociology, feminist economics and STS in particular), and on literatures that provide insight into ethics, bodies and emotion.