The course is divided in two parts. The first one deals with some key anthropological concepts involved in the understanding of cultural diversity and of the economy and politics of non-Western societies, with special regard to small-scale communities. The second presents a set of technical tools useful to enforce the participation and empowerment of locals, and discusses key aspects of the whole system of development action in the light of the critical appraisal of anthropological approaches.
1) Hann, Chris & Keith Hart, Economic Anthropology. History, Ethnography, Critique. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press, 2011, 206 pp.
2) Olivier de Sardan, Jean-Pierre, Anthropology and Development: Understanding Contemporary Social Change. London: Zed Books, 2005, 243 pp.
3) Crewe, Emma & Richard Axelby, Anthropology and Development. Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalized World, Cambridge U. P., Cambridge, UK, 2013, 256 pp.
4) Chambers Robert, Whose Reality Counts? Putting the first last. Bourton on Dunsmore: Practical Action Publishing, 2009 [Intermediate Technology Publications, 1997], 297 pp.
CONOSCENZE: The central purpose of this course is to provide students with an informed awareness of the anthropological dimensions involved in any kind of development action, at the macro or micro level. Key concepts in the course include an understanding of the nature and objects of anthropology as a discipline; the concept of culture in its different dimensions; foundations and perceptions of collective identity; some basic categories of economic anthropology and its relations with the discipline of economics; some key concepts in political anthropology; and the main theoretical and practical issues in the anthropology of development.
COMPETENZE: Understanding the nature and causes of cultural differences is a central element in the professional competencies required to work at any level in the field of development and, more generally, of international economic relations as well as, more specifically, to conceive and implement a successful development intervention.
Capacità acquisite al termine del corso: At the end of the course, the student will be better equipped to act in the field of development and international economic relations as well as to work at specific development initiatives with the aim of creating and enhancing substantive capabilities through processes of participation and empowerment.
Requirements as those for the admission to the Master. In addition, a basic knowledge of anthropology, law and political science is useful, but by no means mandatory.
Total 48 hours lecture, in 24 two-hour classes.
Type of Assessment
Students who have regularly attended classes will be tested on the contents of the course and on one of the four textbooks, chosen in agreement with the teacher. Regular attendance requires a minimum of 20 two-hour lectures out of 24. Non-attending students will be tested orally on textbook no. 1), plus one out of the other three. In either case, the choice must be made in agreement with the teacher. As a rule, the final exam will be oral, consisting in an interview lasting some 30 to 45 minutes with a number of questions varying from six to nine. Alternatively, and through previous agreement with the teacher, the student may opt for a written test, consisting of seven/eight open questions. For attending students, the quality of their participation in classroom activities, with questions, remarks, objections and reflections, will be an element in the final evaluation.
The course will be divided in two parts. The first one will deal with some key anthropological concepts involved in the understanding of cultural diversity and of the traits and dynamics of the economy and politics of non-Western societies, with special regard to local, small-scale societies and groups, drawing on the experience of ethnographic research. Starting with the concepts of culture and collective identity, it will then discuss the main issues raised in the study of economic and political anthropology, such as forms of production and circulation, reciprocity, redistribution, concepts of wealth and poverty, trade and markets, sources of political power, traditional political systems and their relations with contemporary administrative and political arrangements and processes.
The second part will present a set of different research methodologies and technical tools useful to enforce the participation, the empowerment and the capabilities of local communities. It will deal with some principles of participatory learning and analysis, with the problems involved in the transfer of technologies and capabilities, with the contrast between top-down and bottom-up approaches in development. It will further discuss the key aspects of the whole system of development action in the light of the critical appraisal of that branch of anthropology which is known as anthropology of development.