Gifts, Words, Commodities: The Social Life of Exchange at SLU

2017 Fall

Exchange ties the world together. From romantic relations to international relations, the exchange of words, money, gifts, and commodities shapes all kinds of social relationships. In this class, you will explore different ways of conducting exchange in a range of settings, including your new home at St. Lawrence University. 

Along the way, you will also practice using ethnographic research methods, including participant-observation, structured note-taking, and interviewing. Ethnographic methods are employed by a range of researchers, including anthropologists, behavioral economists, product designers, and market researchers, to analyze the web of cultural meanings that motivate human behavior. Using these methods, you will work individually and in teams to dissect some of the many kinds of invisible exchange that make up the give and take of everyday life at SLU. This course fulfills the FYP general education requirement.

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