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UGEC2662 Culture and Business

Course Description

(UGEC2662 is double-coded with ANTH2510.)

Culture is ubiquitous in every aspect of societies, including how we do business. This course will examine the role of culture in contemporary business and study work and management in industrial societies anthropologically. Students will be introduced to the cultural logics of business practices, particularly business operations, organization and management through ethnographic explorations of different cultures, locales and sociohistorical settings. The aims of the course are twofold. First, it reveals cultural aspects and the cultural mechanisms of business. It shows the significance of culture in the business world, as well as the cultural significance of business. Second, it attempts to put anthropology into business practice. It demonstrates to students how anthropological knowledge and methodologies can be applied to business operations and help to achieve business goals. By examining the themes including but not limited to the indoctrination of work ethics, labor relations, gender and racial issues in the workplace, capitalism and its discontents, and responses to and actions upon market capitalism in terms of both production and consumption, the course attends to these Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty (SDG#1), Gender Equality (SDG#5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG#8), Reduced Inequalities (SDG#10), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG#12), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG#17).

Learning Outcome

After the completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand and appreciate the cultural dimensions of business operations and organization in different historical, political, and social settings;
  • Acquire the necessary ethnographic skills to study diverse aspects of business operations and organization;
  • Be able to rethink and challenge the existing assumptions regarding business practices in the modern world;
  • Gain the analytical tools to examine issues of over-consumption, over-production, dispossession, oppression, and other relevant discontent under global capitalism;
  • Be able to examine critically the role SDGs could play in addressing disparities and injustices in the world;
  • Understand the importance of building a more inclusive, equal and diverse society.


3 -credits

Sustainable Development Goals

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