The conference explores how the anthropology of finance, and economic anthropology in general, can contribute to a thorough understanding of how people take care of one another, or fail to do so; how care is organised and financed through varying personal and institutional arrangements; and what happens when financial services and products become part of defining human dignity and value.
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May 3 and 4, 2017
Comparison is fundamental for the development of explanations. Explanations generally rely on the identification of differences. In the social sciences, such differences are typically identified at the level of the state: comparative studies often tend to involve comparisons between countries, reinforcing the idea that the state is the most appropriate scale of analysis and obscuring the fact that many social phenomena are not organized within that socio-political framework. Categories of comparison that have been prevalent in anthropology, such as ‘cultures’, ‘communities’, or ‘ethnicities’ have their own problems, as they often reify these identities. Anthropology’s main method, ethnography, has made an important contribution to deconstructing such categories by pointing to their contingent nature, the many often implicit assumptions that underlie them, and the forms of symbolic or structural violence that comparative research can entail. The workshop is jointly organised by Rivke Jaffe and Erik Bähre.
May 19, 2017 | ABV Anthropology Day
In this workshop we opened up a conversation about and experimented with solidarity based on money. By taking commercial insurance as a starting point, we examined three key dynamics of solidarity, namely a) the creation of social boundaries (the politics and economics of defining insiders and outsiders), b) the definition of peril (what can you claim and how do you claim these entitlements?) and c) the definition of contribution (what do you contribute and how do you contribute?). The workshop consisted of two interactive parts. The first part was an exercise in the form of a game during which workshop participants set up their own burial insurance scheme. The second part was a debate about the questions that this exercise provoked. What ethical and moral issues does monetized solidarity raise? What does this exercise tell us about the nexus of money and solidarity and current debates on social justice?
7th of December 2016 – 9th of December 2016
Course on the basics and fundamental principles of commercial insurance organised by Searchlight insurance trainings. During this three day course the diverse aspects of insurance were discussed with particularly reference to the British insurance market.