Market Society (PEC2266.01)

Lopamudra Banerjee

Institutions and social conventions shape economic behaviours. In this seminar, we will explore why and how these social factors matter in economic life. Our specific focus will be on the institution of market, and we will study how market organization of society can, on one hand, shape people’s economic interests, and, on the other, mobilize their economic effort. The making of modern market society can be traced through various moments in history. We will explore four such critical moments in our seminar: the beginning of the 20th century, the 1930s and the post-World War II era, the decade of the 1980s and the period that ensued, and the turn of the 21st century.

We will examine how, in each of these moments, the market-run society had aimed to address the problem of uncertainty in economic production and distribution in the Global North and the Global South. These efforts, however, have given rise to new and novel forms of uncertainty, which influenced economic interests and social relations in the next historical moment. We will engage with the works of classical authors and modern scholars of market society to reflect on these issues.

This is an introductory course in economics and has no prerequisites. The course is designed for any student interested in knowing what economics is all about and how the subject can teach us to think critically and analytically about contemporary social problems. The course has three requirements: [a] before coming to class, you must engage carefully with the assigned materials, and you must come prepared to class for informed and deep discussions; [b] you must participate in class discussions and take periodic in-class peer-reviewed pop quizzes that test your comprehension of an assigned topic; and [c] you should not miss a class.

Throughout this course, you will expand your capabilities for economic reasonings, and progress in your capacities to inquire, engage and communicate.

Learning Outcomes:
The course has two specific learning objectives.

By taking this course you will [1] develop a critical understanding of certain principles of political economy and how they can be applied in real life contexts, and [2] develop your skills for active, self-determined, self-directed studies.

The course aims to foster your capacities for inquiry, engagement and communication. For description of the capacities, see:

The broader objectives of the course are to give you a space to cultivate your capabilities as a critical analytical thinker and to engage with the others in a spirit of mutual appreciation, collaboration, and adventure. Through this course, we shall reaffirm our commitment to pluralism, our appreciation for diverse voices, and an inclusiveness in our thoughts and actions. In this context, see:

Throughout this course, you will expand your capabilities for economic reasonings, and progress in your capacities to inquire, engage and communicate.

Delivery Method: Hybrid
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 4:10PM - 6:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Hybrid , Political Economy
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