ANSO144 | Spring | 3 ECTS

Global Capitalism, Precarious Labour and the Luxury Industry

The luxury industry is one of the most powerful industries of global capitalism, both in symbolic and economic terms. Images of luxury goods circulate all over the world through magazines, influencers and advertisements, producing consumption, gender constructions, and normative relation to the body. Behind this overexposed circulation of desirable imaginaries, workers, capitals and products circulate on a global scale. This course provides an anthropologically informed understanding of the luxury industry as a system based on the production and circulation of goods and imaginaries on a global scale. It focuses on the different forms of precarious labour that the luxury industry mobilizes within the logic of capitalist accumulation. It sheds light on the construction of 'luxury' as an overexposed 'dream' of contemporary capitalism hiding the dynamics of exploitation and precariousness embedded in the various sectors of its production. From a theoretical point of view, the course introduces students to the literature on globalization and global systems as well as the contemporary transformations of work and labour.