Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Business anthropology is a new specialisation within the worldwide discipline of anthropology. This unit applies anthropological and sociological knowledge and methods to the work and products of public and private business enterprises. It has two main areas of study—the culture of organisations and product design/development based on ethnographic observation of human interaction with consumer products and services.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and apply the key conceptual and methodological innovations in a contemporary subfield within anthropology/sociology; (2) understand, critique and engage with ethnographic research skills and cross-cultural analysis, and understand and evaluate the potential contribution of anthropological perspectives to our understanding of business and organisational anthropology/sociology; (3) analyse various methodological, ethical and epistemological issues associated with ethnographic, qualitative research into business enterprises and consumer behaviour; (4) conduct ethnographic research on business enterprises and consumer behaviour and present anthropologically and sociologically informed reports on this research; and (5) develop a written and verbal capacity to present clear, well-documented arguments, drawing on both theory and empirical or ethnographic material relevant to this unit in a collegial manner.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorials; (2) assignment 1 (review of mini-ethnography); (3) assignment 2 (book review for academic journal); and (4) assignment 3 (qualitative research project). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
any Level 2 Anthropology unit
ANTH2240 Business Anthropology
Contact hours
lectures and tutorials: 30 hrs
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.