Until recently we have known more about gift giving practices in pre-industrial societies than about those of industrial western society. In this book, first published in 1988, David Cheal shows that the process of present giving and receiving is a vital element in contemporary social life, relevant to some of the most important theoretical traditions in sociology, particularly those of Durkheim and Weber, and to the social constructionism of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. This volume is the result of a major study of gift rituals carried out by David Cheal and his associates in which general themes are richly illustrated with details from individual case histories gathered during the research. It is highly significant that in western society women are more active gift givers than men and, while their voices explain how emotions and interests are interrelated within the gift economy, the author shows how that in turn is related to current theories about family, gender and religion.
In two volumes, the SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology provides the definitive overview of contemporary research in the discipline. It explains the what, where, and how of current and anticipated work in Social Anthropology. With 80 authors, contributing more than 60 chapters, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date statement of research in Social Anthropology available and the essential point of departure for future projects. The Handbook is divided into four sections: -Part I: Interfaces examines Social Anthropology's disciplinary connections, from Art and Literature to Politics and Economics, from Linguistics to Biomedicine, from History to Media Studies. -Part II: Places examines place, region, culture, and history, from regional, area studies to a globalized world -Part III: Methods examines issues of method; from archives to war zones, from development projects to art objects, and from ethics to comparison -Part IV: Futures anticipates anthropologies to come: in the Brain Sciences; in post-Development; in the Body and Health; and in new Technologies and Materialities Edited by the leading figures in social anthropology, the Handbook includes a substantive introduction by Richard Fardon, a think piece by Jean and John Comaroff, and a concluding last word on futures by Marilyn Strathern. The authors - each at the leading edge of the discipline - contribute in-depth chapters on both the foundational ideas and the latest research. Comprehensive and detailed, this magisterial Handbook overviews the last 25 years of the social anthropological imagination. It will speak to scholars in Social Anthropology and its many related disciplines.
The main focus of the volume - the processes of choice and decision-making in different economic systems - offers exceptional scope for the convergence of economic and anthropological perspectives. It concentrates on transactions that both express and influence social relationships and values. Covering a wide geographic area there are specific studies on societies in Equatorial Africa, Colombia, South India and the Balkans. First published in 1967.
In 80 entries this work provides an introduction to the key ideas of cultural anthropology. In each article--culture, race, materialism, semiotics, "primitive," etc.--Winthrop provides a balance between describing a concept's contemporary theoretical relevance and tracing its development, including the broader intellectual context transcending professional anthropology. Thus the article on "interpretation" discusses St. Augustine, Schliermacher, Dilthey, and Gadamer, as well as Geertz and Evans-Pritchard. That on "ethnology" treats Boemus, Acosta, and Prichard as well as the Boasians. The article on "nature" contrasts the Greek concept of physis with the Roman natura. Though this is a work of synthesis rather than of original historical scholarship, Winthrop quotes primary sources as much as possible, to let the key figures speak for themselves.
Since its first publication over forty years ago Marshall Sahlins's Stone Age Economics has established itself as a classic of modern anthropology and arguably one of the founding works of anthropological economics. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Sahlins radically revises traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original "affluent society." Sahlins examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. A radical study of tribal economies, domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large, Stone Age Economics regards the economy as a category of culture rather than behaviour, in a class with politics and religion rather than rationality or prudence. Sahlins concludes, controversially, that the experiences of those living in subsistence economies may actually have been better, healthier and more fulfilled than the millions enjoying the affluence and luxury afforded by the economics of modern industrialisation and agriculture. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by David Graeber, London School of Economics.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the construction of theoretical models useful in the explanation of particular areas of social organization. This volume charts that discussion and its results and covers a wide ethnographic range from the Pacific Island of Truk through African pastoral societies, south-east Asia and Hong Kong, back to Polynesia. First published in 1965.
Acclaim for the first edition: 'The volume is a remarkable contribution to economic anthropology and will no doubt be a fundamental tool for students, scholars, and experts in the sub-discipline.' – Mao Mollona, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 'This excellent overview would serve as an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classroom use. . . Because of the clarity, conciseness, and accessibility of the writing, the chapters in this volume likely will be often cited and recommended to those who want the alternative and frequently culturally comparative perspective on economic topics that anthropology provides. Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.' – K.F. Rambo, Choice The first edition of this unique Handbook was praised for its substantial and invaluable summary discussions of work by anthropologists on economic processes and issues, on the relationship between economic and non-economic areas of life and on the conceptual orientations that are important among economic anthropologists. This thoroughly revised edition brings those discussions up to date, and includes an important new section exploring ways that leading anthropologists have approached the current economic crisis. Its scope and accessibility make it useful both to those who are interested in a particular topic and to those who want to see the breadth and fruitfulness of an anthropological study of economy. This comprehensive Handbook will strongly appeal to undergraduate and post-graduate students in anthropology, economists interested in social and cultural dimensions of economic life, and alternative approaches to economic life, political economists, political scientists and historians.
Recognized as a major work when first published, this title has, over the years, become a classic. Forming the basis of modern social anthropology, We the Tikiopia stands in the forefront of its literature. The book is an excellent example of fieldwork analysis of a primitive society; a complete account of the working of a primitive kinship system; and an exhaustive and sophisticated study of Polynesian social institutions. First published in 1936.
This book examines the economy of sharing in a variety of social and political contexts around the world, with consideration given to the role of sharing in relation to social order and social change, political power, group formation, individual networks and concepts of personhood. Widlok advocates a refreshingly broad comparative approach to our understanding of sharing, with a rich range of material from hunter-gatherer ethnography alongside debates and empirical illustrations from globalized society, helping students to avoid Western economic bias in their thinking. Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing also demonstrates that sharing is distinct from gift-giving, exchange and reciprocity, which have become dominant themes in economic anthropology, and suggests that a new focus on sharing will have significant repercussions for anthropological theory. Breaking new ground in this key topic, this volume provides students with a coherent and accessible overview of the economy of sharing from an anthropological perspective.
Three hundred years ago people made most of what they used, or got it in trade from their neighbours. Now, no one seems to make anything, and we buy what we need from shops. Gifts and Commodities describes the cultural and historical process of these changes and looks at the rise of consumer society in Britain and the United States. It investigates the ways that people think about and relate to objects in twentieth-century culture, at how those relationships have developed, and the social meanings they have for relations with others. Using aspects of anthropology and sociology to describe the importance of shopping and gift-giving in our lives and in western economies, Gifts and Commodities: * traces the development of shopping and retailing practices, and the emergence of modern notions of objects and the self * brings together a wealth of information on the history of the retail trade * examines the reality of the distinctions we draw between the impersonal economic sphere and personal social sphere * offers a fully interdisciplinary study of the links we forge between ourselves, our social groups and the commodities we buy and give.