Capital, Saving and Credit in Peasant Societies

Overview

Contemporary problems of economic and social change have obliged social scientists from different fields to learn much about each others' work as well as about the specific problems they are together seeking to solve. The bearing of economic conditions on the character of a social system has become more apparent to anthropologists, and, similarly, economists have become more aware of the relevance of social factors to economic decisions. This pioneering book is at the point of contact between these two ...

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Overview

Contemporary problems of economic and social change have obliged social scientists from different fields to learn much about each others' work as well as about the specific problems they are together seeking to solve. The bearing of economic conditions on the character of a social system has become more apparent to anthropologists, and, similarly, economists have become more aware of the relevance of social factors to economic decisions. This pioneering book is at the point of contact between these two disciplines, presenting detailed studies from many societies of the interaction between social and economic relationships.

The studies in this volume—all by social anthropologists —focus on the formation and management of capital, since this process is central to the economic functioning and growth of all societies. With this central theme, the essays cover a very wide geographic range and an equally wide range of social and economic structures. The book begins with an essay by Firth, who provides an extended outline discussion of the main problems and issues to be covered, and ends with an essay by Yamey, who provides summarizing comments and queries.

The volume will be especially useful to those concerned with the problems and prospects of economic and social change in underdeveloped areas, in addition to economists and anthropologists concerned with what each can learn from the other.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is based on papers delivered at a symposium on economics and anthropology held under the auspices of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in 1960…. The various chapters are well edited, and the book will clearly be useful to social anthropologists.” —Polly Hill, The Economic Journal “The essays are well written and edited. The book provides some good source material for those concerned with economic anthropology and community development.” —George Dalton, American Anthropologist “Perhaps it is a measure of our growing awareness of the need for interdisciplinary understanding that this book, written primarily by anthropologists, should be reviewed by an economist for a journal of sociology. It is appropriate that it should be so reviewed, since it constitutes a plea to the economist that he pay more attention to the contribution which anthropologists can make to the understanding of economic growth.” —Donald C. Mead, American Journal of Sociology “[O]ne finds in this book a wealth of specific insights and partial analysis of great value.” —Vaclav Holesovsky, The American Economic Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202309187
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/30/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Firth (1901-2002) was professor at the London School of Economics. His best-known research was on people of the Southeastern most part of Asia as well as Oceania. He was an honorary fellow at the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania.

B.S. Yamey is professor emeritus in the department of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also an honorary fellow at the university

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Table of Contents


Editors' Preface     7
The Authors     11
Capital, Saving and Credit in Peasant Societies: A Viewpoint from Economic Anthropology     15
Some Aspects of Credit, Saving and Investment in a 'Non-Monetary' Economy (Rossel Island)     35
Personal Capital Formation among the Tolai of New Britain     53
Capital, Investment and the Social Structure of a Pastoral Nomad Group in South Persia     69
Capital, Saving and Credit among Lao Peasants     82
Capital, Saving and Credit in Highland Orissa (India)     104
Capital, Saving and Credit in a Malay Peasant Economy     133
Capital, Saving and Credit among Indigenous Rice Farmers and Irmnigrant Vegetable Farmers in Hong Kong's New Territories     157
Institutions for Capital Formation and Distribution among Fijians     187
Rural Local Savings Associations (Maori Komiti) in New Zealand's Far North     207
Capital, Credit and Saving in Javanese Marketing     230
The Employment of Capital by Market Women in Haiti     256
Capital, Saving and Credit in a Guatemalan and a Mexican Indian Peasant Society     287
Ethnic Difference and Peasant Economy in British Guiana     305
Capital, Saving and Credit among Mauritian Indians     330
Capital Formation, Saving, and Credit in IndianAgricultural Society     347
The Study of Peasant Economic Systems: Some Concluding Comments and Questions     376
Bibliography     387
Index     394
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