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Stone Age Economics is a classic study of anthropological economics, first published in 1974. As Marshall Sahlinsstated in the first edition, "It has been inspired by the possibility of 'anthropological economics,' a perspective indebted rather to the nature of the primitive economies than to the categories of a bourgeois science." Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, the book includes six studies which reflect the author's ideas on revising traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society. The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. It consists of a set of detailed and closely related studies of tribal economies, of domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large.
|Preface to new edition|
|1||The Original Affluent Society||1|
|2||The Domestic Mode of Production: The Structure of Underproduction||41|
|3||The Domestic Mode of Protection: Intensification of Production||101|
|4||The Spirit of the Gift||149|
|5||On the Sociology of Primitive Exchange||185|
|6||Exchange Value and the Diplomacy of Primitive Trade||277|
Posted January 5, 2000
I read this book decades ago and have thought about it often since. The premise is that 'primitive' life is not as difficult and joyless as we believe. Here, time and motion studies show how people have traditionally take care of their needs without the endless toil associated with factory life or for that matter, hydraulic societies. Fascinating and a good read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.