Values And Valuables / Edition 272

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In this exciting new volume from the Society for Economic Anthropology, Cynthia Werner and Duran Bell bring together a group of distinguished anthropologists and economists to discuss the complex ways in which different cultures imbue material objects with symbolic qualities whose value cannot be reduced to material or monetary equivalents. Objects with sacred or symbolic qualities are valued quite differently than mundane objects, and the contributors to this volume set out to unravel how and why. In the first of three sections, the authors consider the extent to which sacred objects can or cannot be exchanged between individuals (e.g., ancestral objects, land, dreaming stories). In the next section, contributors discuss the value and power of markets, money, and credit. They consider theoretical models for understanding money transactions, competing currencies, and the power of credit among marginalized groups around the globe. The last section examines the ways in which contemporary people bestow symbolic value on some objects (e.g., family heirlooms, pre-Columbian artifacts, fashion goods) and finally how some individuals themselves are valued in monetary and symbolic ways. With its emphasis on the interplay of cultural and economic values, this volume will be a vital resource for economists and economic anthropologists. Published in cooperation with the Society for Economic Anthropology. Visit their web page.

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Editorial Reviews

Sutti Ortiz
Values and Valuables counters an earlier, rigid model of separate spheres of exchange with fluid propositions about the flow of commodities, valuable and ritual objects that highlight the role of power in the reconfiguration of exchanges. It will no doubt become a significant text for students of systems of exchange and currencies in capitalist and non-capitalists economies.
Thomas D. Hall
Values and Valuables is a broad collection that builds on the insights of Marcel Mauss, Karl Polanyi, and especially Maurice Godelier to explore the non-economic aspects of economic relations. Exploring exchanges from those among foraging societies to the Antiques Road Show these papers examine how the local and global are connected in important ways that are seldom analyzed in their entirety by conventional economics. The authors show how symbolic and materialist analyses can be combined synergistically to develop a deeper understanding of how societies work.
Gracia Clark
This collection throws a fresh, clear light upon the borderlands between market and non-market exchange. Diverse chapters dissect a dazzling range of relationships between people and things, and between people through things, using the widest variety of methods of analysis. Sacred ritual objects, 'traditional' crafts and heirlooms share the stage with rival currencies, credit unions, dreams and brand names. The connection demonstrated between classic and post-modern material makes this an exceptional course reader.
E. Paul Durrenberger
Cynthia Werner and Duran Bell bring together scholarship on how economies and cultures work to show the connections among the economic, the political, and the holy in ways that only the holistic, comparative, and ethnographic approach of anthropology can illuminate, with its critical examination of received theory and insistence on accurate detailed local historical and ethnographic description. These anthropologists bridge the theoretical and the real to show that money may assume symbolic value as a means of domination or resistance and how human lives and life can become commodities just as money can become sacred.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759105454
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Series: Society for Economic Anthropology Monograph Series, #21
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 272
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Werner is assistant professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University. Duran Bell is professor in the departments of economics and anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.

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Table of Contents

Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction: Values and Valuables: From the Sacred to the Symbolic Part 4 PART I: The Power of the Sacred Chapter 5 Chapter 1: What Mauss Did Not Say : Some Things You Give, Some Things You Sell, but Some Things You Must Keep Chapter 6 Chapter 2: "Keeping for Giving" and "Giving for Keeping": Value, Hierarchy, and the Inalienable in Yap Chapter 7 Chapter 3: The Engendering of Ceremonial Knowledge Between (and Among) Warlpiri Women and Men in the Australian Central Desert Part 8 PART II: Markets, Money, and Power Chapter 9 Chapter 4: Conceptions of Capitalism: Godelier and Keynes Chapter 10 Chapter 5: Little Tubes of Mighty Power: How Clay Tobacco Pipes From Port Royal, Jamaica, Reflect Socioeconomic Change in Seventeenth-Century English Culture and Society Chapter 11 Chapter 6: The Dominance of the Cowry Relative to the Franc in West Africa Chapter 12 Chapter 7: Ties that Dissolve and Bind: Competing Currencies, Prestige and Politics in Early Twentieth Century China Chapter 13 Chapter 8: Crafts, Gifts and Capital: Negotiating Credit and Exchange in the Northern Philippines Chapter 14 Chapter 9: Locating the Cultural Context of Credit: Institutional Alternatives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Part 15 PART III: Contemporary Valuables and Symbolic Values Chapter 16 Chapter 10: Inalienable Wealth in North American Households Chapter 17 Chapter 11: Virtual Antiquities, Consumption Values, and the Cultural Heritage Economy in a Costa Rican Artisan Community Chapter 18 Chapter 12: Women's Fashion Magazines: People, Things and Values Chapter 19 Chapter 13: Numbered Days, Valued Lives: Statistics, Shopping and the Commodification of People Part 20 Index Part 21 About the Authors

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