Values and Valuables: From the Sacred to the Symbolic

Values and Valuables: From the Sacred to the Symbolic

by Cynthia Werner
     
 

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A group of distinguished anthropologists and economists discuss the value attached to material objects by different cultures. The authors consider the sacred nature of objects that are exchanged between individuals, the value and power of markets, money, and credit, and the ways in which contemporary people bestow symbolic value on objects or individuals. With its

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Overview

A group of distinguished anthropologists and economists discuss the value attached to material objects by different cultures. The authors consider the sacred nature of objects that are exchanged between individuals, the value and power of markets, money, and credit, and the ways in which contemporary people bestow symbolic value on objects or individuals. With its emphasis on the interplay of cultural and economic values, this volume will be a great resource for economists and economic anthropologists.

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:
9780759105447
Publisher:
AltaMira Press
Publication date:
02/15/2004
Series:
Society for Economic Anthropology Monograph Series, #21
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.16(d)

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