Engaging with Capitalism

Links – Anthropology Engaging With Capitalism (and more)

Engaging with CapitalismFeatured book is Engaging With Capitalism: Cases from Oceania. Spendy–but check out three articles free until 31 July 2013, and other anthropology-related links.

  1. The Journal of Business Anthropology, an open-access anthropology journal has a new issue out.
  2. Research in Economic Anthropology has just issued Volume 33 Engaging with Capitalism: Cases from Oceania. Three of the articles are free until 31 July 2013. Check out
  3. The Glossographia blog by Stephen Chrisomalis has three new entries, all worth checking:
  4. What Hunter-Gatherers May Tell Us About Modern Obesity. Barbara J. King bravely brings peer-reviewed anthropological research to the NPR public. Bravo!
  5. Tip of the Iceberg is an article about Marginal Revolution University which reminded me of anthropologist Kerim Friedman’s idea to begin a kind of Khan Academy for Anthropology. Updated this to Black Swan Anthropology which discusses these kinds of links.
  6. Been reading Globalization as a discourse of hegemonic crisis: A global systemic analysis by Jonathan Friedman and Kajsa Ekholm Friedman:

    Globalization discourse is deeply flawed in its very conception, expressing a gratuitous assumption of the emergence of a new era that is discontinuous with the past and whose conflicts are primarily the product of those who resist this development: nationalists, racists, localists. This discourse is itself an ideological product of a cosmopolitan elite identity that has emerged (again) in recent years and which can be accounted for, in turn, by another approach. A global systemic perspective situates cosmopolitan discourses in periods of hegemonic decline, which are also periods of economic, social, and cultural fragmentation in the hegemonic zones as well as of vertical polarization that creates a new “rootedness” at the bottom and a cosmopolitanization at the top. While these processes are underway today in the West, something quite the opposite is occurring in the emergent new hegemonic centers to the East. A global systemic approach also offers a model of today’s crisis that is absent in globalization discourse.

  7. Also reading Anthropology, Economics, and Choice by Michael Chibnik (now editor of American Anthropologist). So far, very plainly and engagingly written, great primer to catch up with economic anthropology:

    In the midst of global recession, angry citizens and media pundits often offer simplistic theories about how bad decisions lead to crises. Many economists, however, base their analyses on rational choice theory, which assumes that decisions are made by well-informed, intelligent people who weigh risks, costs, and benefits. Taking a more realistic approach, the field of anthropology carefully looks at the underlying causes of choices at different times and places. Using case studies of choices by farmers, artisans, and bureaucrats drawn from Michael Chibnik’s research in Mexico, Peru, Belize, and the United States, Anthropology, Economics, and Choice presents a clear-eyed perspective on human actions and their economic consequences. Five key issues are explored in-depth: choices between paid and unpaid work; ways people deal with risk and uncertainty; how individuals decide whether to cooperate; the extent to which households can be regarded as decision-making units; and the “tragedy of the commons,” the theory that social chaos may result from unrestricted access to commonly owned property.

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