Cultural Economies Past and Present

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Cultural Economies Past and Present

By Rhoda H. Halperin

An analytical tool kit for studying economic processes in all societies and at all times.



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6 x 9 | 319 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-73090-8

When anthropologists and other students of culture want to compare different societies in such areas as the organization of land, labor, trade, or barter, they often discover that individual researchers use these concepts inconsistently and from a variety of theoretical approaches, so that data from one society cannot be compared with data from another.

In this book, Rhoda Halperin offers an analytical tool kit for studying economic processes in all societies and at all times. She uniquely organizes the book around key concepts: economy, ecology, equivalencies, householding, storage, and time and the economy. These concepts are designed to facilitate the understanding of similarities, differences, and changes between contemporary and past economies. While this is not only a "how-to" book or handbook, it can be used as such. It will be of great value to scholars and students of archaeology and history, as well as to ethnographers and economists.

Preface and Acknowledgments
One. Methodological Individualism: Structure and Agency in Economic Anthropology
Two. Marx’s Institutional Paradigm and Polanyi’s Generic Model of the Economy
Three. Economy and Ecology: Basic Concepts, Their History, and Applications
Four. Equivalencies in Economic Anthropology
Five. Householding: Resistance and Livelihood in Rural Economies
Six. Storage as an Economic Process
Seven. A Cross-Cultural Treatment of the Informal Economy
Eight. Time and the Economy: A Substantive Perspective
Nine. Looking Backward and Forward on Concepts of the Economy: The Discourse of Economic Anthropology in Historical and Comparative Perspective

Rhoda H. Halperin is a professor of anthropology and psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati.

" extremely ambitious book ...Halperin attempts to integrate Polanyi and Marx and the ecological and economic traditions in anthropology.... Very impressive."
—William P. Mitchell, Freed Professor of Anthropology, Monmouth College

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