Contesting Markets

Contesting Markets : Anthropology of Ideology, Discourse and Practice

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The ideology of free market economics has become commonplace in Europe and America, yet the concept of the market and its implications for non-Western societies has been underinvestigated. This book challenges traditional views of market discourse and the idea that it dominates all social processes. Strongly cross-cultural and comparative, it first examines the historical and sociological background to market discourses, then analyzes how these discourses are deployed in peasant and other markets. Finally it looks at the manner in which other cultures describe their various systems of exchange. This book is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of anthropology, especially economic anthropology and the sociology of development. It should also be useful as a secondary text to those studying contemporary social and cultural theory, economic and social history, sociology and development more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 164 x 242 x 34mm | 679.99g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Ill.
  • 0748603719
  • 9780748603718

Table of contents

Contesting markets - a general introduction to market ideology, imagery and discourse, Roy Dilley. Part 1 Economic thought and Western discourse: Adam Smith and the invisible hand - of the market?, Heinz Lubasz; modes of economic-theoretical engagement, Peter Preston. Part 2 Economic models and the ethnography of practice: what's in a price? - trade practices in peasant (and other) markets, Paul Alexander; Gypsies at the horse-fair - a non-market model of trade, Michael Stewart; trade in Kufra, Libya, John Davis. Part 3 The articulation of modes of discourse: divine protection and liberal damnation - exchanging metaphors in 19th-century Potosi, Bolivia, Tristan Platt; kinship, witchcraft and "the market" - hybrid patterns in Cameroonian societies, Peter Geschiere; wandering in the market and the forest - an Amazonian theory of production and exchange, Joanna Overing. Part 4 Development discourse and the informal economy: market and state after the Cold War - the informal economy reconsidered, Keith Hart; "good government" and "the market" , R.L. Stirrat. Part 5 Market and plan in Europe and China: culture, ideology and economic reform in Czechoslovakia, Ladislav Holy; market principle, market place and the transition in Eastern Europe, C.M. Hann; market, plan and structured social inequality in China, Norman Stockman. Part 6 Overview and conclusions: markets, models and morality - the power of practices, Stephen more