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Until recently we have known more about gift giving practices in pre-industrial societies than about those of industrial western society. In this book, first published in 1988, David Cheal shows that the process of present giving and receiving is a vital element in contemporary social life, relevant to some of the most important theoretical traditions in sociology, particularly those of Durkheim and Weber, and to the social constructionism of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. This volume is the result of a major study of gift rituals carried out by David Cheal and his associates in which general themes are richly illustrated with details from individual case histories gathered during the research. It is highly significant that in western society women are more active gift givers than men and, while their voices explain how emotions and interests are interrelated within the gift economy, the author shows how that in turn is related to current theories about family, gender and religion.
RLE Social and Cultural Anthropologybrings together a collection of key titles from a range of historic imprints. From Anthropology and Nursing toEveryday Life, from The Gift Economy toTwo-Dimensional Man, they form an essential reference source from a selection of acclaimed international authors.
Acclaim for the first edition: 'The volume is a remarkable contribution to economic anthropology and will no doubt be a fundamental tool for students, scholars, and experts in the sub-discipline.' – Mao Mollona, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 'This excellent overview would serve as an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level classroom use. . . Because of the clarity, conciseness, and accessibility of the writing, the chapters in this volume likely will be often cited and recommended to those who want the alternative and frequently culturally comparative perspective on economic topics that anthropology provides. Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.' – K.F. Rambo, Choice The first edition of this unique Handbook was praised for its substantial and invaluable summary discussions of work by anthropologists on economic processes and issues, on the relationship between economic and non-economic areas of life and on the conceptual orientations that are important among economic anthropologists. This thoroughly revised edition brings those discussions up to date, and includes an important new section exploring ways that leading anthropologists have approached the current economic crisis. Its scope and accessibility make it useful both to those who are interested in a particular topic and to those who want to see the breadth and fruitfulness of an anthropological study of economy. This comprehensive Handbook will strongly appeal to undergraduate and post-graduate students in anthropology, economists interested in social and cultural dimensions of economic life, and alternative approaches to economic life, political economists, political scientists and historians.
The main focus of the volume - the processes of choice and decision-making in different economic systems - offers exceptional scope for the convergence of economic and anthropological perspectives. It concentrates on transactions that both express and influence social relationships and values. Covering a wide geographic area there are specific studies on societies in Equatorial Africa, Colombia, South India and the Balkans. First published in 1967.
Since its first publication over forty years ago Marshall Sahlins's Stone Age Economics has established itself as a classic of modern anthropology and arguably one of the founding works of anthropological economics. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Sahlins radically revises traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original "affluent society." Sahlins examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. A radical study of tribal economies, domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large, Stone Age Economics regards the economy as a category of culture rather than behaviour, in a class with politics and religion rather than rationality or prudence. Sahlins concludes, controversially, that the experiences of those living in subsistence economies may actually have been better, healthier and more fulfilled than the millions enjoying the affluence and luxury afforded by the economics of modern industrialisation and agriculture. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by David Graeber, London School of Economics.
In two volumes, the SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology provides the definitive overview of contemporary research in the discipline. It explains the what, where, and how of current and anticipated work in Social Anthropology. With 80 authors, contributing more than 60 chapters, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date statement of research in Social Anthropology available and the essential point of departure for future projects. The Handbook is divided into four sections: -Part I: Interfaces examines Social Anthropology's disciplinary connections, from Art and Literature to Politics and Economics, from Linguistics to Biomedicine, from History to Media Studies. -Part II: Places examines place, region, culture, and history, from regional, area studies to a globalized world -Part III: Methods examines issues of method; from archives to war zones, from development projects to art objects, and from ethics to comparison -Part IV: Futures anticipates anthropologies to come: in the Brain Sciences; in post-Development; in the Body and Health; and in new Technologies and Materialities Edited by the leading figures in social anthropology, the Handbook includes a substantive introduction by Richard Fardon, a think piece by Jean and John Comaroff, and a concluding last word on futures by Marilyn Strathern. The authors - each at the leading edge of the discipline - contribute in-depth chapters on both the foundational ideas and the latest research. Comprehensive and detailed, this magisterial Handbook overviews the last 25 years of the social anthropological imagination. It will speak to scholars in Social Anthropology and its many related disciplines.
First published in 1990. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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