Economic Anthropology - Stuart PlattnerStanford: Stanford University Press, 1989, Paperback.
Condition: Very Good. Previous owners' name to the upper wrapper verso.
Includes: Graphs; Diagrams; Maps; Tables; References;
From the cover: “This volume is the first comprehensive text in economic anthropology since the 1970s. Written by twelve leading scholars, the book covers the traditional topics of economic behaviour and institutions in foraging bands, horticultural tribes, precapitalist states, agrarian or peasant societies, and industrialized states, as well as newer issues, such as sex roles, common-property resources, the informal sector, and mass marketing in developing urban areas. It includes more in-depth coverage of some subjects than does any other text in the field, subjects like the central place theory of markets and marketplaces and the fundamentals of economic behaviour in markets.
The approach is empirical and, though not ignoring controversy, aims to tell the reader what we know about the world rather than recording how we came to know it or disputing alternative views of the finer points of what we know.
The work presented here is more analytic than descriptive. The historical context of the observed social reality is given due consideration, and important parameters (such as the development of social infrastructure or the degree of risk in a transaction) are distinguished from enduring institutional constraints, such as kinship obligations.
Individuals are seen as fully “rational”, in that their solutions to their economic problems make sense once one understands the many constraints (social, cultural, cognitive, and political, as well as economic) that they must take into account. This does not mean that their solutions are optimal — merely that the analysis will make the behaviour, or for that matter the institutions, understandable as a reasoned human response to a complex situation.”