By John Clammer
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Additional resources for Anthropology and Political Economy: Theoretical and Asian Perspectives
The role ofmaterial 'things' is basic to any economy yet it has become increasingly apparent that economics, particularly when applied to small-scale communities, is essentially the study of relationships. And the economic anthropologist, because of the nature of his material, is obliged to recognise the reciprocity between forms of social relations hip and the movement of material goods. The corollary ofthis is, of course, the proposition that there is an indissoluble relationship between any social system and its related economic system, such that one cannot be adequately explained or understood without reference to the other.
First, and methodologically, economic anthropology has been, and is being, drawn closer to structuralism as a result of the influence of Althusser rather than Levi-Strauss, the expectations that structuralism's own totalising technique is applicable in this field, and also because of the epistemological links. The new economic anthropology, like structuralism, is to a great extent concerned with the rigorous theorising ofits operation al concepts as weil as with moving the whole level of analysis from the phenomenal to a more fundamental explanatory level.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. E. Ardener, 'The New Anthropology and Its Critics', Man, 6, 3. 1971, p. 449. , p. 450. J. Herskovits, Economic Anthropology (New York, 1952). R. A. Monograph No. 6 (London: Tavistock Publications, 1967). , p. 1. M. Sahlins, 'On the Sociology ofPrimitive Exchange', in M. A. Monograph No. 1 (London, 1965) p. 139. M. Mauss, 'Essai sur le don', L'Annie sociologique, I, 1923-24; B. Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western PaciflC (London, 1922).
Anthropology and Political Economy: Theoretical and Asian Perspectives by John Clammer