Synopses & Reviews
The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past. Bridging the disciplines of social history, cultural anthropology, and economics, the volume marks a major step in our understanding of the cultural basis of economic life and the sociology of culture.
The meaning that people attribute to objects necessarily derives from human transactions and motivations. The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past.
Table of Contents
Foreword Nancy Farriss; Preface; Part I. Toward an anthropology of things: 1. Introduction: commodities and the politics of value Arjun Appadurai; 2. The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process Igor Kopytoff; Part II. Exchange, Consumption, and Display: 3. Two kinds of value in the Eastern Solomon Islands William H. Davenport; 4. Newcomers to the world of goods: consumption among the Muria Gonds Alfred Gell; Part III. Prestige, Commemoration, and Value: 5. Varna and the emergence of wealth in prehistoric Europe Colin Renfrew; 6. Sacred commodities: the circulation of medieval relics Patrick Geary; Part IV. Production Regimes and the Sociology of Demand: 7. Weavers and dealers: the authenticity of an oriental carpet Brian Spooner; 8. Qat: changes in the production and consumption of a quasilegal commodity in northeast Africa Lee V. Cassanelli; Part V. Historical Transformations and Commodity Codes: 9. The structure of a cultural crisis: thinking about cloth in France before and after the Revolution William M. Reddy; 10. The origins of swadeshi (home industry): cloth and Indian society, 1700-1930 C. A. Bayly; Index.