Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Barter, Exchange and Value: An Anthropological Approach

Barter, Exchange and Value: An Anthropological Approach

by Caroline Humphrey, Stephen Hugh-JonesCaroline Humphrey


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Economists treat barter as an inefficient alternative to market exchange, assuming that it is normal only in primitive economies. For their part, anthropologists are more concerned with the social and moral complexities of the "gift," and treat barter as mere haggling. The authors in this collection do not accept that barter occupies a residual space between monetary and gift economies. Using accounts from different parts of the world, they demonstrate that it is more than a simple and self-evident economic institution. Barter may constitute a mode of exchange with its own social characteristics, occupying its own moral space. This novel treatment of barter represents an original and topical addition to the literature on economic anthropology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521406826
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/11/1992
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Barter, exchange and value Caroline Humphrey and Stephen Hugh-Jones; 2. Politicised values: the cultural dynamics of peripheral exchange Nicholas Thomas; 3. Yesterday's luxuries, tomorrow's necessities: business and barter in northwest Amazonia Stephen Hugh-Jones; 4. Some notes on the economics of barter, money and credit Luca Anderlini and Hamid Sabourian; 5. Fair dealing, just rewards: the ethics of barter in North-East Nepal; 6. Inter-tribal commodity barter and productivie gift-exchange in old Melanesia Alfred Gell; 7. Qualified value: the perspective of gift exchange Marilyn Strathern.

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