Cover

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Title Page, Contributors, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Figures and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvii

This volume is the result of a School for Advanced Research advanced seminar held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in May 2009. Peter Benson and I organized the seminar with the aim of bringing together anthropologists, economists, and business scholars who are working on similar issues from different disciplinary perspectives. The benefits of such interdisciplinary...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xviii-2

This book is the product of the collaborative efforts of the participants in our SAR advanced seminar in Santa Fe. We were fortunate to have the support—and sage advice—of James Brooks and the whole SAR team, especially Lynn Baca and Lisa Pacheco at SAR Press...

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1. Introduction: Markets and Moralities

Edward F. Fischer

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pp. 3-18

Moral values inform economic behavior.1 On its face, this is an unassailable proposition. Think of the often spiritual appeal of consumer goods or the value-laden stakes of upward or downward mobility. Think about the central role that moral questions regarding poverty, access to health care, the tax code, property and land rights, and corruption play in the shaping...

I. Markets: Contrivances and Obfuscations

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pp. 19-20

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2. Markets as Contrivances: A Dialogue

Orchestrated by Peter Benson, with James Ferguson, Edward F. Fischer, Robert H. Frank, Anna Tsing, Bart Victor, and Caitlin Zaloom

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pp. 21-28

Much as with “time,” we tend to talk about the abstraction we call “the market” as a thing. We are comfortable speaking about what the market is doing today, whether “it” is up or down. Indeed, we often endow the market with animate properties, as when it punishes or rewards those who engage...

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3. Bezzle and Sardines

Jonathan A. Shayne

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pp. 29-38

Economic reality is more than what we see around us.1 Call me a financial Platonist.
In my day-to-day life as a money manager, I use torrents of data, and I can hardly see my desk underneath the financial reports I have stacked there. Yet, not everything that counts can be counted, as the saying goes...

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4. How Do Supply Chains Make Value?

Anna Tsing

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pp. 39-44

So much of what we use and eat every day is drawn from far-reaching supply chains stretching around the world. Each bit entangles us, inside and out, in social and ecological processes scattered across every continent and about which we know so little. Our own essence, forged in increasingly...

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5. Profits of Diversity

Anna Tsing, with illustrations by Jesse Sullivan

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pp. 45-50

Remember the nineteenth century? As Europeans encircled the globe, natural resources were up for grabs. Native labor was yoked to white profits. Finance ruled.
In the twentieth century, people reacted to the unruliness of finance, giving rise to the world we imagine as “modern.” Nation-states and corporations...

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6. Capitalist Markets and the Kafkaesque World of Moralization

Jonathan Friedman

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pp. 51-66

In this chapter, I locate the current economic crisis within two larger contexts. The first is the real material process that connects declining hegemony in the global system to credit bubbles and crunches, neoliberal flexibilization, and the cyclical logic of capital accumulation as a time-space...

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7. Patient Value

João Biehl

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pp. 67-90

“Physically well yet…economically dead”
“Today is another world,” Luis Cardoso told me as he looked at the portrait that photographer Torben Eskerod had made of him in March 1997 (fig. 7.1), when he was beginning to take AIDS therapies. It was now December 2001 and I was back in Caasah, a community-run AIDS-care...

II. Choices: Values and Rationalities

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pp. 91-92

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8. Not by P Alone

Deirdre N. McCloskey

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pp. 93-112

My friend the noble and Nobel-worthy economist Bob Frank will try to persuade you that apparently imprudent behavior such as anger can arise nonetheless from prudent sources—not from an immediately calculating source, perhaps, but from behavior evolved in human society for a rational...

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9. The Social Life of “Cash Payment”: Money, Markets, and the Mutualities of Poverty

James Ferguson

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pp. 113-132

Recent years have seen the emergence of new kinds of welfare states in the global South, a trend that a Newsweek (2010) article described as “Welfare 2.0.” Advocates have sung the praises of new programs that directly transfer small amounts of cash to the poor—or, as one provocative book title puts it, ...

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10. Value Machines and the Superorganic: A Dialogue

Orchestrated by Peter Benson, with James Ferguson, Edward F. Fischer, Robert H. Frank, Stuart Kirsch, Anna Tsing, Bart Victor, and Caitlin Zaloom

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pp. 133-140

Understanding the choices people make is central to both economics and anthropology, although in different ways. Indeed, one could characterize economics as the science of choice, with cost/benefit analysis as the dominant framing. As we see in McCloskey’s and Ferguson’s chapters (8 and...

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11. Neuroeconomics and the Politics of Choice

Natasha Schüll and Caitlin Zaloom

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pp. 141-156

Since the late 1990s, a new space of scientific expertise has been emerging in the laboratories of elite universities, at the meetings of scientists and their public policy colleagues, in Science and Nature and other academic journals, and in the popular media. Located at the intersection of neuroscience...

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12. Ultimatums and Rationalities in Two Maya Towns

Edward F. Fischer and Avery Dickins de Girón

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pp. 157-168

Anthropologists have long questioned the assumptions of self-interest and rational optimization that prevail in neoclassical economics (and in areas of political science, sociology, and law). Granted, utility functions that neatly condense human behavior into a drive to maximize returns in the...

III. Practice: What Is and What Ought to Be

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pp. 169-170

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13. Making Moral Markets: A Professional Responsibility Ethic for Business and Poverty

Bart Victor and Matthew Grimes

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pp. 171-186

The market, for all its good and ill, is you and I. We are all economic actors, together. However, in the collective act of creating and sustaining markets, some of us have more prominent roles. The shorthand for these leading economic actors is businessperson, and in this chapter, we turn our attention to improving the ethics that guide these actors...

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14. Corporate Social Responsibilities or Ruses? A Dialogue

Orchestrated by Stuart Kirsch, with Peter Benson, James Ferguson, Robert Frank, and Bart Victor

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pp. 187-194

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become one of the most important buzzwords of our time. Under its banner, energy companies are repositioning themselves as green in response to debates about climate change. The mining industry is making questionable claims about sustainability...

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15. Mining Industry Responses to Criticism

Stuart Kirsch

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pp. 195-210

The relationship between corporations and their critics plays an important role in contemporary capitalism. The popularity of neoliberal economic policies has led the state to neglect its regulatory responsibilities, shifting the task of monitoring international capital from the state to...

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16. Philip Morris, the FDA, and the Paradoxes of Corporate Social Responsibility

Peter Benson

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pp. 211-226

Tobacco has been a visible part of daily life in large parts of the world for hundreds of years. Profound changes in tobacco’s prevalence and effects occurred in the twentieth century. The modern commercial cigarette and multinational tobacco corporations proliferated to the extent that smoking...

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17. The Libertarian Welfare State

Robert H. Frank

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pp. 227-244

I think of myself as a libertarian.
When my libertarian friends hear me say this, they often laugh, because they think I favor a much too expansive role for government to qualify for membership in their club. I believe, for example, that our current tax system should be more progressive and that government should coerce us to...

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18. German Eggs and Stated Preferences

Edward F. Fischer

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pp. 245-262

Buying eggs may be one of life’s more mundane tasks, something most of us do without much thought beyond occasionally comparing prices. But egg shopping in Germany compels one to make an explicit moral decision with every purchase, to lay bare the price one puts on certain values. Of...

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19. Misfits or Complements? Anthropology and Economics

Stephen Gudeman

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pp. 263-274

Why do anthropologists and economists have such trouble talking to each other? Economists talk to political scientists. Anthropologists talk to geographers. Both talk with sociologists and psychologists, but their talk with each other is filled with thoughts of “wrong,” “ignorant,” and worse...

References

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pp. 275-310

Index

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pp. 311-320

Series Page, Participants

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pp. 321-326