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Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value

The False Coin of Our Own Dreams

Authors: Graeber, D.

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eBook $39.99
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  • ISBN 978-0-312-29906-4
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Softcover $54.99
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About this book

This volume is the first comprehensive synthesis of economic, political, and cultural theories of value. David Graeber reexamines a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange, in large measure to find a way out of ongoing quandaries in current social theory, which have become critical at the present moment of ideological collapse in the face of Neoliberalism. Rooted in an engaged, dynamic realism, Graeber argues that projects of cultural comparison are in a sense necessarily revolutionary projects: He attempts to synthesize the best insights of Karl Marx and Marcel Mauss, arguing that these figures represent two extreme, but ultimately complementary, possibilities in the shape such a project might take. Graeber breathes new life into the classic anthropological texts on exchange, value, and economy. He rethinks the cases of Iroquois wampum, Pacific kula exchanges, and the Kwakiutl potlatch within the flow of world historical processes, and recasts value as a model of human meaning-making, which far exceeds rationalist/reductive economist paradigms.

About the authors

DAVID GRAEBER received his doctorate from University of Chicago in 1996, based on two years of fieldwork in Madagascar. He has written a variety of articles for the journal In These Times and has taught at Haverford and Yale. Professor Graeber is currently working on an ethnography of direct action as well as working with the Direct Action Network, People's Global Action, and Ya Basta!.

Reviews

'I have not enjoyed or been so inspired by a work in anthropological theory for quite some time - I am convinced that this book is extremely important to the field of anthropology and to social theory more generally, offering alternatives to the relentlessly bleak theorizing of most post-structuralist and postmodernist critical theory - I think this book might well become a classic.' - Thomas Abercrombie, NYU

'David Graeber is probably the most exciting young anthropologist in the field today.' - Judith Friedlander, Dean of Social Sciences (Graduate Faculty), New School for Social Research


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Three Ways of Talking about Value

    Graeber, David

    Pages 1-22

  • Current Directions In Exchange Theory

    Graeber, David

    Pages 23-47

  • Value as the Importance of Actions

    Graeber, David

    Pages 49-89

  • Action and Reflection, or Notes toward a Theory of Wealth and Power

    Graeber, David

    Pages 91-115

  • Wampum and Social Creativity among The Iroquois

    Graeber, David

    Pages 117-149

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-312-29906-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-312-24045-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value
Book Subtitle
The False Coin of Our Own Dreams
Authors
Copyright
2001
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
David Graeber
eBook ISBN
978-0-312-29906-4
DOI
10.1057/9780312299064
Softcover ISBN
978-0-312-24045-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 337
Topics