The inaugural issue of Economic Anthropology, formerly published as the SEA Monograph Series, is now available on AnthroSource. This collection of articles from the proceedings of the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2011 Annual Meeting Conference engages with and explores the concepts of “greed” and “excess” as accusations, ideas and behaviors that are shaped by social processes across time and place. Volume editors, Rahul Oka and Ian Kuijit note in their introduction that,
The articles in this collection are intended as just a first attempt to generate a broader conversation and move beyond accusatory judgments and folk concepts. Nonetheless, it is out hope that this issue will shed some new light on the ways and reasons that emotionally charged ideas and philosophies pertaining to greed and excess have emerged in past and present societies.
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Table of Contents
Section I: History and Contemporaneity of Greed and Excess
System Failure: Institutions, Incentives, and Collective Folly – James Surowiecki
Greed Is Bad, Neutral, and Good: A Historical Perspective on Excessive Accumulation and Consumption – Rahul Oka and Ian Kuij
Section II: Ambiguities of Surplus: Can Marginalized Peoples Be Greedy and Excessive?
Land, Labor, and Things: Surplus in a New West Indian Colony (1763-1807) – Mark W. Hauser
Poverty and Excess in Binge Economies – Richard Wilk
The Social and Economic Production of Greed Cooperation, and Taste in an Ohio Food Auction – Jeffrey H. Cohen and Susan M. Klemetti
Section III: Who Shares the Surplus: “Greedy” Subsistence Producers inTransition Economies
Greed in a “Tribal” Economy? Acquisitiveness and Reciprocity in Lisu Society – E. Paul Durrenberger and Kathleen Gillogly
Boons and Busts: Asset Dynamics, Disaster, and the Politics of Wealth in Rural Mongolia – Daniel J. Murphy
Risk-Seeking Peasants, Excessive Artisans: Speculation in the Northern Andes – Jason Antrosio and Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld
Loci of Greed in a Caribbean Paradise: Land Conflicts in Bocas del Toro, Panama – Gayatri Thamp
Section IV: Entitled to the Surplus Greed and Excess among the Elites, Non-Elites, and the Nouveau Riche
The Potentiality and the Consequences of Surplus: Agricultural Production and Institutional Transformation in the Northern Basin of Mexico – Christopher Morehart
The Problem of Greed in Economic Anthropology: Sumptuary Laws and New Consumerism in China – Joseph Bosco
Section V: Some Perspectives and New Directions on the Anthropology of Greed and Excess
Folk and Scientific Concepts in the Study of Greed – Robert C. Hunt
The Rich Possibilities of Greed and Excess – Virginia R. Dominguez