Study of economic anthropology Assignment

Study of economic anthropology
   Study of economic anthropology

Study of economic anthropology

There are a few ground rules: (1) you are allowed to refer to any and all readings for this class, but it is not necessary to do any outside research for this exam; (2) you do not need to make a bibliography, as you are using class materials here (so I already know what you’re referencing). When you are referencing material, it will be enough to say something like the following: “Draper, in her paper on !Kung life history narratives, suggests that …” If you quote directly, please cite the page number in standard social science format, such as (Draper 1988:24). If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.

As far as guidelines on length: you should be writing in the range of 1200-1500 words for each essay (this is roughly 4-5 pages, double-spaced) at a minimum. Answer both questions, using as much space as you need to thoroughly answer the question. Use examples wherever and whenever they are appropriate. Think of this as an exercise in which you can demonstrate your mastery and understanding of both the material and your ability to think critically about the core concepts we’ve touched on.

PART A. Answer either question 1 or question 2.

1. The second half of the course began by injecting the concept of power into the study of economic anthropology. What is power? How have some of our readings defined power, and why must economic anthropologists account for power in their study? Use examples from the readings to support your case.

2. Sweetness and Power is, on it’s surface, a history of sugar. How does the process of sugar’s spread parallel the spread of western capitalism and European imperialism? Use examples from Mintz and the other readings to support your argument.

Part B (50 points). Answer either question 3 or 4.

3. In the readings from Europe and the People Without History, Wolf argues for different kinds of capitalism. What are these different kinds of capitalism, and what processes marked the shifts between them? More importantly, are these distinctions useful for anthropologists? How? Provide evidence from the readings to support your answer.

4. What is capitalism? Using the readings as a guide, provide a working definition of capitalism. How have some of our readings used the concept of capitalism to guide their research?

Books referencing:
Mauss, M. 2011. The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies. Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books.

Mintz, S. 1986. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Penguin.

Wilk, R., and L. Cliggett. 2007. Economies and Cultures: Foundations of Economic Anthropology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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