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From Land to Mouth : The Agricultural "Economy" of the Wola of the New Guinea Highlands (Hardcover)

Author: Sillitoe, Paul

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Product Overview

Among the Wola people in the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea, such concepts as capitalism and market state were, and in many senses continue to be, alien. For these people, distribution is unnecessary; the producers of everyday requirements are the consumers: garden produce goes largely "from land to mouth," which is not to imply resources are scarce. Yet transactions, patently nonmarket, featuring valuable material things---which are scarce---are a prominent aspect of life. The relationship---or rather the disconnection---between these two domains is central to understanding the fiercely egalitarian political economy. In this detailed investigation of a Highland New Guinea agricultural "economy" and acephalous political order where sociopolitical exchange figures prominently---constituting the most thorough inquiry into such a tropical subsistence farming system ever undertaken---esteemed anthropologist Paul Sillitoe challenges assumptions about the universal relevance of key economic ideas in noncapitalist contexts and anthropological shibboleths such as the "gift." Furthermore, he makes a reactionary-cum-innovative contribution to ethnographic research methods and analysis, notably in the use of advances in information technology to manage large data sets.

Over a span of more than three decades, Sillitoe has compiled a huge body of ethnography on the Wola people while gaining deep familiarity with their social, economic, and agricultural systems. Building on this research, he sheds new light on economic thought in noncapitalist contexts and advances for the first time an integrated set of principles underpinning a stateless subsistence order comparable to that advanced by Western philosophy for a state market context. Sillitoe's new economic insights have important implications for development programs in regions where the capitalist category has limited relevance, in line with his work advocating the design of development programs in ways more respectful of the existing social order.

Specifications

Publisher Yale Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780300142266
SKU 212507541
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0300142269
Release Date 10/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0575
Publisher Yale University Press
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