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Archive for December 5th, 2008

The Enigma of Capital

About David Harvey: David Harvey (born 1935) is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). A leading social theorist of international standing, he graduated from University of Cambridge with a PhD in Geography in 1961. He is the world’s most cited academic geographer (according to Andrew Bodman, see Transactions of the IBG, 1991,1992), and the author of many books and essays that have been prominent in the development of modern geography as a discipline. His work has contributed greatly to broad social and political debate, most recently he has been credited with helping to bring back social class and Marxist methods as serious methodological tools in the critique of global capitalism, particularly in its neoliberal form. (from Wikipedia)

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What do anthropologists have to say about the economic crisis?  A lot.

For highlights of the article, check here.

My favorite part:

We should try to bring the distributive consequences of finance down to a concrete level. Readers might then be able to engage with money not as a superhuman force with devastating effects, but as the outcome of ideas and institutions that can and should be changed by human action.
(…)
The breakdown of the economists’ intellectual hegemony represents a chance for us to link our engagement with people’s lives to anthropology’s original mission to understand humanity as a whole.

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