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The introduction to this volume will be shorter than is usual for the Research in Economic Anthropology book series because of the time we had to spend during the past few months preparing for an editorial transition. The effort has paid off. Professor Donald Wood (Akita University, Japan) will be the new senior editor of the series beginning with Volume 25.
This thirty-second volume in the REA series represents a joint effort between two former students of Norbert Dannhaeuser, who edited REA together with his colleague Cynthia…
This thirty-second volume in the REA series represents a joint effort between two former students of Norbert Dannhaeuser, who edited REA together with his colleague Cynthia Werner from 2001 to 2005, and who served as the chair of both Donald's and Ty's M.A. thesis committees at Texas A&M University. Norbert also was chair of Ty's Ph.D. committee. Donald was just settling on Japan as his geographic focus in anthropology around 1993, and although this was not Norbert's specialty he was very familiar with the canon of postwar Japanese village studies. Introducing Donald to this body of work had a tremendous influence on his academic development and his future path. Prior to this more intensive and focused guidance, however, it was taking Norbert's core Anthropological Theory (ANTH 410) course at Texas A&M in the autumn term of 1992 – exactly 20 years ago – that convinced Donald to commit himself to a career in anthropology in the first place. Similarly, Ty's career development as an anthropologist owes a considerable debt to Norbert. The knowledge acquired from him both in the field (the Philippines) and classroom (Texas A&M University) has proven indispensable in influencing Ty's geographical and topical focus. Both of us would like to take this opportunity to thank Norbert for all of his guidance and encouragement. We humbly dedicate this volume of REA to him in honor of all of his contributions to the field of anthropology, and also out of gratitude for his support when we were just starting out.
It has long been realized that market-based development tends to impact Third World rural communities by increasing stratification between those who are able to take advantage of increasing opportunities and those who are less fortunate (for instance, Kottak, 1999). An extreme example of this was the early impact of the Green Revolution during the 1960s and 1970s. It more than tripled the productivity of rice in parts of Asia, but on the village level it often had a less benign effect on the wealth gap and the retention of assets by the very poor.1 Less extreme cases are represented in this volume by Eric Jones and Ueli Hostettler. Both describe instances in which increasing contact with the outside was the main element impacting on rural communities rather than technological innovations in agriculture. They differ, however, in that Jones approaches the subject synchronically by using central place theory and network analysis, while Hostettler’s contribution is decidedly historical in character.
Economic liberalization in the countries of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s provoked a spontaneous explosion of entrepreneurial activities and small trade that…
Economic liberalization in the countries of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s provoked a spontaneous explosion of entrepreneurial activities and small trade that lead to an expansion of local marketplaces – the bazaars. This study locates the bazaar within the transition to a market economy. The discussion is guided by questions addressed in social theory and ethnographic studies of the marketplace. How “bizarre” is the post-Soviet bazaar? Does it resist the transition to a market economy or is it a conduit of emerging markets? Ethnographic data for this study stems from the bazaar in Zarya Vostoka situated at the outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. This bazaar is a remarkable example of post-Soviet transformation from a small site of market exchange (the barakholka) to a profitable commercial enterprise. Contrary to the scholarly arguments that insist on a conceptual difference between the marketplace and true markets, this study argues that this bazaar is a dynamic enterprise and an integral part of emerging markets in post-Soviet Kazakhstan.
This paper explores the economic character of relations between marabouts (Muslim holy persons) and followers in Niger. In particular, it uses the blurred edges between…
This paper explores the economic character of relations between marabouts (Muslim holy persons) and followers in Niger. In particular, it uses the blurred edges between gifts and commodities to contrast the (oft-divergent) modalities with which marabouts and followers conceptualize knowledge. Across Francophone West Africa, marabouts have historically depended largely on gift economies for their livelihood. Yet, followers are increasingly inclined to conceptualize the knowledge transmitted by marabouts as a commodity rather than as a gift. These developments suggest a growing tendency to view social relations with marabouts in terms of isolated transactions more so than continuing personal connections framed by enduring moral obligations.