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Publication date: 10 August 2017

Rodolfo Maggio

This chapter contributes to drawing Melanesian ethnography out of the exoticizing interest for gift exchange and demand-sharing. Furthermore, it provides an analytical…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter contributes to drawing Melanesian ethnography out of the exoticizing interest for gift exchange and demand-sharing. Furthermore, it provides an analytical perspective from which it is possible to conceptualize the manipulation of gift and commodity logics as mutually compatible frameworks. Rather than seeing them as contradictory, this perspective enables the theorization of shared calculative agencies that are becoming increasingly common in contemporary Melanesia.

Methodology/approach

The chapter draws on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Gilbert Camp, a peri-urban settlement on the outskirts of Honiara, Solomon Islands with a focus on the domestic moral economy of its inhabitants.

Findings

The people of Gilbert Camp are confronting a difficult economic and moral dilemma. On the one hand, they are at constant risk of financial failure because of their general conditions of scarcity. On the other, they face the prospect of disrupting some of their much-valued social relationships because such scarcity prevents them from fulfilling their cultural obligations. In order to avoid both risks, they make use of their financial competence and cultural creativity to set up strategies that save them money and preserve these relationships. Situated at the interface between kinship and market values, these strategies contribute to achieving the kind of ‘good’ life that they see as the correct balance between financial prosperity and morality.

Originality/value

Current negotiations over the meaning of buying, selling and taking are changing the values of contemporary sociality in Honiara, Port Vila, and other Melanesian cities. Tradestores simultaneously supply households with food and money, create a sense of sharing, and limit the demand-sharing and the taking of wantoks. Hence they create the conditions for the resolution of tensions over the incompatibility of values of kinship and market that confront the inhabitants of Melanesian cities. Household tradestores thus constitute a major site of these negotiations, and they provide a unique vantage point from which to look at the moral and economic processes that are leading to the future identity of urban Melanesia.

Details

Anthropological Considerations of Production, Exchange, Vending and Tourism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-194-2

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2017

Abstract

Details

Anthropological Considerations of Production, Exchange, Vending and Tourism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-194-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2017

Abstract

Details

Anthropological Considerations of Production, Exchange, Vending and Tourism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-194-2

Abstract

This essay aims at retracing the intellectual and biographical events of the economist Gino Arias (1879–1940), examining more in detail the two seasons at the opposite ends of his life: the early one that saw him considerably committed to the Zionist cause and the one that, thirty years later, would force him to confront the racial laws of the Fascist regime.

Despite the seeming tragic continuity of these two phases, Arias’s case is a real historiographical paradox since, over the long span between the opposite ends of his biography, not only did he distance himself from the Zionist movement, but he also gradually laid the foundations for his upcoming and immediate dedication to Fascism; indeed, within the Fascist regime he would stand out as an authoritative and influential theorist of corporatism, the institutional solution Mussolini tried to exploit to organize the national economic life.

After carefully examining Arias’s early contributions to the Zionist cause (that include the establishment of the Florentine Zionist Group and that led him toward strongly nationalistic stances), this essay sums up Arias’s intellectual biography during the next years and then, thanks to unprecedented documents from the Italian Ministry of Interior, closely looks into his fate after his conversion to Catholicism in 1932 and up against the racial laws of 1938, as well as into his attempts to escape persecution. A few final observations will then try to highlight the dramatic exemplarity of his case.

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-154-1

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