|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Author(s)||Veena Das, Ranendra K. Das|
|Publication date||January 2015|
This is the first of two readers on the sociology and anthropology of economic life that together provide an account of major issues in the area of economic anthropology and sociology as they pertain to the study of Indian society and culture. This volume, Sociology and Anthropology of Economic Life 1: The Moral Embedding of Economic Action, focuses on the ways in which ethical, moral, and affective forces are constitutive of activities such as production, exchange, and consumption that we habitually characterize as 'economic'. The focus is largely on the village, considered an important site for understanding the local processes within which moral economies are embedded; these local and moral economies, however, are not isolated from global processes. In the first section, the essays examine important conceptual issues regarding the appropriate categories for understanding economic relations in rural India. At the same time, they direct attention to tensions between anthropological methods and those typically used in economics and history. The contributions in section II show the technological transformations of nature as a result of state policies relating to consolidation of land records; projects of land redistribution to the poor; and generally addressing the national project of acquiring self-sufficiency in food by increasing agricultural production. In section III, questions such as how do we evaluate our actions in moral terms; what bodily dispositions are learnt in the process of work; how existing notions of morality or social hierarchies affect the emergence of newness, are addressed. This reader will be useful for students and scholars of sociology and anthropology, economics, and development studies.
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