Economic Anthropology by James G. Carrier (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
Conventional economic thought sees the economy as the sum of market transactions carried out by rational individuals deciding how to allocate their resources among the various things on offer that would satisfy their desires. Economic anthropologists see things differently. For them, the focus is the activities, relationships and systems through which objects are produced, circulate among people and ultimately are consumed, which take different forms in different societies and even in different parts of the same society. In this way, economic anthropology takes the rational market actors of conventional economic thought and places them in the world of people, relationships, systems, beliefs and values that begins with production and ends with consumption. This accessible and authoritative introduction to the field of economic anthropology offers students a fresh and fascinating way of looking at the economic world.