Essay topic about Economic anthropology
- Marcel Mauss argued that there is no such thing as a “free gift”. What, according to Mauss, are the issues involved in gift giving?
- Discuss Kula as a total social phenomenon. What do social theorists mean when they speak of a total social phenomenon? What is the basic structure of Kula (how does it work)? In what ways is it a total social phenomenon?
- What view of human nature is articulated in the term Homo economicus? Contrast the views of Adam Smith and Marcel Mauss on human nature in this regard and its implications for social and economic organization.
- Discuss the substantives-formalist debate in Economic Anthropology by contrasting the views of Karl Polanyi and Robbins Burling.
- What conclusions might we draw about the Substantivist-Formalist Debate itself? Draw from observations by Frank Cancian, Hann & Hart, and lecture to summarize problems of each position. What issues may have been missed entirely by both positions?