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Current Directions In Exchange Theory

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Abstract

So far, I’ve described how the term “value” held out the promise of resolving some of the outstanding theoretical problems in anthropology, notably the clash between functionalism and economism, which took its clearest and most vitriolic form in the arguments between Formalists and Substantivists in the 1960s. I’ve also suggested that, common wisdom to the contrary, these issues are not really all that dead. At the same time that Dumont’s school has been leading an explicit effort to revive something along the lines of Polanyi’s substantivism, many post-structuralists—usually much less explicitly—have ended up reproducing most of the same assumptions about the world as economic Formalism. A brief survey of the current state of exchange theories should help make clear how much the same old dilemmas keep spinning endlessly around.

Keywords

  • Current Direction
  • Social Relation
  • Critical Theory
  • Exchange Theory
  • Traditional Society

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9780312299064_2
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© 2001 David Graeber

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Graeber, D. (2001). Current Directions In Exchange Theory. In: Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780312299064_2

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