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Max Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy
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Thrift and Its Paradoxes
From Domestic to Political Economy
Edited by Catherine Alexander and Daniel Sosna
Afterword by Chris Hann
252 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-462-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (April 2022)
eISBN 978-1-80073-463-0 eBook
“This is an exciting and theoretically innovative volume… It presents a collection of richly ethnographic, well-written chapters from across the globe which re-consider thrift – as a category of social, material, and economic action – in the light of contemporary ethnographic research and theory.” • Nicolette Makovicky, University of Oxford
Thrift is a central concern for most people, especially in turbulent economic times. It is both an economic and an ethical logic of frugal living, saving and avoiding waste for long-term kin care. These logics echo the ancient ideal of household self-sufficiency, contrasting with capitalism’s wasteful present-focused growth. But thrift now exceeds domestic matters straying across scales to justify public expenditure cuts. Through a wide range of ethnographic contexts this book explores how practices and moralities of thrift are intertwined with austerity, debt, welfare, and patronage across various social and temporal scales and are constantly re-negotiated at the nexus of socio-economic, religious, and kinship ideals and praxis.
Catherine Alexander is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University. Drawing on fieldwork in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Britain, she has written widely on economic anthropology and material culture including households, recycling and waste.
Daniel Sosna is a senior researcher in the Department of Ecological Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences. Sosna is a specialist on ethnographic and archaeological research of waste regimes with a regional focus on Central Europe. He co-edited the book Archaeologies of Waste: Encounters with the Unwanted (Oxbow Books, 2017).
Subject: Political and Economic AnthropologySociology
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