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Hierarchy and Value: Comparative Perspectives on Moral Order

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Volume 7

Studies in Social Analysis

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Hierarchy and Value

Comparative Perspectives on Moral Order

Edited by Jason Hickel and Naomi Haynes
Afterword by David Graeber

170 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-996-7 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (August 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78533-997-4 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (August 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-998-1 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $29.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“It is to the credit of the writers in this volume that they illuminate and question [some of the] things that Dumont linked to hierarchy. In doing so, they help make hierarchies problematic and linked to social processes and practices in ways that Dumont probably did not intend but that make the notion of hierarchy more useful as an analytical concept.” • Anthropos


Globalization promised to bring about a golden age of liberal individualism, breaking down hierarchies of kinship, caste, and gender around the world and freeing people to express their true, authentic agency. But in some places globalization has spurred the emergence of new forms of hierarchy—or the reemergence of old forms—as people try to reconstitute an imagined past of stable moral order. This is evident from the Islamic revival in the Middle East to visions of the 1950s family among conservatives in the United States. Why does this happen and how do we make sense of this phenomenon? Why do some communities see hierarchy as desireable? In this book, leading anthropologists draw on insightful ethnographic case studies from around the world to address these trends. Together, they develop a theory of hierarchy that treats it both as a relational form and a framework for organizing ideas about the social good.

Jason Hickel is an anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research spans several related themes, including political conflict, inequality, postdevelopment, and ecological economics. He is the author of Democracy as Death: The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa (University of California Press, 2015) and The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions (Penguin, 2017). He writes a column on political economy for The Guardian and Al Jazeera, sits on the executive board of Academics Stand Against Poverty, and serves as Policy Director for The Rules collective. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Naomi Haynes is a lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include the anthropology of Christianity, political economy, exchange, gender, hierarchy, and value. Her publications include Moving by the Spirit (University of California Press, 2017) and a special issue of Current Anthropology, “The Anthropology of Christianity: Unity, Diversity, and New Directions” (co-edited with Joel Robbins, 2014). She is a cocurator for the Anthropology of Christianity Bibliographic Blog and has recently begun an ESRC-funded research project that explores Zambia’s constitutional declaration that it is a “Christian nation.”

Subject: Anthropology (General)Sociology


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