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"good Theories Gone Bad: Theories in Economic Anthropology and Consumer Research" - Richard Wilk

Autor:   •  February 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  359 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,662 Views

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"Good Theories Gone Bad: Theories in Economic Anthropology and Consumer Research" - Richard Wilk

In his article "Good Theories Gone Bad: Theories in Economic Anthropology and Consumer Research" which was published in 2002, Richard Wilk talks about

high- and mid-level theories in economic anthropology and consumer research.He talks about consumption through two perspectives- Consumer Research and Anthropology.He divides consumption (in economic anthropology) into three groups, the social, the cultural, and those based on individual rational choice. According to him Social theories of consumption in anthropology are generally drawn from Thorstein Veblen or from Marx. here consumption is driven by class competition and striving for social advantage and classify it as either domination or resistance.In contrast a cultural theory argues that want and desires are products of ideology and identity, not rational choice, class, or power, or group membership. The purest version of a cultural theory is presented by Sahlins.He aims at taking about theoretical purification and mentions how it is "self destructive." He mentions how if everyone talks about how if every solution is based on historical theories that are too abstract and pure to be applied, there is no scope for creativity and new ideas that would actually lead to better solutions. He supports this by giving examples of cross-cultural research in which due to the lack of theories, the consumer researchers reject models based on empirical data and are open to new ideas.

"Decision Making, Cultural Transmission and adaptation in Economic Anthropology" -Joseph Henrich

In his article "Decision Making, Cultural Transmission and adaptation in Economic Anthropology" which was published in 2002, Joseph Henrich gives examples of the Mapuche farmers in Chile and Machiguenga

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