Collective Action, Common Property, and Social Capital in South India: An Anthropological Commentary
This article uses detailed research on common property and collective action in an ancient south Indian water resource system to highlight the different objectives, modes of analysis, explanation, and generalization of economists and anthropologists. The article does not try to resolve these differences but goes on to use the south Indian case to show how a recent attempt to deploy "social capital" as a unified socioeconomic concept--one that attends both to anthropologists' interest in social relationships and to economists' concern to identify central trends and general patterns through regressions by isolating "the social" as a variable generating aggregable data--is highly problematic.
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