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Anthropology and Economic Imperialism: The Battlefield of Culture

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The concept of culture is traditionally the home turf of anthropologists. However, economists have become increasingly interested in culture, using the language of culture to study both macro- and micro-level economic phenomena. Anthropologists view this as an encroachment into their territory and are battling to keep the 'economic imperialists' out. This paper examines, from a philosophy of science perspective, the inherent differences between the disciplines of anthropology and economics that lie at the heart of this battle. It concludes by observing how a greater appreciation of and respect for each other’s view of culture can foster closer collaboration and further enrich both disciplines.

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  • Swee Hoon Chuah, 2003. "Anthropology and Economic Imperialism: The Battlefield of Culture," Occasional Papers 3, Nottingham University Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:nom:occasi:3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Culture; anthropology; methodology; modernism; relativism; post-modernism;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods

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