Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Paperback)
  • Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Paperback)
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Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Paperback)

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£19.99
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 13/08/2014
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Drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tania Murray Li offers an intimate account of the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders who privatized their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. Spurred by the hope of ending their poverty and isolation, some prospered, while others lost their land and struggled to sustain their families. Yet the winners and losers in this transition were not strangers-they were kin and neighbors. Li's richly peopled account takes the reader into the highlanders' world, exploring the dilemmas they faced as sharp inequalities emerged among them.

The book challenges complacent, modernization narratives promoted by development agencies that assume inefficient farmers who lose out in the shift to high-value export crops can find jobs elsewhere. Decades of uneven and often jobless growth in Indonesia meant that for newly landless highlanders, land's end was a dead end. The book also has implications for social movement activists, who seldom attend to instances where enclosure is initiated by farmers rather than coerced by the state or agribusiness corporations. Li's attention to the historical, cultural, and ecological dimensions of this conjuncture demonstrates the power of the ethnographic method and its relevance to theory and practice today.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822357056
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 336 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Despite the depressing story that it has to tell, Land's End is a real pleasure to read, a tour de force without a trace of bombast, a model of ethnographic writing for new generations of students and agrarian researchers to follow." -- Ben White * Development and Change *
"Every so often we have the privilege of reading a book that, like Tania Li's Land's End, radically realigns our thinking on pressing problems. Li combines a nuanced analysis of long-term ethnographic data and a straightforward, yet sophisticated, theoretical framework to prod us to reexamine an issue that is hardly unique to Indonesia: how have landless rural people been left behind in the march toward capitalist agricultural production and market expansion?" -- Sarah Lyon * Anthropological Quarterly *
"This text adds deep and valuable ethnographic insight to existing narratives of the emergence of capitalist relations in indigenous societies. It rightfully challenges structuralist accounts of primitive accumulation using detailed ethnographic data. As such, it should be read, and likely will be, beyond the borders of development studies and anthropology." -- Christopher Webb * Canadian Journal of Development Studies *
"Land's End is book of delicate power, almost a laboratory account of how capital seizes hold and transforms the latticework of social relations through an almost banal process of 'erosion', where the bearers of capital, unrecognized, participate in the re-invention of their own 'subject' position. ... Aided by artful ethnography, Land's End crafts a strange yet deeply familiar world. Many sedimentary views are felled along the way, gently but firmly. Notions of indigeneity, frontier, custom, moral economy, primitive accumulation, transition, development, and citizenship, all come in for scrutiny and are left rattled." -- Vinay Gidwani * Antipode *
"The combination of the ethnographic longevity of her work with the theoretical sophistication of her analysis results in a provocative account of growing inequality and dynamic capitalist relations. The case studies and stories Li relates bring these elements to life, but the implications stretch far beyond the Lauje highlands." -- Susan M. Darlington * American Ethnologist *
"Land's End is a very fine book indeed. Tania Murray Li has written one of those studies-all too few in number-which, while empirically focused, builds an argument that will resonate with scholars working across widely differing contexts." -- Jonathan Rigg * Pacific Affairs *
"Land's End operates at a compelling theoretical interspace very much needed in contemporary accounts of globalization. . . . In short, it's really good anthropology." -- Shane Greene * American Anthropologist *
"Land's End is a thorough and compelling piece of ethnographic scholarship. Written in very accessible narrative style, but appropriately grounded in social theory, it is a great read for social scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, rural development practitioners, and inquisitive nonacademics." -- Ramzi Tubbeh * Rural Sociology *

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