Number of pages: 130
Weight: 288 g
Dimensions: 227 x 155 x 13 mm
"China has been going through drastic transformation during the past 30 years since Martin's lectures were delivered. Undeniably, the meaning of money has been quickly evolving, with a widespread collapse of belief in collectivist values and other socialist ethics among ordinary Chinese people caught up in the feverish chase after moneymaking. The intended scholarship of this book includes but is not limited to comparative cultural studies, the anthropology of money, and Chinese studies. Martin's book will be valuable to these areas for two reasons. Empirically, what she observed is still useful for understanding today's China, especially its less accessible peasant communities. More important, theoretically, the contrasts she describes between the meaning of money in China and in the United States directly relate to the two distinct worldviews of limited good and unlimited good, from which we might draw inspiration for sustainable development."--Xianghong Feng "American Ethnologist "
"Martin's book gains much through its careful framing. She writes of intellectual life at the Johns Hopkins anthropology department in the 1980s, and how this shaped her approach. This led her to combine the materialist and symbolic approaches popular at the time, and to seek to uncover 'the traces of mind in matter'(7). In doing so, Martin emphasizes the extremes of money's potential meanings and uses. Although this illustrates her model well, showing how money can function as socially integrating or socially disintegrating, I would have enjoyed further discussion of how these functions overlap, particularly in the latter two chapters. Nonetheless, the book makes an important contribution as a comparative work, and Martin's analysis speaks powerfully to recent anthropological works on money and debt, as well as precarity and neoliberalism. Finally, the book is clearly written to bespoken and features many rich examples, making it immensely engaging and readable."--Lara McKenzie "Anthropological Forum "
"An interesting bonus of the book is that in Martin's introduction as well as in Guyer's and Mintz's Afterword, we get a glimpse of the Anthropology Department at Johns Hopkins in the 1980s and the struggles to find a bridge between materialist and symbolic approaches. We also see the intellectual ferment there, with luminaries such as Claude L vi-Strauss, Edmund Leach, and Fredrik Barth passing through.
In sum, by publishing these historic lectures and reflections, HAU, Martin, Guyer, and Mintz have provided a valuable service to the profession."--Beth E. Notar "American Anthropologist "
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