Markets: Anthropological Aspects


Bestor, Theodore C. 2001. “Markets: Anthropological Aspects.” International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 9227-9231.
markets_bestor.pdf67 KB


Markets are so routinely regarded as fundamentally economic institutions that long–standing and quite varied anthropological perspectives on them are often overlooked. Anthropological attention focuses on patterns of individual and small–group exchange relationships within specific markets, on institutional structures that organize markets, and on the social, political, and spatial hierarchies through which markets link social classes, ethnic groups, or regional societies into larger systems. Anthropological studies of markets analyze them as nodes of complex social processes and generators of cultural activity as well as realms for economic exchange. Anthropologists' interests in markets, therefore, are partially distinct from – although certainly overlapping with – the concerns of economists.

Last updated on 07/23/2015