Economy, Markets, and Modernity

The movement of capital, commodities, and labor is vastly accelerating in an increasingly globalized world, and yet is doing so with unending idiosyncrasies that challenge the very concept of modernity. Markets in both tangible goods and intangible intellectual property have expanded to the point where economic transactions have created relationships of exchange between such far-flung peoples as New England fishermen and Japanese sushi bar proprietors, international tourists and Greek artisans, as well as upland Colombian villagers and internationally funded development programs, amongst many others. Anthropologists at Harvard are interested in examining how commerce under global capitalism influences human interaction and reformulates subjectivities based on these networks of exchange. Some areas of particular interest within the department include global food systems, Christianity and the creation of consumer subjects in South Africa, and the introduction of capitalist markets to upper-tribal societies and the subsequent transformations in the meaning of money.

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