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Oikos and Market: Explorations in Self-Sufficiency after Socialism

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Volume 2

Max Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy

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Oikos and Market

Explorations in Self-Sufficiency after Socialism

Edited by Stephen Gudeman and Chris Hann

204 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-695-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78533-836-6 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (March 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78238-696-4 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“…the volume offers possibilities for fruitfully reconsidering  enduring topics and issues in economic theory that are of great interest not just to anthropologists but to other social scientists and economic philosophers.” · Anthropos

“These studies make a timely contribution to postsocialist studies, wherein anthropologists grapple with the transformative effects of collectivization and subsequent privatization of productive resources. They also offer enduring insights into the way people sharpen or blur boundaries between household and market, especially with regard to particular lives. These understandings resonate throughout anthropology.” · Anthropological Forum

“The readable and theoretically important ethnographies in Oikos & Market, as should be apparent, not only provide interesting insights on contemporary life in Eastern Europe but challenge a number of widely-held assumptions about economics, the household and the market, and the meaning of 'self-sufficiency.' …the case studies represent anthropology at its best, in refuting generalizations and exposing the valuable of the mundane.” · Anthropology Review Database

“The volume presents a compilation of well written ethnographic accounts of ideals and practices of self-sufficiency in a wide range of postsocialist settings. Historically contextualised, the individual contributions stress the strong values placed on self-sufficiency in virtually all of the localities, as well as the various ways and degrees to which actors try to come close to it.” · Tatjana Thelen, University of Vienna


Self-sufficiency of the house is practiced in many parts of the world but ignored in economic theory, just as socialist collectivization is assumed to have brought household self-sufficiency to an end. The ideals of self-sufficiency, however, continue to shape economic activity in a wide range of postsocialist settings. This volume’s six comparative studies of postsocialist villages in Eastern Europe and Asia illuminate the enduring importance of the house economy, which is based not on the market but on the order of the house. These formations show that economies depend not only on the macro institutions of markets and states but also on the micro institutions of families, communities, and house economies, often in an uneasy relationship.

Stephen Gudeman is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and was formerly co-director of the Economy and Ritual project at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. His most recent publications are Economic Persuasions (2009) and Economy and Ritual: Studies in Postsocialist Transformations (co-edited with Chris Hann, 2015).

Chris Hann is a Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology at Halle. He formerly taught anthropology at the Universities of Cambridge and Kent. Hann is co-author of Economic Anthropology. History, Ethnography, Critique (2011) and co-editor of Market and Society: The Great Transformation Today (2009), both with Keith Hart.

Subject: Anthropology (General)
Area: Central/Eastern Europe

An interview of the economic anthropologist Stephen Gudeman, talking about his life and work. Filmed on 14th May 2010 by Alan Macfarlane and summary by Sarah Harrison. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

An interview of the anthropologist Chris Hann, talking about his life and work. Interviewed by Alan Macfarlane on 14 May 2010 and summarized by Sarah Harrison. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.


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