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Exchange and Ambiguity at Work
Edited by Jens Kjaerulff
Afterword by Keir Martin
296 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-615-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78920-073-7 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (July 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78238-616-2 eBook
"This volume comprises a series of insightful essays that apply existing debates in anthropology . . . to new empirical contexts of work under flexible capitalism. While each of the chapters makes a valuable contribution in itself, taken together the essays raise a wealth of new issues and question some long-standing assumptions within economic anthropology about work and its lived experience." · Geert De Neve, University of Sussex
“The book is an intriguing compilation of research that deals with changes in modern labour and employment. Its authors add new perspectives to debates in sociology of work and contemporary social thought.” · Vera Trappmann, Universität Magdeburg
Approaching “work” as at heart a practice of exchange, this volume explores sociality in work environments marked by the kind of structural changes that have come to define contemporary “flexible” capitalism. It introduces anthropological exchange theory to a wider readership, and shows how the perspective offers new ways to enquire about the flexible capitalism’s social dimensions. The essays contribute to a trans-disciplinary scholarship on contemporary economic practice and change by documenting how, across diverse settings, “gift-like” socialities proliferate, and even sustain the intensified flexible commoditization that more commonly is touted as tearing social relations apart. By interrogating a keenly debated contemporary work regime through an approach to sociality rooted in a rich and distinct anthropological legacy, the volume also makes a novel contribution to the anthropological literature on work and on exchange.
Jens Kjaerulff is a social anthropologist whose publications include Internet and Change: an Anthropology of Knowledge and Flexible Work (Intervention Press, 2010). He has held positions at Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and University of Manchester, and is conducting independent research and serving as a consultant PhD supervisor.