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The Human Economy
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Land and the Mortgage
History, Culture, Belonging
Edited by Daivi Rodima-Taylor and Parker Shipton
Foreword by Keith Hart
336 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-348-0 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (February 2022)
eISBN 978-1-80073-349-7 eBook Not Yet Published
“The topic is original, and the breadth and scope are very impressive. The intended historical depth and the geographical reach makes the book interesting for a very wide audience. Rodima-Taylor and Shipton have an eye for the institutional tidal wave as well as its counter-currents and imaginative variations over time and space, as they unpack the history of modernity through the mortgage.” • Christian Lund, University of Copenhagen
“Land and the Mortgage is an outstanding collection that offers timely comparative and historical analysis of mortgage lending from a human economy perspective. Distinguished anthropologists, historians, economists, and legal scholars focus on the sociality of debt and the embeddedness of mortgage lending in sociopolitical relations. Ranging across continents and millennia, this engaging volume will be essential reading for any study of financialization processes, land titling, credit practices, debt relations, and the cultural history and political economy of land.” • Angelique Haugerud, Rutgers University
The mortgaging of land is not just economic and legal but also social and cultural. Here, anthropologists, historians, and economists explore origins, variations, and meanings of the land mortgage, and the risks to homes and livelihoods. Combining findings from archives, printed records, and live ethnography, the book describes the changing and problematic assumptions surrounding mortgage. It shows how mortgages affect people on the ground, where local forms of mutuality mix with larger bureaucracies. The outcomes of mortgage in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America challenge economic development orthodoxies, calling for a human-centered exploration of this age-old institution.
Daivi Rodima-Taylor is Researcher and Lecturer at the African Studies Center of the Pardee School of Global Studies of Boston University. She has conducted longitudinal field research in East Africa, and co-edited special issues of numerous journals. Her work has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
Parker Shipton is Professor of Anthropology and African Studies, Boston University. Educated at Cornell, Oxford, and Cambridge, he has taught at Harvard and consulted for several international aid agencies. He is also the former President of the Association for Africanist Anthropology.
Subject: Political and Economic Anthropology Anthropology (General)
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