This collection highlights a key metaphor in contemporary discourse about economy and society. The contributors explore how references to reality and the real economy are linked both to the utopias of collective well-being, supported by real monies and good economies, and the dystopias of financial bubbles and busts, in which people's own lives "crash" along with the reality of their economies.
An ambitious anthropology of economy, this volume questions how assemblages of vernacular and scientific realizations and enactments of the economy are linked to ideas of truth and moral value; how these multiple and shifting realities become present and entangle with historically and socially situated lives; and how the formal realizations of the concept of the "real" in the governance of economies engage with the experiential lives of ordinary people. Featuring essays from some of the world's most prominent economic anthropologists, The Real Economy is a milestone collection in economic anthropology that crosses disciplinary boundaries and adds new life to social studies of the economy.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download The Real Economy ebook for free in PDF format (4.2 MB).
Table of Contents
The live act of business and the culture of realization
Deductions and counter-deductions in South Africa
Resisting numbers: The favela as an (un)quantifiable reality
What is a 'real' transaction in high-frequency trading
Soybean, bricks, dollars, and the reality of money in Argentina
A political anthropology of finance in cross-border investment in Shanghai
Corporate personhood and the competitive relation in antitrust
Making workers real on a South African border farm
How will we pay? Projective fictions and regimes of foresight in US college finance
Smuggling realities: On numbers, borders, and performances