|13 May 2011||5:30pm - 7:00pm||Room 3, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge|
Introduced by Dame Marilyn Strathern
Chris Gregory (The Australian National University):
On money, debt and morality: Before Smith, Smith, After Smith
Why do we use the word 'debt' when we want to say that money-lending is a bad thing and 'credit' when we want to say that it a good thing? As the concept 'negative reciprocity' suggests, the language of anthropological thought is part of the problem not the solution. Adam Smith's theories represent a turning point in the history of European thought on this matter. Economic anthropology is defined by its opposition to Smith's alleged theory of 'natural economy' but this notion is a straw man. Malinowski created this totem and we have inherited today it via Mauss and Polanyi. A cursory glance at Smith's theory of moral economy reveals the pre-Smithian nature of much economic anthropology but there are prominent exceptions and these women can help us grasp the moral dimension of 'sub-prime' lending as practiced in the domestic.
The conveners are grateful for the support of The Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge, the Wyse Fund and the Evans Fund, at the University of Cambridge.
Administrative assistance: Helga Brandt (Conference Programme Manager, CRASSH)