For the next meeting of the Happy Friends Reading Club, we will read the final chapter of “Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value” (2001) by David Graeber (Chapter 7: “The False Coin of our own Dreams”). The meeting will take place at 5 pm on Sunday, July 21st at HomeShop.
On a string of meetings on utopia, events, and non-visible energy—all things not quite in existence, at least not to the naked eye—we follow with a chapter from anthropologist David Graeber’s questioning of value as “blind spot” of anthropology. For even in this field, concerned with understanding cultures of the other, there is a common risk of understanding value in economic terms. From the introduction:
“If one reads a lot of anthropology, it is hard to escape the impression that theories of value are all the rage of late. One certainly sees references to ‘value’ and ‘theories of value’ all the time—usually thrown out in such a way as to suggest there is a vast and probably very complicated literature lying behind them.1 If one tries to track this literature down, however, one quickly runs into problems. In fact it is extremely difficult to find a system- atic “theory of value” anywhere in the recent literature; and it usually turns out to be very difficult to figure out what body of theory, if any, that any particular author who uses the term “value” is drawing on. Sometimes, one suspects it is this very ambiguity that makes the term so attractive.” (p. 1)
Please leave a comment for a copy of the text!
Your presence valued greatly!