Table of Contents

A Handbook of Economic Anthropology

A Handbook of Economic Anthropology

Elgar original reference

Edited by James G. Carrier

This unique Handbook contains substantial and invaluable summary discussions of work on economic processes and issues, and on the relationship between economic and non-economic areas of life. Furthermore it describes conceptual orientations that are important among economic anthropologists, and presents summaries of key issues in the anthropological study of economic life in different regions of the world. Its scope and accessibility make it useful both to those who are interested in a particular topic and to those who want to see the breadth and fruitfulness of an anthropological study of economics.

Chapter 5: Provisioning

Susana Narotzky

Subjects: economics and finance, behavioural and experimental economics, economic psychology, methodology of economics, social policy and sociology, research methods in social policy, sociology and sociological theory


Susana Narotzky This chapter is about the different forms that provisioning for goods and services can take. Often provisioning is through the market, but in many cases the market is involved only partially, or not at all. Generally, in any society there are several possible paths for the provision of similar goods or services, as when medical care is available from the state, private practitioners, private corporations or a doctor friend. This situation might mean a wider choice for the consumer, or it might express social differentiation and limited access regarding a basic good such as health care. I want to stress the fact that provisioning is a complex process where production, distribution, appropriation and consumption relations all have to be taken into account and where history defines particular available paths for obtaining goods and services. Provisioning is also a useful way to understand social differentiation, the construction of particular meanings and identities and the reproduction of the social and economic system as a whole. The provisioning perspective in its present form stems from the perceived need to link the consumption and the production ends of economic life in order to address vital issues such as food security, housing, health care, education and, more generally, public or collective consumption. Development agencies in the 1980s, and particularly anthropologists, economists and sociologists working for the Food and Agriculture Organization, made the link between food consumption and particular ‘food paths’ (Carloni 1981), which Boserup (1965) had highlighted in her work on the crucial...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information