Edited by James G. Carrier
Chapter 5: Resources: Nature, value and time
The central premise of this chapter is that natural resources constitute the baseline around which an economic anthropology can be articulated that is attentive both to the commodification of nature and to the particularities of environmental relations. My argument is divided into two parts. The first one explores the concept of resources and the key processes through which resources are made and argues that research on natural resources finds its common ground in the dialectical analysis of value relations. Throughout my discussion I briefly engage with a series of issues that inform key contemporary anthropological debates: materiality, temporality, power, the nature–culture dualism. In the second part I offer a series of paths for future research. Arguing for the need to both focus on and go beyond the alienation–extraction–exhaustion cycle that characterises natural resources, I identify a series of research areas, and within them I suggest potential research topics.
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