Anthropology and Economic Imperialism: The Battlefield of Culture
Swee Hoon Chuah
The concept of culture is traditionally the home turf of anthropologists. However, economists have become increasingly interested in culture, using the language of culture to study both macro- and micro-level economic phenomena. Anthropologists view this as an encroachment into their territory and are battling to keep the 'economic imperialists' out. This paper examines, from a philosophy of science perspective, the inherent differences between the disciplines of anthropology and economics that lie at the heart of this battle. It concludes by observing how a greater appreciation of and respect for each other’s view of culture can foster closer collaboration and further enrich both disciplines.
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