Bloch and Parry (fwd)

Daniel P. Tompkins (pericles@ASTRO.OCIS.TEMPLE.EDU)
Sun, 8 Jan 1995 08:35:35 -0500

I sent this first to the world systems list; I'd be interested in any
help folks can give.

Dan Tompkins

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 08:28:53 -0500 (EST)
From: Daniel P. Tompkins <>
To: wsn <>
Subject: Bloch and Parry

The debate about the nature of the ancient Athenian economy has heated up
recently, with positions being staked out on both the "substantivist"
(Finley, Polanyi, Weber) and "modernist" sides. It is an interesting
dispute. Ian Morris, an archaeologist and historian at Chicago with a
good deal of anthropological knowledge, has attempted to refocus the
arguments by (inter alia) pointing out the way Athenian economics fits
into a pattern discerned in many cultures by Maurice Bloch and Jonathan
Parry: cultures approve of "long-term" financial practices that minimize
personal gain but keep the culture and community strong, while allowing,
if tacitly, a number of "short-term" practices that are less admired but
enable folks to live and eat: an anthropology one sees echoed in the
financial press.

I would be interested to know how folks view Bloch and Parry, if they
have read their book (Money and Exchange? I've forgotten the title) or
can recommend good reviews.

Dan Tompkins
Temple University