Property in Question
Value Transformation in the Global Economy
How has it come about that indigenous cultures, body parts, and sequences of musical notes are considered property? How has the movement from collective to privatized systems affected notions of property? At what point in transaction chains do native cultures, indigenous medicines, or cyberdata become objects and therefore propertized, and what are the social, economic, and ethical considerations for such transformations?
Addressing these hotly contested issues and many more, Property in Question interrogates the very concept of property and what is happening to it in the contemporary world, in case studies ranging from Romania to Kazakhstan, Africa to North America. The book examines not only the changing character of the property concept, but also its ideological foundations and political usages. Authors address bio-transactions, music copyright, cyberspace, oil prospecting, debates over privatization of land and factories, and dilemmas arising with new forms of ownership of businesses.
Offering a fresh perspective on contemporary economic transformation, this volume is a long overdue investigation of the power of the private property concept, as well as an exploration of how the global economy may be subtly, even invisibly, changing what property means and how we relate to it.
Katherine Verdery Eric R. Wolf Professor of Anthropology and Interim Chair,University of Michigan Caroline Humphrey Professor of Asian Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Introduction: Raising Questions about Property
Caroline Humphrey and Katherine Verdery
Part I: The 'Things' of Property
Bodily Transactions: Regulating a New Space of Flows in 'Bio-Information'
Heritage as Property
Michael A. Brown
The Selective Protection of Musical Ideas: The 'Creators' and the Dispossessed
Crude Properties: The Sublime and Slime of Oil Operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Part II: Property, Value and Liability
The Obligations of Ownership: Restoring Rights to Land in Postsocialist Transylvania
Proprietary Regimes and Sociotechnical Systems: Rights over Land in Mongolia's 'Age of the Market'
Part III: Cultural Recognition
At Home in the Violence of Recognition
Cultural Rights and Wrongs: Uses of the Concept of Property
The Menace of Hawkers: Property Forms and the Politics of Market Liberalization in Mumbai
Part IV: Critiquing Property
Value, Relations, and Changing Bodies: Privatization and Property Rights in Kazakhstan
Economic Claims and the Challenges of New Property
Carol M. Rose
Cyberspatial Properties: Taxing Questions about Proprietary Regimes
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Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series
320pp, 2 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
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|'This is a highly stimulating and challenging collection on urgent issues of property, one of the most powerful devices of exclusion and hierarchy. The great contribution lies in its theoretical considerations of new and old property objects and property relationships, as they are socially and spatially grounded. But it branches out into questions of sovereignty, nationality, and the relationship between communities and individuals.' |