Anthropology Seminar Series

Date Thursday 27 May 2021
Time 3:10pm - 4:30pm
Where University of Waikato - Room K.G.06 (and Zoom)
Presenter Mark Busse (University of Auckland)
Contact Mike Goldsmith
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

The (Im)morality of Reseller Transactions in the Goroka Fresh Food Market, Papua New Guinea

The anthropological study of markets provides a critical corrective to Western economic theories and Western economic ideology. It does this by trying to understand markets concretely and from the perspectives of the people who act in them and are affected by them. This paper examines the negative moral evaluation of people who buy and resell fresh food in the Goroka market. The view that the value of fresh food should be based on the work that people did to produce it rather than on price competition leads to an examination of the morality of production and what makes someone a good person. Those considerations lead, in turn, to a re-assessment of recent work on social personhood in Papua New Guinea as well as assumptions about the generalized applicability of market principles to virtually all areas of contemporary life.

Dr Mark Busse is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland. His research concerns social organization, reciprocity and markets, intellectual and cultural property, and inequality, with a geographical focus on Papua New Guinea.

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