Economic Anthropology

Economics has been defined as the science of allocating scarce means to alternative ends. Western economists assume that the notion of scarcity is universal, and that in making choices, people strive to maximize personal profit. Anthropologists have opposed this idea, arguing that in nonindustrial societies, as in our own society, people often maximize values other than individual profit. In your essay, argue for or against the position that a human nature defined by self-interest determines exchange across all societies. Give examples from the presentation and the readings that support your position, and address examples that would seem to contradict your argument.


  • Citation style: The paper must be written in correct Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) formatting as stipulated in the Liberal Arts Writing Guide.
  • Essay style: Paper must be organized and have a logical progression.
  • Length: 2 pages, double-spaced.

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