Harvesting Development: The Construction of Fresh Food Markets in Papua New Guinea

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by Karl Benediktsson

Harvesting Development is a sophisticated and authoritative analysis of the transition from subsistence to a market economy in the PNG fresh food trade. Drawing upon actor-oriented and social constructivists concepts, Karl Bendiktsson skillfully builds a systemic framework for analysis around three critical issues: the social embeddedness of markets, the uneven historical and spatial configuration of commoditization processes, and the key role played by social actors and organizing practices in the shaping of global/local change. In so doing, he demonstrates the central importance of 'social agency' in the creation of markets of various types, in the changing meanings accorded to exchange transactions, and in the development of social networks and power constellations. He also reveals the inadequacies of macrostructural and functionalist political economy models for interpreting the organization of markets and socio-economic change more generally, and points to a reconceptualization of the geography of markets in specific. This work will interest geographers, anthropologists, sociologists, and economists dealing with development issues, and will make important reading for Melanesianists as it tackles processes and problems that few ethnographers have made their central concern. 

Karl Benediktsson is a Lecturer in Human and Economic Geography at the University of Iceland

Publication year: 2002
320 pp / 216mm x 132mm
15 maps, 14 b/w pictures, 17 figures, 10 tables, 7 Vignettes
ISBN: 978-87-87062-91-6, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-87062-92-3, Hardback

NIAS Press