Global Capitalism vs Traditional Culture: Money in the Discourse of Foreign Cultural Anthropology

Keywords: economic anthropology, anthropology of money, traditional culture, work motivation, collision of cultures


The impact of globalization on the existence of local cultures remains the focus of anthropological research. The concept of money is one of the markers of how traditional culture meets global capitalism.

A historiographical review of foreign cultural anthropologists’ significant works on this issue is presented in the paper. The way in which scholars interpret the collision of global capitalism and traditional culture is analyzed. The focus is on the place of money, labor, and work motivation in this interpretation.

Many scholars emphasize the destructive nature of the impact of the global on local cultures, based on the tradition founded by Polanyi and developed by Bohannan. According to them, before the emergence of market relations, the need for labor was motivated not by economic but rather by social and moral norms. Global capitalism completely changed the attitude to labor and money, replacing moral norms with utilitarian benefits. Later anthropological studies (J. Parry and M. Bloch, E. Hirschman) are based on the possibility of coexistence of archaic features with modern economic systems in a single cultural matrix. In modern research works, both approaches coexist including synthetic form as well. In the paper, it is noted that the views of the scholar mostly depend on the level of social ranking at which the object of study is located.

It is mentioned that the range of problems studied by the anthropology of money has changed insignificantly. Thus, for the modern anthropologist, there is a considerable area for studying social transformations and cultural features through the attitude to labor and money.


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How to Cite
Tkhorzhevska, T., & Bohuslavska, Y. (2020). Global Capitalism vs Traditional Culture: Money in the Discourse of Foreign Cultural Anthropology. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (2(30), 248-258.
Historiography, Source Study and Special Historical Disciplines