Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia

Perspectives from Prehistory, History, and Ethnography

Edited by Karl Hutterer

Subjects: Asian Studies, South/Southeast Asia, Economics, International Economics, Sociology
Open Access : 9780472901722, 333 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, August 2020

Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program
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Uncovers patterns of social interaction made visible through scenarios of economic exchange


Economic behavior is governed by two major sets of boundary conditions: environmental and technological factors on the one hand, and conditions of social organization on the other hand. Indeed, social scientists are often particularly interested in the framework of exchange relationships: exchange of goods, services, personnel, and information. Economic exchanges lend concrete manifestations to social relations that themselves may transcend the economic realm and that otherwise are often difficult to trace.
Yet in social science research in Southeast Asia, the area of economic studies has lagged behind, despite the great study potential represented by the tremendous diversity of its physical and human environment. Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia attempts to take advantage of that opportunity. As a number of the contributions to this volume show, many if not most of the systems organized on very different levels of integration interact with each other. Taken as a whole, they provide evidence of the incredible diversity of economic and social systems that may be investigated in Southeast Asia.

Karl L. HUTTERER is Assistant Curator, Division of the Orient, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Hawaii. He has been involved in archeological fieldwork in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Australia. He has written a number of papers on the ethnography and archeology of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. His major interests include technology, trade, and human ecology in tropical regions.