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Economic Thinking, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ethnoeconomics [Current Sociology]

Current Sociology
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"One of the limitations of economic development - with its emphasis on unlimited growth - is that it is pursued without any considerations as to its implications on ecosystems. The prevailing economic theories treat the economic process from a purely mechanistic standpoint. Different ways exist, however, to deal with the choices that humans have to make with respect to the allocation of resources, the distribution of its returns and the fulfilment of purposes of material progress. Indigenous, aboriginal or native ecological knowledge certainly is one of those ways, although `primitive' peoples are considered brute, ignorant, having nothing to offer modern society in terms of its achieving its economic goals. To understand how `primitive' societies solve their economic problems in a sustainable fashion is a serious challenge in this context. To that effect, the instruments of economics could should somehow be employed together with the approaches learned from economic anthropology, like those based on Mauss's gift theory. But a better grasp of this issue could possibly be accomplished with the use of what the late anthropologist Darrell Posey, with whom the author was developing the concept, called ethnoeconomics or ethnoecological economics."

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