Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for HAU

Property, Substance, and Effect

Anthropological Essays on Persons and Things

New edition

With an Introduction by Eric Hirsch
In engaging essays, celebrated anthropologist Marilyn Strathern reflects on the complexities of social life. 

Property, Substance, and Effect draws on Marilyn Strathern’s longstanding interest in the reification of social relations. If the world is shrinking in terms of resources and access to them, it is expanding in terms of new candidates for proprietorship. How new relations are brought into being is among the many questions about property, ownership, and knowledge that these essays bring together.

Twenty years have not diminished the interest in the book’s opening challenge: if one were inventing a method of enquiry by which to configure the complexity of social life, one might wish to invent something like the anthropologist’s ethnographic practice. A wide range of studies deliberately brings into conversation claims people make on one another through relations imagined in the form of body-substance along with the increasing visibility of conceptual or intellectual work as property. Whether one lives in Papua New Guinea or Great Britain, categories of knowledge are being dissolved and reformed at a tempo that calls for reflection—and for the kind of lateral reflection afforded through the “ethnographic effect.”

HAU image

View all books from HAU

Table of Contents

Preface

CHAPTER 1
The Ethnographic Effect

PART I
EFFECTS

CHAPTER 2
Pre-figured Features

CHAPTER 3
The Aesthetics of Substance

CHAPTER 4
Refusing Information

PART II
PROPERTIES

CHAPTER  5
New Economic Forms: A Report

CHAPTER 6
The New Modernities

CHAPTER 7
Divisions of Interest and Languages of Ownership

PART III
SUBSTANCES

CHAPTER  8
Potential Property: Intellectual Rights and Property in Persons

CHAPTER 9
What is Intellectual Property After?

CHAPTER 10
Puzzles of Scale
 
CHAPTER I CONCLUDED

The Ethnographic Effect II

Notes

Bibliography

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press