Substantivist Theory Research Paper by Myls

Substantivist Theory
This paper tackles a new theory of economic exchange with an anthropological perspective.
# 118269 | 2,950 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | PH
Published on Jan 18, 2010 in Anthropology (General) , Economics (Globalization)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper examines how there is a great debate in economic-anthropology on how to define the concept of economy in term of anthropology and how the two contending theories are the substantivist theory and the formalist theory, which were developed from the social exchange theory. This paper is intended to present with as much clarity and terseness as possible some theoretical considerations of the problem involving economic exchange. In particular, the paper attempts to see if the substantivist theory can be considered as a valid type of economic theory.

Levi-Strauss Points
The Significance of Social Institution

From the Paper:

"Some principles drive the institution to make decisions or aim at something. These principles are derived from the environment where the individual is into. As discussed in Collectivistic Theory of Social Exchange there are three principles that influenced social exchange behavior. These are principle of social scarcity and societal intervention, principle of social cost of exchange, and principle of reciprocity. The first one pertains to the value of a good, for instance, a society has a scarce resource of water. In order to establish a stable society, the government will intervene to make rules in getting this resource of water. For the second one, this only means that exchange is not for the benefit of the giver but for the benefit of the "exchange" itself. As mentioned in the readings, gift-giving during Christmas is attributed to the institution of Christmas not on the agents of exchange. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bloch, Maurice. Marxist Analyses and Social Anthropology UK: J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd., Bristol, 1984
  • Fine, Ben. Social Capital versus Social Theory London: Routledge, 2001
  • Landa, J.T. Trust, Ethnicity, and Identity: Beyond the New Institutional Economics of Ethnic Trading Networks, Contract Law, and Gift-Exchange. USA: University of Michigan Press, 1994
  • Lloyd, Christopher. Social Theory and Political Practice NY: Oxford University Press, 1983
  • Rabinow, Paul and Suvillan, William M. Interpretive Social Science: a second look LA: University of California, 1989

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Substantivist Theory (2010, January 18) Retrieved March 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Substantivist Theory" 18 January 2010. Web. 24 March. 2023. <>