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Commodification: Objects and Identities:
The Social Life of Things

One of the key aspects of the globalisation process is commodification, when values -- from the private, kinship, ritual etc. domains -- take on a market value and begin to circulate as commodities. A seminal study of this process has been Arjun Appadurai's edited collection The social life of things (1986). The WOTRO (Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research, a division of the Netherlands Research Foundation NWO) national programme on Globalisation and the Construction of Communal Identities has in part taken shape through a series of international conferences (e.g., the conference on globalisation, consumption and development). The final one of these conferences is to be held in Amsterdam in mid-1999. It will look back at the trajectory which commodification studies have gone through in the past and and a half decade. The conveners are Professor Peter Geschiere (Leiden University) and Wim van Binsbergen.

click here to open the Provisional Programme for this conference as per 17.4.99

click here to open the Call for Papers for this conference as per mid-1998

click here to open Wim van Binsbergen's paper for this conference: 'We are in this for the money: The sangoma mediumistic cult of Southern Africa: limitations and potential of an interpretation in terms of commodification


page last modified: 27-02-02