Economics and the Dreamtime

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Februar 1994



The economic significance of Aboriginal culture for the British colonizers of Australia is rarely addressed and, until now, has not been closely studied by an economic historian. This imaginative book presents a concept of a pre-European Aboriginal economy. It shows how an Aboriginal presence over millennia shaped the local environment and responded to it, so that the Aboriginal economy developed into an ordered system of decision-making able to satisfy the wants of the people. The book analyzes the processes which allowed economic control of a country to pass, after more than 60,000 years in Aboriginal hands, into European hands within 60 years of settlement. Professor Butlin's presentation of the contrast between one of the world's most ancient economies and one of its youngest is both illuminating and exciting.


Introduction; Part I. The Palaeconomic History of Aboriginal Migration: 1. Introduction; 2. Conventional views and alternative approaches; 3. Non-Malthusian issues: pathways and innovations; 4. Malthusian potential in Aboriginal migration; 5. Some possible migration scenarios; 6. Conclusion; Part II. Development, Structure and Function of Aboriginal Economy: 1. Introduction; 2. The process of early settlement; 3. Variety in pre-contact Aboriginal economy; 4. The nature and function of Aboriginal economy; 5. Dynamic elements in Aboriginal society; Part III. Disease, Economics and Demography: 1. Introduction; 2. The problem of an exposed population; 3. Re-estimating precontact numbers; 4. Turning the models around; Part IV. Establishing a Bridgehead Colonial Economy to 1809: 1. Introduction; 2. History and theory; 3. Free lunches antipodean style; 4. The general conditions of success; Part V. The Take-Over Process To 1850: 1. Introduction; 2. British development in the long run; 3. The Hunter gatherers of Empire; 4. British, American and Macassan presence in the takeover; 5. The major players; 6. Aborigines and British law; 7. Economics in the takeover; 8. The significance of disease; 9. Interaction of disease, resistance, integration and submission; 10. Conclusions; Appendices; References.


"As a major contribution to world systems theory, this study should be held by every anthropological and economic research library." Choice
EAN: 9780521438209
ISBN: 0521438209
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 1994
Seitenanzahl: 266 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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