Resources and their re/valuation in times of political-economic reform

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Resources are essential building blocks of society. All societies need resources of a wide kind and have mechanisms for their allocation, distribution, management, use and exchange. Resources are also at the centre of social struggles and to this extent particularly instructive when exploring the theme of social change in the context of postsocialist Europe. In this paper my aim is to contribute to a conceptualisation of resources in two ways: first, by advocating a return to a pre-WW2 position that considers natural resources alongside social resources; and second, to explore the re/valuation of resources through use and exchange. My focus on these two themes is driven by a concern to explain on-going tensions in a rural community in Ukraine during the last two decades. This paper is not an ethnographic account of these processes (although examples are drawn from the ethnography); rather, it is an attempt to highlight the analytical importance of resource re/valuation in understanding social change. Further, such a focus enables a better understanding of aspects of the reforms, often masked under terminology of „privatisation‟.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMax Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Publication series

NameMax Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Working Papers
ISSN (Print)1615-4568


  • theorizing resources
  • revaluation
  • social change
  • anthropology


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