African Studies: Series Number 2: Studies in Rural Capitalism in West Africa

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Originally published in 1970, this is a collection of studies of indigenous economies in Ghana and Nigeria by an author with an unusual interdisciplinary approach. In the opening section it is contended that most economists interested in underdeveloped countries have neglected the detailed study of economic organization and mechanism in the field, especially in rural areas, and that, as a result, there has been little testing of many conventional implicit assumptions that happen to be invalid. The subsequent chapters of the book are both a vigorous corrective to socio-economic generalisations based on too little data and a demonstration of the possibilities of a research method that owes more to the example of social anthropologists than to that of economists. The sophistication of the picture of certain sectors of rural life that emerges from the whole book will surprise many readers.