Robinson Crusoe's Economic Man: A Construction and Deconstruction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-07-13
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Robinson Crusoe is a favorite subject of economists in that conditions on his island were, at least until the arrival of Friday, the closest one could get to those of a laboratory, with the concept of ceteris paribusas near as it comes to being the case. Crusoe has thus come to be seen as a kind of 'economic man', a rational actor for whom issues of sex, race and class were irrelevant. But we don't all live on desert islands and to use Crusoe as a viable guide to how we all should act is, in the opinion of the contributors to this book, quite wrong. Besides, on close reading, Defoe's original novel fails to support this view. A worldwide team of contributors have been brought together to provide a productive engagement between economics and literature where the tools of literary and cultural theory are applied to the discipline of economics.

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Reading and Rewriting: The Production of an Economic 'Robinson Crusoe' 2. Marx's Robinsonade 3. Robinson Crusoe: The Quintessential Economic Man? 4. Deconstructing Robinson Crusoe: A Feminist Interrogation of 'Rational Economic Man' 5. Luxury, Credit and the Female Crusoe 6. Friday as Homo Sacer: Sacrifice and the General Economy in Robinson Crusoe 7. Family Troubles 8. A Dismal Permutation: The Swiss Family Robinson 9. Discourses of Gender in 'Crusoe Family' Narratives 10. Robinson Crusoe and the Secret of Primitive Accumulation 11. Towards a Friday Model of International Trade 12. Orphans, Cannibals, and Colonial Rule 13. Friday and his Master's Voice: Re/describing the Margins

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