Anthropology and decision making

An introduction

in Focaal
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  • 1 University of Gothenburg asa.boholm@globalstudies.gu.se
  • 2 Dalarna University ahe@du.se
  • 3 University of Warsaw a.krzyworzeka@uw.edu.pl

This article, part of a set of three articles, calls for a critical reexamination of a plethora of phenomena relating to choice and decision making, occasionally addressed by anthropologists, but more regularly studied by economists, political scientists, psychologists, and organization scholars. By means of a bird's-eye research overview, we identify certain weak spots pertaining to a formalistic unicentral view of human rationality, and argue that ethnographic approaches casting light on cultural contexts for thought, reason, and action can explain how choices are framed and constituted from horizons of perceptions and expectations. A positive account of socially and culturally embedded decision making heralds a mode of anthropology with a broad, integrating capacity to address public policy and administration and their interactions with everyday experience and practice.

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Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

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