Cultural Economy and the Arab Gulf States
"The author’s solid interdisciplinary bibliography strongly complements his fieldwork. Geographers will benefit from this book, which is also directed toward anthropologists and economists. Highly recommended."—Choice
"Innovative, original, and convincing. . . . The argument picks up on a number of literatures and effectively ties them together to make a unique contribution to geography, Middle Eastern studies, and the literature on cultural economies."—Mitch Rose, department of geography, Aberystwyth University
"At the heart of the book is an intimate study of the Persian Gulf,
and a passionate demand that research and theory on the global
cultural-political economy take very seriously the complex and
seemingly inconsistent, but central role of ‘other’ places, particularly
the Middle East. . . . the book is a work that has been waiting
to be written and fills now what seems like an obvious gap in the
geographic literature and in Middle East studies."—Amy Mills, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina
and author of Streets of Memory
Benjamin Smith is assistant professor of geography at Florida International University.
Book Description »[Close »]
Although the Arab states of the Persian Gulf are leaders in many of the measures
of absolute wealth that have traditionally defined success in the global
economy, they have had a much harder time becoming accepted in the equally
fractured and hierarchal realm of the cultural economy, where practices, signs,
and perceptions of propriety matter.
Market Orientalism examines how emerging markets are imagined as
cultural economic spaces—spaces that are assembled, ranked, desired, and
sometimes punished in ways built on earlier forms of dealing with "backward"
economies and peoples. Such imaginations not only impact investment and
guide policy, but also create stories of economic value that separate "us" from
"them." While market Orientalism functions anywhere that questions of "deserved"
wealth come down to cultural/economic differences between places,
Smith focuses on the Arab states of the Gulf. By combining field research with
extensive analysis of news archives concerning the cultural economies of the
Gulf states, Market Orientalism addresses important motivations for economic
relations and provides a framework to analyze how prejudice, fashion, taste,
and waste are vital to both narrow and widespread forms of economic activity.
View series books on Syracuse Studies in Geography
6 x 9, 360 pages, 19 black-and-white illustrations, notes, bibliography, index