Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory has been a member of the Anthropology Department at The Australian National University since 1983, and was a visiting professor of Political and Economic Anthropology at the University of Manchester from 2008–15. He has been conducting fieldwork on the economy and culture of rice cultivation in Bastar District, India, periodically since 1982. He lived and worked in Papua New Guinea for three years (1973–75) and Fiji for four years (2008–12).

The Quest for the Good Life in Precarious Times »

Ethnographic Perspectives on the Domestic Moral Economy

The study of the quest for the good life and the morality and value it presupposes is not new. To the contrary, this is an ancient issue; its intellectual history can be traced back to Aristotle. In anthropology, the study of morality and value has always been a central concern, despite the claim of some scholars that the recent upsurge of interest in these issues is new. What is novel is how scholars in many disciplines are posing the value question in new ways. The global economic alignments of the present pose many political, moral and theoretical questions, but the central issue the essays in this collection address is: how do relatively poor people of the Australia–Pacific region survive in current precarious times? In looking to answer this question, contributors directly engage the values and concepts of their interlocutors. At a time when understanding local implications of global processes is taking on new urgency, these essays bring finely honed anthropological perspectives to matters of universal human concern—they offer radical empirical critique based on intensive fieldwork that will be of great interest to those seeking to comprehend the bigger picture.