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Get-Rich-Quick Schemes in Siberia
186 pages, 10 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-012-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-013-3 eBook
“Schiffauer situates her arguments within an accessible review of existing literature on economic anthropology, producing a very readable text that would be suitable for undergraduate teaching. Although she places her analysis within the social context of Buryatia, the analysis offers conclusions that reach much further, elucidating both post-Soviet economies and multilevel marketing globally. Marketing Hope is a solid and valuable contribution to economic anthropology, helping us to enrich traditional economic models with real ethnographic understanding of how economic structures are lived in and experienced on the ground.” • The Russian Review
“Schiffauer offers a lively and accessible ethnographic account of the popularity, propagation, and entrepreneurial tactics for getting rich quick among Buryats. This volume makes important contributions to the anthropology of money, value, magical exchange, and kinship.” • Katherine Swancutt, King’s College London
“The author does an excellent job of being accessible and sharp. [She] writes well and explains sophisticated ideas in a very straightforward manner. …She has given us an excellent ethnographic understanding of how people in a remote part of postsocialist Siberia understand capitalism all the while succumbing to its most attractive but generally false promises.” • Russell Zanca, Northeastern Illinois University
Multilevel marketing and pyramid schemes promote the idea that participants can easily become rich. These popular economies turn ordinary people into advocates of their interests and missionaries of the American Dream. Marketing Hope looks at how different types of get-rich-quick schemes manifest themselves in a Siberian town. By focusing on their social dynamics, Leonie Schiffauer provides insights into how capitalist logic is learned and negotiated, and how it affects local realities in a post-Soviet environment.
Leonie Schiffauer works as Senior Advisor at the Centre for International Dialogue and Cooperation of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. She holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge.