Edward F. Fischer is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is also the founder of Maní+, a program in Guatemala that develops and produces locally sourced complementary foods to fight malnutrition. He has written and edited several books, including Cultural Logics and Global Economies, Broccoli and Desire, and Cash on the Table. His new book, The Good Life: Aspiration, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing is being published by Stanford University Press.
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Anthropological Observations . . . on economics, politics, and daily life

Anthropological Observations . . . on economics, politics, and daily life

The Moral Obligations of Corporate Tax Avoidance

Milton Friedman, the free-market economist whose perspective defined the Chicago School, famously held that managers' absolute ethical obligation is to maximize returns for stockholders. To do otherwise would be tantamount to stealing from them, he argued in an influential 1970 NY Times Magazine piece ("The Social R...
Author: Ted Fischer | Posted: July 21, 2014, 3:45 pm

What We Do Not Always What We Want

Customers hate Spirit airlines. Passengers routinely swear they will never fly it again; it ranks dead last in airline consumer satisfaction. Everything costs extra--the seats don't even recline. Planet Money's Zoe Chase and Jacob Goldstein took a trip recently and discovered a new category of customer, what that ca...
Author: Ted Fischer | Posted: July 10, 2014, 7:14 pm

Intrinsic Motivations and a Secret of the Good Life

In the Sunday NY Times, Amy Wrzensniewski and Barry Schwartz argue that the secret of success is internal versus instrumental motivation.  They find that being driven by intrinsic values (say, studying in order to learn) rather than instrumental ones (studying to get a good grade to get a degree to get a good job) i...
Author: Ted Fischer | Posted: July 8, 2014, 2:01 pm