Just as Molière’s would-be gentleman, Monsieur Jourdain, is delighted to discover from his lessons in literary criticism that he has been speaking prose all his life, so I find I have been studying power in markets. The objective of the original research in Punjab in 1971 was to study efficiency rather than power, but it has proved impossible to do field research on the former without doing it on the latter. These studies of power have arisen from an approach of theoretical scepticism. This chapter therefore begins by posing problems of definition, and summarising the problems of formal theory and the reasons for scepticism. It is then possible to describe the inductive approaches which have informed empirical work in the main body of the chapter. The fifth section is devoted to the field techniques I have used intermittently over a quarter century of fieldwork.
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- Power in Peasant Markets
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