On money and mettā: economy and morality in urban Buddhist Myanmar
Münster, Berlin: Lit Verlag
Year of publication
Money and mettā symbolize the interconnectedness of economic processes and moral ideas in a Buddhist context - mettā, `loving kindness', constitutes a core concept of Buddhism. Based on eighteen months of research in the lowland Myanmar town of Pathein, this book investigates manifold economic activities on the ground. Particular attention is paid to the self-employed and their relationships with relatives, workers, and community members. The ethnography covers a range of topics, including business formation and succession, recruitment, child labour, ethnicity, indebtedness and charity. It is demonstrated that, amidst rapidly changing socio-economic conditions, values rooted in kinship morality and Buddhism remain significant and continue to shape people's economic reasoning and activities.