Anthropology with Business: Plural Programs and Future Financial Worlds

  • Bill Maurer Managing Editor, Copenhagen Business School
  • Scott D. Mainwaring


How can we imagine and perform an anthropological practice with business, that is, not from a distanced perspective but through a mutual infolding and engagement? How might such an arrangement then be exemplary for novel economic experiments of the kind anthropologists often describe? Reflecting on several years' of collaborations with each other, the authors recount their relationship as an experiment in novel engagements with economic things (money, corporations, universities, accounting principles, computers, etc.) in an industrial and university site. The paper puts forward a theoretical argument about exaptive and nonadaptive plurality that opens new pathways for alternative and sometimes quite conventional values. The context is a specific set of projects around money and payment. The intellectual background is the anthropology of finance and alternative economies.