In this project, Christof Lammer and André Thiemann develop the new analytical lens of ‘infrastructures of value’ on old terrain: agriculture. Bringing together converging literatures on value and infrastructure has much to offer for economic anthropology. Exploring infrastructures connects otherwise partitioned visions of value that focused either on production, exchange, or consumption. Infrastructure not only undergirds valuation practices and enables valorisation as fixed capital. It also fills a major gap in David Graeber’s theory of value by directing attention to how actions become incorporated into larger, social wholes. Infrastructures – material networks emerging from practices of infrastructuring – mediate value by facilitating, or hindering, the circulation of objects, people and ideas. Various forms of infrastructure (transport, containment, science, law, information) and the dynamics of compatibility and friction between them shape value by creating uniqueness for some and genericness for others. Redirecting ethnographic attention to the material relationality of food’s value challenges binaries in economic thought and invigorates dialogue between new and historical materialism.

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