Conference Title
2019 SEA Annual Meeting
Conference Dates
28 Feb - 02 Mar 2019
Submission Deadline
14 Dec 2018 ( Submission is closed )
Official Web Site
Rosen College of Hospitality Management of the University of Central Florida
Orlando, United States    
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The concept of “wealth in people” encompasses the way that people, persons and personhood are understood to have value, and how social systems define equivalency between human value and the value of other valuables and commodities, often in ways that are unspoken, uncomfortable, or dangerous. Human value may come from expertise, productive or reproductive abilities or other intrinsic qualities; their reputations around these qualities; their class, rank, or status; family, caste or group membership; or their spiritual or supernatural linkage. Human value may be influenced by hierarchy or inequality based on gender, class, race, identity, or disability, therefore including embodied inequalities.

The wealth in people perspective also includes related concepts such as human capital and labor. It explores how people are folded into gift and commodity circulations through debt peonage, clientage, and bridewealth. It includes ways that the value of personhood can be converted and extended into material value, such as grave goods and mortuary practices, icons, media representations, heirlooms, possessions/gifts, and monuments; or into money value such as salary or insurance. The proposed SEA theme will examine the continuing importance, but also the limitations and needed extensions of the concept of “wealth in people” for contemporary social scientists considering how calculations and valuations around persons and personhood shape social life.

The conference will grapple with longstanding and novel forms, techniques and notions of value, wealth and personhood. The topic is inherently interdisciplinary, and we welcome submissions from cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, economists, geographers, sociologists, historians, human biologists, and applied and practicing social scientists on topics relating to value, wealth, humans, persons, and personhood. We welcome studies that extend the concept of wealth in people, as value is never just material and as persons and personhood is not limited to bodies and individuals. Such studies might include but not be limited to

How and why people are given value, because of their expertise; ability; experience; creativity; nobility, class, rank, or status; family, caste or group membership; spiritual or supernatural connections;

Embodied value, embodied inequalities; relational value;
Hierarchy or inequality in the value of persons based on gender, class, race, identity, disability, or other subject positions
Value of labor and labor theories of value; concepts of human capital; the value of emotional, reproductive and caring labor
Commodification of humans: enslavement, slave trade, prostitution
Materializing the value of persons through grave goods, mortuary treatment and ritual, monuments, personal possessions and artifacts
Human bodies and remains, and the marks they bear of wealth, poverty, and labor though health, stress, and embodied practices
Human remains: ownership, transfer, stewardship, desecration
Bride wealth, bride price, wealth transfers at rituals of the life cycle
Ideas/practices/taboos around love, relationships and money
Accountability and liability: compensating for and atoning for the loss of human lives, sacrifice and self-sacrifice
Wages, salaries and the value of persons: regimes for valuing CEOs, leaders, engineers and inventors; corporate headhunting; calculating workers’ wages or benefits; pricing the professional athlete, entertainer and celebrity
Finance: creditworthiness, relational accounting
Life and health insurance: moral and calculative regimes
Value of persons, genes, body parts or biological systems under new medical systems
Reproductive technologies and values of future/potential people and those not yet born
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