Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

G. G. Weix

Commitee Members

Christopher Muste, Gregory R. Campbell


Coins, Community, Debt, Economic Value, Gift, Habitus, Money, Mutual Aid, Social Solidarity, Social Structures, Barter, Structuring Structures


University of Montana


Debt structures all relationships in America as well as all of our economic material exchanges. Historically debt has always been seen thus with our religious texts being written both in the terminology of the metaphysical and the economical combining them together in an attempt to understand the social and economic systems that individuals live in. At the core of the social and economic systems is community. In America the myth of the gift is a dominant catalyst that uses debt to make community through time. In order to study the structure of debt within America I will be using an anthropological approach, specifically a method of inquiry called “Anthropology of the Contemporary” in order to build a frame work that will assist in understanding the American community, and the cultural conceptions of debt.



© Copyright 2011 James A. Becker