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RELATIO: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONAL DIMENSION OF RESOURCE ALLOCATION

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Author(s): Kevin Sheneberger | Gertjan van Stam

Journal: Economics and Finance Review
ISSN 2047-0401

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2011;
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ABSTRACT
The indigenous traditions and values of African peoples have been viewed as being behind the times. Disregarding established, functioning systems of African resource allocation has led to a system of interaction out of touch with local cultural priorities. Through a review of literature, augmented by qualitative interviews and observational analysis, the evolutionary nature of rationality is revealed; demonstrating the necessity for our understanding of economic choice to be adjusted to involve broader conceptions of its constitution, restraints, and motivations. It is derived that two parallel systems for addressing basic questions of choice and resource management exist; a traditional “rational” Western system, and a “relational” African system. After establishing these intersecting systems, the value of African uniqueness is appreciated. This paper attempts to build upon the work of other economists in the addition of a “relational” component of rationality, informed by both social and material forms of capital.

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