At the beginning of the twenty-first century an idealized view of markets informs government policy. Real differences in how markets interact with social change are obscured and public action on poverty is constrained. Markets, Class and Social Change uses a detailed study of the grain trade in Bangladesh to show how socially-constrained patterns of market involvement may systematically benefit the rich while disadvantaging the poor. More generally, the book suggests that markets are implicated in the making of society, its divisions, identities and directions.
'...a tour de force... enjoyable to read even though its subject matter...is grim in the extreme.' - Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University
'...a truly significant contribution to agrarian political economy: at once, clear, to the point, incisive and original.' - T.J.Byres, Editor, Journal of Peasant Studies
'Writing against the grain of globalization and the free market, Ben Crow's book is not only a trenchant theoretical critique but also a fertile and sustained work of empirical inquiry. Focusing on the grain trade and its impact in inequality, Crow manages to illuminate the whole world of rural South Asia. Readers will reap a rich harvest of ideas and insights from this wonderful work.' - John Lie, Department of Sociology, Harvard University