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2012 Society For Economic Anthropology Book Prize Announced

Today’s guest blog post is by Susan Falls.

The Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) book prize committee is proud to announce our new winner: with over 30 submissions, the committee selected Sarah Lyon’s new book, Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair-Trade Markets, published in 2011 by the University of Colorado Press as the outstanding book in economic anthropology for 2009-2011. Thanks to Jeff Cohen, Paul Rivera and Faidra Papavasiliou for their time and effort!  And congratulations again to Sarah!

While many people believe that drinking fair-trade coffee, purchased directly from the growers, promotes healthier working conditions, environmentally friendly agricultural standards and fair prices, Lyon’s work, “Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair-Trade Markets,” (University of Colorado Press, 2010) analyzes the real implications of fair-trade networks.

Through an ethnographic analysis of Mayan coffee farmers in Guatemala, Lyon analyzes the collective action of fair-trade participants in creating new economic realities.  “A lot of people have heard about fair trade and they may even purchase fair trade products, like coffee, so in that sense even though the book centers on the lives of these Maya coffee farmers in Guatemala, it is a subject that we can all relate to, or at least those of us who drink coffee,” Lyon said.

The book received the most recent SEA Book Prize, a prize given every three years, to recognize the best publication in the field of economic anthropology over the three-year cycle. Lyon said that with approximately 30 other books nominated for the award, she was very honored to make it to the list of semifinalists and to receive the accolade.

Finalists for this prize also included:

The book prize was announced at SEA’s annual meeting in San Antonio. Lyon said that her “ultimate hope is that the award helps bring more attention to the struggles that small farmers in places like Guatemala face.” She also remarked that “It’s really great to know that people within your sub-discipline, the people whose work most closely mirrors your own and who you are referencing regularly, respect your research and find it interesting.”

  • Learn more about Sarah Lyons on her home page.

The SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY  (SEA) is a group of about 300 anthropologists, economists, geographers, and scholars from other disciplines who are interested in the connections between economics and social life. The SEA welcomes new members from all disciplines and all four fields of anthropology.

Please visit us at : http://econanthro.org/  or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Society-for-Economic-Anthropology/174962112560846

Join SEA! Membership info is at: http://econanthro.org/join-us/

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