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Kinship and Religious Practices as Institutionalization of Trade Networks: Manangi Trade Communities in South and Southeast Asia

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This paper examines social and religious institutions that create and sustain a trade network among Nepali traders in South and Southeast Asia. It looks at how kinship and religious practices sanction a system of social and economic cooperation in their community. By pooling labor, information, material and financial resources, ensured by trust and mutual obligation, they can lower their operating costs. By extending kinship relations to societies abroad, such as through marriages with local women, they can have access to both local and translocal trade networks, as well as reduce protection costs. Because the trade network is embedded in institutionalized social practices, it is resilient and keeps a geographically dispersed community connected and competitive throughout their trading history. The paper is based on field research in Nepal, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore. Dans cet article l'auteur mène une analyse des institutions sociales et religieuses qui créent et maintiennent un réseau de commerçants népalais dans l'Asie du Sud et du Sud-est. L'article s'adresse aux moyens par lesquelles les liens de parenté et des pratiques religieuses soutiennent un système de coöpération sociale et économique dans cette communauté diasporique. En partageant du travail, des renseignements et de certaines ressources matérielles et financières, c'est-à-dire en suivant un processus dont la bonne foi et le sens d'obligation réciproque garantissent le bon fonctionnement, ils savent réduire les dépenses d'opération. En élargissant les réseaux de parenté vers l'étranger, par exemple par des rapports matrimoniaux, ils réussissent en même temps à gagner l'accès aux économies locales et trans-locales en réduisant également les frais de la sauvegarde contre l'extorsion et les razzias. C'est grâce à l'enracinement du réseau de commerce dans des pratiques sociales institutionelles que celuici reste toujours flexible et de longue durée, ce qui lui permet de survivre dans une communauté géographiquement dispersé et de maintenir un haut niveau de concurrence à travers une longue histoire d'activités commerciales. Les enquêtes sur lesquelles s'appuie cet article furent menées à Kathmandu et à plusieurs comptoirs en d'autres pays.

Affiliations: 1: Harvard University

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/content/journals/10.1163/156852007781787341
2007-06-01
2016-12-04

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