Money and Mettā symbolize the interconnectedness of economic processes and moral ideas in a Buddhist context mettā , 'loving kindness', constitutes a core concept of Buddhism. Based on eighteen months of research in the lowland Myanmar town of Pathein, this book investigates manifold economic activities on the ground. Particular attention is paid to the self-employed and their relationships with relatives, workers, and community members. The ethnography covers a range of topics, including business formation and succession, recruitment, child labour, ethnicity, indebtedness and charity. It is demonstrated that, amidst rapidly changing socio-economic conditions, values rooted in kinship morality and Buddhism remain significant and continue to shape peoples economic reasoning and activities.
Laura Hornig is a social anthropologist with a regional focus on mainland Southeast Asia. She worked at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology from 2014 to 2018 and received her PhD from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.