2016 Anthropology Alum Wins National Student Prize in Economic Anthropology
Mariel Kennedy (ND'16), a former advisee of Prof. Rahul Oka now working as a research analyst with Goldman Sachs, won the Society for Economic Anthropology's 2016 Harold K. Schneider Student Prize in Economic Anthropology. This prize and student paper competition was created in honor of SAE’s first president to encourage new scholars and scholarship among students of economic anthropology. Kennedy’s paper, “Bad Assets: A Study of Debt Collection in Pune, India" examines the historically neglected, but crucial role of debt collectors in the cultural and economic contexts of Indian credit systems. Her research demonstrates how traditional financial frameworks are inadequate for understanding the intertwined cultural and economic aspects of contemporary systems of credit. She shows how analyzing these systems “helps to accurately address how both the social and financial nature of debt can influence relationships, status, and inequality and how modifying traditional finance approaches can begin to combat this.” Congratulations to Mariel on this fantastic achievement!