Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Gable, Eric

Major or Concentration



While the everyday rhetoric around property rights tends to focus on land and land rights, I assert that beneath that rhetoric is the set of ideas about what it means to be a person by normative American standards. I look to anthropology to specify what these standards are, as well as review the discipline's other contributions to the concept of property rights. Following Bill Maurer (2003), I will suggest that property is an interesting topic for anthropology to study because of the duality of the concept: it is both ideology and jurisprudence.This dual role of property rights produces social categories of persons and shapes social relations between people.

Included in

Anthropology Commons