Political Economy (4632 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Stewart Crehan (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


Political economy is the theory of wealth and of how wealth is created and shared out in society. Its key concepts are production, distribution, exchange, and consumption. The word “economy”, originally spelt “oeconomy”, derives from oikos, a household, and nomos, law. The oikonomos in ancient Greece is one who manages and sets the laws of the household. In Homer's Odyssey Odysseus's real identity is inseparable from his status as ruler of his oikos in Ithaca, with its house, land, slaves, cattle and stored produce. The term économie politique, first coined by the philosophes of the French …

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Crehan, Stewart. "Political Economy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 October 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1482, accessed 23 July 2017.]

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