Oil oozes through the pores of modern society, and neoliberalism has restructured Latin American community and kinship relationships so deeply, that it is no surprise that a cultural anthropologist would address these topics. Elana Shever's Resources for Reform: Oil and Neoliberalism in Argentina does so with careful attention to detail and with compelling ethnography. Oil and neoliberalism, as Shever states, are “inseparably semiotic and material forces” that affect individuals and communities on an everyday basis, whether close to the centers of production or far from them, through consumption (p. 6). The study complements the many studies of neoliberalism in Latin America and recent anthropologies of petrostates such as Andrea Behrends, Stephen P. Reyna, and Günther Schlee's edited collection Crude Domination: An Anthropology of Oil (2011).

Shever chose Argentina because of the country's unique history of state involvement in the petroleum sector, which...

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