By James G. Carrier, Don Kalb
Emerging social, political and monetary inequality in lots of nations, and emerging protest opposed to it, has noticeable the recovery of the concept that of 'class' to a admired position in modern anthropological debates. A well timed intervention in those discussions, this e-book explores the concept that of sophistication and its value for realizing the major assets of that inequality and of people's makes an attempt to house it. hugely topical, it situates category in the context of the present fiscal challenge, integrating components from at the present time into the dialogue of an previous time table. utilizing instances from North and South the USA, Western Europe and South Asia, it indicates the - occasionally astounding - varieties that classification can take, in addition to a number of the results it has on people's lives and societies.
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Additional resources for Anthropologies of Class: Power, Practice, and Inequality
It is here, around the discovery and identification of such critical junctions, that theory and the extended case study meet. In addition, in their chapters in this volume Neveling and Friedman show that anthropological inquiry should also try to confront the macroscopic forces head on in their own global realms. Powerful people in those realms are hard to capture by ethnographic tools, which means that it is necessary to complement them with methods derived from history, in particular world history, and journalism, as Eric Wolf knew well.
Less dramatic, but closer to home, are elements of the contemporary political–social economy that appear to reduce the likelihood of reproduction. Analysts of modern capitalism from Adam Smith onward have noted systematic pressures that lead to innovation, which is the opposite of reproduction. Marx described one such pressure, the tendency of the rate of profit to fall because competitive pressure leads manufacturers to replace labor with machinery; Weber described another, the systematic and rational pursuit of ever-greater profit that was part of the spirit of capitalism.
Most obviously, both saw humans as social beings, shaped and constrained by, while shaping, their context. Further, both saw that people’s most important activities and relationships were those that revolve around economic activity, the production and circulation of things. For Marx, the key economic activity was production, for people need food, shelter and clothing if they are to maintain and reproduce themselves and their world. He argued that, when people engage in productive activities, they fall into sets that stand in different relationships to the different factors of production that make up the means of production, which is to say, land (natural resources), labor (human energy and the skills that guide it) and capital (tools and equipment).
Anthropologies of Class: Power, Practice, and Inequality by James G. Carrier, Don Kalb