Anthropology and History in Franche-Comté: A Critique of Social Theory

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 392 pages
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This is a study of continuity and change in rural France based on fieldwork carried out over a period of 25 years, and on historical documents spanning more than 300 years. Producer co-operatives have existed in Franche-Comte since the thirteenth century. Communities there, unlike modern English villages, are highly corporate. Robert Layton explores the relationships between inheritance rules, management of common land, household labour, and inter- household relations, as well as the impact on villages of national politics and economy. Comparison with other regions of Western Europe allows a reinterpretation of the eighteenth-century enclosures in England. Layton presents a dialogue between ethnography and social theory, and argues for a revision of the theories of Marx, Giddens, and Bourdieu so as to better explain the mechanisms of continuity, change, and adaptation in social life.

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About the author (2000)

Professor of Anthropology, University of Durham

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