Marxism and Anthropology: The History of a Relationship
This book examines the uses made of anthropology by Marx and Engels, and the uses made of Marxism by anthropologists. Looking at the writings of Marx and Engels on primitive societies, the book evaluates their views in the light of present knowledge and draws attention to inconsistencies in their analysis of pre-capitalist societies. These inconsistencies can be traced to the influence of contemporary anthropologists who regarded primitive societies as classless. As Marxist theory was built around the idea of class, without this concept the conventional Marxist analysis foundered.
First published in 1983.
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accepted Althusser Althusserian American anthropology analysis anthropo argued Asiatic mode aspect believed Boas British anthropologists capitalism capitalist central Communist Manifesto concepts concerned consciousness contradiction criticism cultural cultural anthropology descent groups discussion dominant economic evolution evolutionary sequence example existence explain exploitation fact feudalism Formen French anthropology French Marxist fundamental gens German Ideology Godelier group marriage Harris history of mankind human society ideas implied important influence institutions Kautsky kinship terms Lenin Levi-Strauss Lewis Henry Morgan linked marriage Marvin Harris Marx and Engels Marx's and Engels's Marxist anthropology Marxist theory material matrilineal Mensheviks mode of production monogamy Morgan and Engels multilineal evolution Narodniks nature notion Origin particular peasant communities peasantry Plekhanov political position pre-capitalist societies primitive societies private property rejection relations of production result Sahlins seems seen significance social system Soviet anthropologists stage stress structure Terray theoretical totally traditional writers