The Mental and the Material (1984) Maurice Godelier

The Mental and the MaterialBig questions in anthropology, economics, history– Primacy of… ideas and/or behavior; universals and/or particulars; social relations and/or social consciousness; or as he handily phrases the problematic of the Mental and the Material. References from the classic fieldwork ethnography’s of the 20th century among “others”– hunter-gatherering, pastoral nomads, peasants ,slave societies in contemporary, medieval, and ancient worlds. Is the formal analytic framework of the “market” developed by Smith, Ricardo et al, accepted and critiqued by Marx useful for understanding all modes of production and social formation? Great intro to work of Karl Polanyi (1880-1960 or so) who , along with a generation of students answered the question with a substantial and loud NO. Great history of economic thought and debate.

 

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