Political economy in anthropology
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Political Economy in anthropology is the application of the theories and methods of
Political Economy was introduced in American anthropology primarily through the support of
Three main areas of interest rapidly developed. The first of these areas was concerned with the "pre-capitalist" societies that were subject to evolutionary "tribal" stereotypes. Sahlins' work on hunter-gatherers as the "original affluent society" did much to dissipate that image. The second area was concerned with the vast majority of the world's population at the time, the peasantry, many of whom were involved in complex revolutionary wars such as in Vietnam. The third area was on colonialism, imperialism, and the creation of the capitalist world-system.
More recently, these political economists have more directly addressed issues of industrial (and post-industrial) capitalism around the world.
Cultural materialism is a research orientation introduced by
Harris' approach was influenced by but distinct from Marx. Harris' method was to demonstrate how particular cultural practices (like the Hindu prohibition on harming cattle) served a materialistic function (such as preserving an essential source of fertilizer from being consumed).
Economic behavior has a cultural side which indicates that the works of anthropologists is relevant to economics. The Motivation behind cultural materialism is mainly to show that cultures adapt to the environment they're produced in.
Structural Marxism was an approach to
Critical influences on Structural Marxism, primarily from the British Marxist historical tradition, included