Chapter

The Mills of Inequality

Eric R. Wolf

in Pathways of Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223332
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924871 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223332.003.0025
The Mills of Inequality

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This chapter attempts to define the strategic relations governing the labor process under different modes of production. It envisages the anthropological task as tracing out the webs of social relations between governors and governed, or between owners of capital and purveyors of labor, as outcomes of the transactions between persons who controlled superior rights to resources, on one hand, and persons who were subject to the imperatives so established, on the other. The rationale for introducing the concept of the mode of production is presented and the chapter then attempts to portray three such modes, different ways of committing social labor to change nature and of reproducing the social relations governing that commitment in turn. Recent discussions among Marxist historians, anthropologists, and philosophies draw renewed attention to Marx's notion of the mode of production as such a central, unifying, explanatory concept.

Keywords: anthropological task; social relations; social labor; mode of production; Marx's notion

Chapter.  7278 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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