Incorporation and Identity in the Making of the Modern World

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:
Incorporation and Identity in the Making of the Modern World

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This chapter analyzes the need to understand the social processes of identity-making and identity-unmaking as responses to historically unfolding processes. These processes are discussed as emanating primarily from the dynamics of labor mobilization, as well as from the closely connected consolidation of competitive political power. The chapter emphasizes that these processes need to be looked at in a global perspective, and shows the importance of visualizing the creation of culturally marked groups in relation to the global impact of economic and political forces. Further, it presents examples of so-called primitive populations to show that their identities, too, were shaped in this global process; their cultural markings were constructed and reconstructed in the course of their engagement with external forces, much as is the case with people mobilized for labor in the enterprises of the twentieth century.

Keywords: identity-making; labor mobilization; global perspective; primitive populations; political forces

Chapter.  6839 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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