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Beyond the New Economic Anthropology by John Clammer

By John Clammer

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The economic level is held to play the role of 'determination in the last instance' in that it governs the character of, and relations between, each of the levels. The qualification 'in the last instance' indicates that the character of the political and cultural superstructure cannot simply be deduced from that of the economy. The levels are 'relatively autonomous' and the political and cultural levels may exercise a reciprocal effect on the economy. Thus, classical Marxism has a definite conception of the necessary structure of society.

This concern is not individual reductionism, it is simply the provision of a context within which human conduct may be viewed. In these terms an alliance between situational logic and production theory may be effected as situational logic provides a perspective on adaptation to alternative modes of production, that may reintroduce the adaptive, cultural-historical dimension to discussions of economy (Prattis, 1976a, 1976b; Chesnov, 1976). The view of society as populations adapting to specific environments through time is consistent with this statement.

Y. I. Semenov, 'Theoretical problems of economic anthropology', Philosophy of Social Science, 4, 1974, 201-31. H. Simon, Administrative Behaviour. : Free Press, 1947). E. Terray, Marxism and 'Primitive' Societies (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972). I. Wallerstein, 'The rise and future demise of the world capitalist system', Comparative Studies in Society and History, 16, 4, 1974. 3 Conceptual Issues in the New Economic Anthropology: Moving Beyond the Polemic of Neo-classical and Marxist Economic Theory Willie L.

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