Accepted paper:

Introduction Part B: Marxism, anthropology, global capitalism.


Luisa Steur (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This is Part B of an introduction to the panel that sets out programmatic approaches for anthropology to center around Marxian and related analyses of social dynamics as structured over time and place in the context of global capitalism.

Paper long abstract:

(Continued from Introduction Part A) As part of a Marxist agenda for anthropology, we likewise suggest studying those socio-economic practices that are increasingly misunderstood as role-models for a primitivist universal communism for the "99 percent" rather as effects of capitalist change. Such Marxist and related anthropology interprets "theory" and "methodology" in a radically different way from mainstream currents in anthropology and enables us to identify the interlinked, even if divergent, historical class trajectories unfolding in the capitalist world system. Yet, the repertoire of Marxism, at the same time, can be sharpened through critical anthropological engagement. Anthropology can help redress the scientistic and positivist biases in Marxism in other disciplines and restore its dialectical holism while adding relational foundations on the micro-level as much as on the macro-level of empirical and theoretical work. Using the strengths of global anthropology, we re-assert a Marxism that can help understand global class trajectories and other elementary structures of capitalism as deeply embedded in people's working lives, everyday experiences, and collective interpretations of the world --a relational and dialectical Marxism that can help prepare the ground for a real confrontation with capitalism's manifold miseries.

panel PE39
Capitalism and global anthropology: Marxism resurgent