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Maidens, Meal and Money : Capitalism and the Domestic Community - Claude Meillassoux

Maidens, Meal and Money

Capitalism and the Domestic Community

Paperback Published: 4th May 1981
ISBN: 9780521297080
Number Of Pages: 212

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For over twenty years, Claude Meillassoux has been concerned with the study of the different modes of production which existed in Africa prior to colonisation, and the ways in which they responded to colonisation. In this book Professor Meillassoux draws both on his extensive fieldwork in Africa and on the anthropological literature to provide a detailed theoretical analysis of the self-sustaining agricultural community and its articulation with capitalism through the process of colonisation. Using evidence from the usually separated disciplines of ethnology and economics, he explores the major contradiction created by the persistence within the heart of capitalism of the self-sustaining domestic community as a means of reproduction of labour power, and shows that in fact there is a logical connection between the kinship structures which control reproduction in such communities and the forms of exploitation of workers from groups dominated by imperialism. This book offers the elements both of an advanced theory of the domestic mode of production and of a radical critique of classical and structuralist anthropology. just as Professor Meillassoux's earlier work, L'Anthropologie iconomique des Gouro de Cote d'Ivoire was received as a 'turning point in the history of anthropology', this study, which goes beyond a discussion of concepts in an attempt to further the practical steps taken by Marx and Engels, represents a major contribution to the contemporary progress of historical materialism."

Preface to the English translationp. vii
Introductionp. xi
The Domestic Communityp. 1
Locating the domestic communityp. 8
Why incest?p. 10
The band and the relations of adhesionp. 14
Mating and filiationp. 19
Protected women, abducted womenp. 22
Domestic reproductionp. 33
The level of the productive forcesp. 34
The constitution of the relations of productionp. 39
The constitution of the relations of reproductionp. 42
The alimentary structures of kinshipp. 50
The reproduction of human energy or the process of production: energy - subsistence - energyp. 51
Surplus-labourp. 55
The circulation of offspringp. 58
The dialectic of equalityp. 61
The circulation of wives and bridewealthp. 61
Bridewealth as wives' claimsp. 62
Identical exchangep. 65
Incipient valuep. 67
Who are the exploited?p. 75
Womenp. 75
Juniorsp. 78
Contradictions and contacts: the premises of inequalityp. 82
The exploitation of the domestic community: imperialism as a mode of reproduction of cheap labour powerp. 89
The paradoxes of colonial exploitationp. 91
Direct and indirect wagesp. 99
Primitive accumulationp. 104
Without hearth or home: the rural exodusp. 107
Periodic migration: the eternal return to the native landp. 110
The maintenance of labour-reservesp. 117
The double labour market and segregationp. 120
The profits from immigrationp. 124
The limits of the over-exploitation of labourp. 127
The poverty datum linep. 129
The objective criterion for the division of the proletariatp. 133
Competitionp. 135
Conclusionp. 138
Notesp. 145
References citedp. 162
Indexp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521297080
ISBN-10: 0521297087
Series: Themes in the Social Sciences
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 212
Published: 4th May 1981
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.32