Marxist Anthropology and Peasant Economics: A Study of the Social Structures of Underdevelopment

  • Joel S. Kahn


In recent years the approach to underdevelopment within anthropology has undergone a radical change. While in the late 1950s and early 1960s anthropologists seemed to content themselves with the ‘cultural obstacles to change’ theories,1 more recently they have found themselves reacting in one way or another to the radical theories of writers like Frank and Amin. The ‘Third World Viewpoint’ provided by this new school of scholars states, generally, that underdevelopment, far from being caused by factors internal to the societies of the Third World, is in fact a consequence of development in the richer countries. Frank and others have argued for a worldwide framework, and against earlier tendencies to consider individual underdeveloped nations in isolation. To understand economic backwardness, one must consider it in the context of a world capitalist system — a system characterised by interrelated poles of development. Development in the metropolis then results from a progressive underdevelopment of the periphery.


Productive Force Social Formation Labour Power Commodity Production Organic Composition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1978

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  • Joel S. Kahn

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