Historical transformations : the anthropology of global systems /
Kajsa Ekholm Friedman and Jonathan Friedman.
Lanham, MD : AltaMira Press, 2008.
vi, 323 p.
0759111103 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780759111103 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
added author
Lanham, MD : AltaMira Press, 2008.
0759111103 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780759111103 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Social reproduction, social transformation, and global process. Marxist theory and systems of total reproduction / Jonathan Friedman -- Crises in theory and transformations of the world economy / Jonathan Friedman -- Global process and long-term change. The study of risk in social systems: an anthropological perspective / Kajsa Ekholm Friedman -- Notes toward an epigenetic model of the evolution of "civilization" / Jonathan Friedman & M.J. Rowlands -- "Capital" imperialism and exploitation in ancient world systems / Kajsa Ekholm Friedman & Jonathan Friedman -- Structure, dynamics and the final collapse of the bronze age civilizations in the second millennium / Kajsa Ekholm Friedman -- Transnationalization, sociopolitical disorder, and ethnification as expressions of declining global hegemony / Jonathan Friedman -- Structure and history: transformational models. External exchange and the transformation of Central African social systems / Kajsa Ekholm Friedman -- "Sad stories of the death of kings": the involution of divine kingship / Kajsa Ekholm Friedman -- Notes on structure and history in Oceania / Jonathan Friedman -- Morphogenesis and global process in Polynesia / Jonathan Friedman.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-08-01:
The Friedmans, both social anthropologists (Lund Univ.), argue that their global systems approach predates and is much more comprehensive than current, widely cited theories of globalization in and beyond anthropology, e.g., the work of Arjun Appadurai. In these essays (several republished from the 1970s), the authors critique materialist, evolutionary, elitist, and development theoretical approaches in archaeology and anthropology. In the tradition of Levi-Strauss, but without mention of Bourdieu or Giddens, the authors employ a structural approach to human history that embeds human agency within global systems that structure thought and action. They advocate looking beyond distinctions between precapitalist and capitalist societies and fixations on the nation as the unit of analysis by looking at how global systems (e.g., trade networks) have always connected localities. Examples of imperial decay are offered as parallels with the current moment in the global system. This book is not recommended for undergraduate readers, and only for specialized graduate courses. It is most relevant for professional readers interested in the history of systems theory and Marxist discussions of capital and social reproduction (the concept the authors stress in the book). Summing Up: Optional. Faculty and specialists. A. E. Kingsolver University of South Carolina
Review Quotes
Historical Transformations includes appraisals of Marxist, cultural materialist, and neo-evolutionary approaches to understanding modern and postmodern realms. It offers especially trenchant criticisms of most globalization theories, suggesting that they are largely biased ruminations of global elites. Yet out of the ruins of such questionable theory, Ekholm Friedman and Friedman formulate their own global systems theory. Drawing on only a few concepts--of which logic, social reproduction, and transformational analysis are most prominent--they craft an understanding of the world in which Bronze Age empires, Oceanic Big Man politics, Congolese kinship and witchcraft culture, and the postmodern West are explained by transformational analysis. In the end, the authors suggest that the postmodern world in which we live is one at the 'end of empire' when history has taken on a 'Kafkaesque quality.'
In these essays, the authors critique materialist, evolutionary, elitist, and development theoretical approaches in archaeology and anthropology. It is most relevant for professional readers interested in the history of systems theory and Marxist discussions of capital and social reproduction.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Long Description
Historical Transformations represents the work of two distinguished anthropologists over three decades on the history and importance of global thinking in the social sciences. The authors consider numerous examples for which local phenomena can only be understood within the contexts of global systems. Their multidisciplinary work touches on many aspects of social and individual life as well as long-term historical processes.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Social Reproduction, Social Transformation, and Global Processp. 29
Marxist Theory and Systems of Total Reproductionp. 31
Crises in Theory and Transformations of the World Economyp. 43
Global Process and Long-Term Changep. 57
The Study of Risk in Social Systems: An Anthropological Perspectivep. 61
Notes toward an Epigenetic Model of the Evolution of "Civilization"p. 87
"Capital" Imperialism and Exploitation in Ancient World Systemsp. 141
Structure, Dynamics, and the Final Collapse of Bronze Age Civilizations in the Second Millenniump. 163
Transnationalization, Sociopolitical Disorder, and Ethnification as Expressions of Declining Global Hegemonyp. 203
Structure and History: Transformational Modelsp. 227
External Exchange and the Transformation of Central African Social Systemsp. 231
"Sad Stories of the Death of Kings": The Involution of Divine Kingshipp. 255
Notes on Structure and History in Oceaniap. 281
Morphogenesis and Global Process in Polynesiap. 301
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem