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By Mark P. Leone (auth.), Mark P. Leone, Parker B. Potter Jr. (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0306460688

ISBN-13: 9780306460685

ISBN-10: 1461547679

ISBN-13: 9781461547679

American issues, American fabric tradition, and American archaeology are the subjects of this publication. The authors use items used or made in the United States to light up concerns similar to tenancy, racism, sexism, and nearby bias. individuals make the most of facts approximately daily gadgets - from tin cans and bottles to namebrand goods, from fish bones to equipment - to investigate the best way American capitalism works. Their cogent analyses take us actually from damaged dishes to the foreign economic system. specifically awesome chapters study how an archaeologist formulates questions on exploitation lower than capitalism, and the way the learn of artifacts unearths African-American heart classification tradition and its reaction to racism.

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Handsman 1989, 1990; Hall 1984; Leone 1981; Trigger 1980, 1991; Handsman and Richmond 1995; Schmidt 1995; Vargas 1995). This is, perhaps, unsurprising; entrenched presuppositions about historical contexts are especially potent, erasing or naturalizing the direct (causal) antecedents of the systemic contradictions we negotiate in the present. These considerations suggest some preliminary answers to the question framing this collection of essays and the School of American Research seminar out of which they arose: Why should historical archaeologists study capitalism?

Disciplinary boundaries may not cut the world at its joints where differ- Chapter 2. Why Study Capitalism1 41 ent orders of causal production are concerned, and may not ensure freedom from the influence of a common stock of presuppositions that are capable of inducing compensatory errors in seemingly independent lines of evidence. It follows that, to determine epistemically relevant independence, two lines of inquiry are relevant: one to establish the extent to which the processes responsible for ostensibly different records were, in fact, causally independent of one another (itself evidence of internal contradiction and dissonance that will be of interest to the historical archaeology of capitalism); and another to determine the extent to which the background theories concerning these processes (the middle range theory used to read these records) are conceptually independent.

Second, by extension of this argument, the case is made that no one evidential source can take epistemic priority over another as a matter of principle; therefore, documentary history must be recognized to be, in practice, on the same epistemic footing as historical archaeology. The relative security and significance of documentary, as opposed to archaeological, evidence must be assessed locally, with reference to the specific evidential resources each offers and their bearing on a particular set of research questions.

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Historical Archaeologies of Capitalism by Mark P. Leone (auth.), Mark P. Leone, Parker B. Potter Jr. (eds.)

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