By Orlando Patterson
This can be the 1st full-scale comparative examine of the character of slavery. In a piece of prodigious scholarship and large breadth, which pulls at the tribal, old, premodern, and glossy worlds, Orlando Patterson discusses the interior dynamics of slavery in sixty-six societies through the years. those comprise Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, China, Korea, the Islamic kingdoms, Africa, the Caribbean islands, and the yank South. Slavery is proven to be a parasitic courting among grasp and slave, at all times entailing the violent domination of a natally alienated, or socially lifeless, individual. The phenomenon of slavery as an establishment, the writer argues, is a unmarried technique of recruitment, incorporation at the margin of society, and eventual manumission or death.
Distinctions abound during this paintings. past the reconceptualization of the elemental master-slave courting and the redefinition of slavery as an establishment with common attributes, Patterson rejects the legalistic Roman idea that areas the "slave as property" on the middle of the approach. fairly, he emphasizes the centrality of sociological, symbolic, and ideological elements interwoven in the slavery process. alongside the entire continuum of slavery, the cultural milieu is under pressure, in addition to political and mental parts. Materialistic and racial elements are deemphasized. the writer is therefore capable, for instance, to accommodate "elite" slaves, or perhaps eunuchs, within the similar framework of knowing as fieldhands; to discover formerly hidden ideas of inheritance of slave and loose prestige; and to teach the tight courting among slavery and freedom.
Interdisciplinary in its equipment, this examine employs qualitative and quantitative concepts from the entire social sciences to illustrate the universality of constructions and methods in slave platforms and to bare cross-cultural diversifications within the slave alternate and in slavery, in premiums of manumission, and within the prestige of freedmen. Slavery and Social Death lays out an unlimited new corpus of study that underpins an unique and provocative thesis.
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