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Pathways of PowerBuilding an Anthropology of the Modern World$
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Eric Wolf

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223332

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223332.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2021

On Peasant Rent

On Peasant Rent

(p.260) 19 On Peasant Rent
Pathways of Power

Eric R. Wolf

University of California Press

This chapter deals specifically with unresolved issues that emerged in studies of peasant societies worldwide by using a Marxian approach to clarify and specify the relevance of the concept of rent to an understanding of peasants. Peasant studies in American anthropology have taken two different approaches. This study focuses on an approach that departs from the study of the material, economic, and political processes at work in peasant life, and aims at constructing a political economy of peasantry. It discusses mechanisms linking cultivators to economy and polity, to market and state. Significant variations in the peasant condition could be accounted for by the different ways in which rent was assigned and transferred. Rent undergoes a change of function. Peasants—in exchange for their personal freedom and the right to private property—must pay taxes to the state.

Keywords:   Marxian approach, peasant, rent, taxes, American anthropology, political economy

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