Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study

Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study

Orlando Patterson


this is often the 1st full-scale comparative research of the character of slavery. In a piece of prodigious scholarship and large breadth, which pulls at the tribal, historic, premodern, and smooth worlds, Orlando Patterson discusses the inner dynamics of slavery in sixty-six societies through the years. those contain 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 dating among grasp and slave, always 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 means of recruitment, incorporation at the margin of society, and eventual manumission or death.

Distinctions abound during this paintings. past the reconceptualization of the fundamental 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 center of the procedure. relatively, he emphasizes the centrality of sociological, symbolic, and ideological components interwoven in the slavery process. alongside the entire continuum of slavery, the cultural milieu is under pressure, in addition to political and mental components. Materialistic and racial components are deemphasized. the writer is hence capable, for instance, to house "elite" slaves, or perhaps eunuchs, within the similar framework of figuring out as fieldhands; to discover formerly hidden ideas of inheritance of slave and loose prestige; and to teach the tight dating among slavery and freedom.

Interdisciplinary in its tools, this learn employs qualitative and quantitative innovations from the entire social sciences to illustrate the universality of buildings and procedures in slave platforms and to bare cross-cultural diversifications within the slave exchange and in slavery, in premiums of manumission, and within the prestige of freedmen. Slavery and Social Death lays out an unlimited new corpus of analysis that underpins an unique and provocative thesis.

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