Godlier’s Approach towards social anthropology – Essay

He begins with the question on economics: Is there a hidden logic in eco­nomic systems and what constitutes the necessity for their appearance, their reproduction or disappearance during the course of history?

It is with this question related to economics that Godlier comes to history and anthropology. His argument is that there is no true ra­tionality which can explain economic production, distribution, exchange and consumption. Economics can be comprehended by structural analysis of social relations.

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In doing that we will be able to find out the basic causes of modes of production in different social structures. In fact, Godlier’s contention is that in each society there are some modes of productions.

These modes vary from society to so­ciety. Economics tries to find out the causality of modes of production in each society. In reality, what Godlier argues is the old theme of Marxism, the mode of production.

What is particular about him is that he tries to detect the structures of social relations which emerge from a particular mode of production. The emphasis on the structural analysis of social relations, at the end of his work, leads him to con­sider social anthropology as neo-functional and structural.

This is obviously a new approach and contests what has been said by Mali­nowski, Evans-Pritchard and Srinivas. We shall now elaborate the approach and methodology taken by Godlier in his above mentioned book.