Luis Angosto-Ferrández (University of Sydney), ‘Modern accumulation’
This is the seventh instalment of the semester two seminar series organised by the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.
Thursday 3 November 2016
Time and location
4.00pm-5.30pm, Darlington Centre Boardroom
Gareth Bryant, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marxian conceptualisation of primitive accumulation has been revitalised in a wide range of analysis of contemporary capitalism, including anthropological ones. While it contributes to study and theorise some mechanisms of capitalist expansion and readjustment, it is inadequate to explain others that equally translate in forms of dispossession and/or proletarianization. Here, the concept of modern accumulation is developed to facilitate the theorisation of these latter mechanisms. This concept addresses a distinctive dynamic of capitalist expansion distinguishable from primitive accumulation and expanded reproduction and characterised by three main interrelated features: first, it is (generally) undertaken by subjects belonging to groups whose social identities are partially defined by historical exposition to processes of dispossession and proletarianization (e.g. indigenous people); second, it involves forms of commodification and propertisation that discursively entail a de-fetishising move: the commodity brought into the cycle of capital is presented as a product of the past collective labour of a particular social group; third, in this form of accumulation the figure of producer of commodities is replaced by that of conserver of commodities: holders (or claimants) of property rights largely derive their legitimacy and legal position from their responsibility in the conservation of a given commodified thing
About the speaker
Luis Fernando Angosto-Ferrández is a lecturer in the departments of Anthropology and Latin American Studies. He has extensive fieldwork experience in Latin America and Spain and has lived, worked and researched in Venezuela for nearly a decade. In addition to his scholarly work, he is a contributor to various public media outlets.
Full Political Economy seminar schedule