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Environment, Labour and Capitalism at SeaWorking the Ground' in Scotland$
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Penny McCall Howard

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994143

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994143.001.0001

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Labour, class, environments and anthropology

(p.208) Conclusion
Environment, Labour and Capitalism at Sea

Penny McCall Howard

Manchester University Press

The conclusion focusses on the importance of considering labour, production and capitalism in anthropological analysis. In contrast, a focus on consumption can result in the ‘enchantment of things’ – a reification that obscures processes, history and how things are brought into being and transformed. The role of labour and capitalism can be harder to see at sea due to the overwhelming environment, but they are no less important than on land. Neil Smith has described how capitalist relations currently produce nature as a totality, and this includes the marine environment – what Jason Moore describes as the Capitalocence. An analysis of the political economy of capitalism can make an important contribution to understanding the sea, human-environment relations, human-machine relations, and human societies more generally. There is much to explore in the connections between human and environmental exploitation, violence and capitalism at sea, and contradictions and class in Western society. People’s labour plays a critical role within the enormous metabolism of capitalism, which ties people and their environments together on a huge scale.

Keywords:   Production, Consumption, Anthropology, Ethnography, Nature, Class, Neil Smith, Jason Moore, Capitalism, Capitalocene, Metabolism

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