Anarchist Theory and Archaeology

By Bill Angelbeck, Lewis Borck, Matthew Sanger
The theory of anarchism primarily concerns the organization of society in a way that fosters egal- itarian or equitable forms of association and coop- eration and resists all forms of domination. An anarchist perspective involves an awareness of, and critique of, how power is implemented through social relations, whether positively as in collaborative acts of mutual aid to common goals or negatively as in assertions of authoritarian power contrary to the interests of the community as a whole. As a theory concerning power and social relations, archaeologists apply anarchism for analyses of past societies, to interpret and evaluate forms of egalitarian or hierarchical rela- tions, modes of domination or resistance, and expressions of control or autonomy. Moreover, it is not just for considering the past, but the theory can be applied to contemporary social arrange- ments concerning archaeology in multiple ways: how archaeologists organize themselves for research teams and field crews, involve local or descendant communities, or relate to the various publics concerning heritage. Anarchism has had an increasing influence upon archaeology in recent years, just as the theory has influenced other disciplines throughout the social sciences and humanities.

Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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