cultural materialism


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cultural materialism

(ANTHROPOLOGY) an approach (e.g. the work of Marvin Harris 1978) which suggests that the appropriate explanations of many aspects of human culture are material factors. In some aspects the approach is like that of MARX, but in Harris's work the determining features of importance are more usually of a demographic or environmental nature. Harris, for example, has proposed ecological/environmental explanations of social practices such as cannibalism, TABOOS and food prohibitions. See also HISTORICAL MATERIALISM, ENVIRONMENTAL DEPLETION, GEOGRAPHICAL DETERMINISM.
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