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Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies




2 & 3

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A look into modes of production is one of many possible entry points for the study of society and economy. It was not well developed by Marx who only alluded to it here and there in his works. He introduced the idea in Capital. (1977, Vols. 1, 1974 II, and III), A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy (1970), and in Pre- Capitalist Economic Formations (1964). While one can read this concept in his other texts, for example in German Ideology (1970), it is from the previously mentioned ones that others, most notably Althusser and Balibar in their Reading Capital (1970), have drawn the term to explicate it as a tool for social analysis. As a consequence, it is in secondary sources that the concept of a mode of production has been elaborated upon and refined. Marx remains a source of inspiration to proponents of the mode of production approach who refer to him in constructing their concept. I used these secondary sources in explicating the concept of a "mode of production." Note, however, that the term has been subjected to varied, if not contrary, definitions. All of them cannot be reviewed here, and so, I do not dwell long on what are considered to be outdated usages of the term that have been formerly criticized. This paper is limited to a review of interpretations and applications of the concept which have been deemed most congenial to anthropology and sociology in the Philippines.


Special Issue, "Philippines 2000: Dream or Delusion?"

Combined issue of Vol. 9, Nos. 2 and 3, 1993-1994.