Godelier, Maurice (b. 1934)
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French neo-Marxist anthropologist; fieldwork in New Guinea (Baruya). Godelier has done major work on bringing together the Marxian and the anthropological perspectives. In his discussions of kinship, he reformed the infrastructure-superstructure division, redefining infrastructure to encompass the processes that produce not only the material preconditions of social life, but all its preconditions - including e.g. kinship, which anthropologists had long claimed to have a status similar to a Marxian infrastructure. In his work on primitive trade (among the Baruya), he showed that though there were elements of market economic rationality in such trade, these were subordinate to other economic rationalities. In his contributions to the "mode of production" controversy that took place among Marxian researchers in anthropology and other social sciences during the 1970's, he demonstrated (using the Inca Empire as his example) that several modes of production might coexist in the same, complex social formation. Godelier has later continued work along the same lines, focusing particularly on the relationship between mental and material processes. (See: Marx, Karl.)