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Unformatted text preview: n combined statistical analysis and voluminous
research with brilliant theoretical insights drawn from Marxian theory, symbolic anthropology, law,
philosophy, and literature in order to offer what he called a “preliminary definition of slavery on the level
of personal relations.” Recognizing violence, violations of personhood, dishonor, and namelessness as the
fundamental constituent elements of slavery, Patterson distilled a transhistorical characterization of slavery as “the
permanent, violent domination of natally alienated and generally dishonored persons .” In this way the
institution of slavery was and is a “relation of domination,” in which slaveholders annihilated people socially by
first extracting them from meaningful relationships that defined personal status and belonging, communal memory, and
collective aspiration and then incorporating these socially dead persons into the masters’ world. As a work of historical
sociology concerned primarily with the comparative analysis of institutions, the book illuminated the dynamics of a...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14