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Karl marx defined modes of production in Das Kapital (1867) as the means (e.g., labor and materials) and relations (e.g., property and power) that when combined enable people to change their environment into useful objects (e.g., food and transportation). Marx defined several modes of production (kin-ordered, Asiatic, slave, tributary, capitalist, socialist, and communist). Of these modes of production, three (kin-ordered, tributary, and capitalist production) have been most useful in understanding the political economy of current cultures around the world.

In kin-ordered production, kinship relations are the basis of labor, which is categorized by marriage and/or other kinship relationships between individuals. For example, husbands may hunt with other men of their patriline while wives work in gardens with their sisters. Use is the basis of production rather ...

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