Value, (use) values, and the ecologies of capital: on social form, meaning, and the contested production of nature.

Luis Andueza*

*Corresponding author for this work

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11 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper connects hitherto distant strands of literature to contribute to the ongoing turn to value theory in socio-ecological studies. Starting from Marx’s understanding of value as social form, I revisit Neil Smith’s contribution to the question of value and nature and argue for a reassessment of the internal relations between valorisation and the ‘vernacular’ dimensions of socio-ecological reproduction. I approach this problem through Bolívar Echeverría’s reconstruction of the category of use-value and his understanding of the pivotal role it plays in Marx’s critique, which allows for an open and non-reductive account of the subsumption of socio-ecologies under capitalism as contradictory entanglements of abstraction and meaning. The paper mobilises these insights alongside Marxian-inspired anthropological theories of value – the work of Terence Turner and David Graeber – in order to sketch elements for a symbolic-materialist framework to approach the question of value in its cultural-moral register, its relation to value as economic form, and issues of moral economy and ecology under capitalism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Human Geography
VolumeOnline First
Early online date12 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Anthropological theories of value
  • Marxism
  • Nature and society
  • Political ecology
  • Use-value
  • Value theory
  • World-ecology

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