Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America” as Want to Read:
The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In this classic book, Michael Taussig explores the social significance of the devil in the folklore of contemporary plantation workers and miners in South America. Grounding his analysis in Marxist theory, Taussig finds that the fetishization of evil, in the image of the devil, mediates the conflict between precapitalist and capitalist modes of objectifying the human condi ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by University of North Carolina Press (first published 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 545)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Malcolm
Despite the title, this is not an exploration of satanic rituals – but it is very much an ethnography of religion, colonialism and the changes brought about in life experience as a result of the imposition of the new ways of being that colonialism brings about. Good cross cultural scholarship and ethnography can expose and reveal an enormous amount about the ‘home’ culture of the researcher while at the same time unravelling and allowing us to make sense of another way of being and living.

In th
...more
Viii Legion
Triumphs as an ethnography, fails at political commentary. The author expertly chronicles the synthetic blend of Roman-Catholic, Afro-Caribbean, and Latin superstitions and religious faiths South American agricultural workers harbor which is very interesting. However, the author occasionally inserts his naive belief that Marxism can somehow save these people from exploitation which detracts from the ethnography. Not to get too political, but if Capitalism and Marxism both become susceptible to t ...more
John Victor
Very interesting anthropological study imo
Myka
This book is soooooooooo cool! it takes two examples of indigenous communities in latin america and looks at how they have begun to use discourses of the devil and the demonic at the same time as capitalism was forced on their lives. It essentially argues that capitalism can be best understood/revealed/denaturalized by using the imagery of the devil, soul stealers, etc.
Kylie
As far as ethnographies go, this one is pretty good. Easily readable for anyone not familiar with the theory that's being applied in the study. However, there is a bit of a slog through the history at the start of the book, I would almost go so far as to say to skip the first 50-70 pages.
Dave
Really brings it home how something isn't intrinsically itself, but has qualities only so far as its different from the things around it. Makes a great case for a relational rather than an atomistic view of reality.
Matt Webb
Mar 11, 2008 Matt Webb marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Anne G after a discussion about understanding exchange and use values better.
Katrina
A little too much economics for my taste.
Reid
Very good and highly informative.
Renee
Too communist-heavy for my liking.
Davis Clark
Davis Clark marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Owen Walsh
Owen Walsh marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Achille M
Achille M marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Alice Godfrey
Alice Godfrey marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2015
Marie Whelan
Marie Whelan marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2015
Andrew Denzer
Andrew Denzer marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2015
Ashley
Ashley marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2015
emydeeg
emydeeg marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2015
Upevnit
Upevnit marked it as to-read
Jun 02, 2015
Nisa
Nisa marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Ian Gabriel
Ian Gabriel marked it as to-read
May 24, 2015
David
David marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Nicole Wilson
Nicole Wilson marked it as to-read
May 19, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande
  • Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection
  • The Forest of Symbols: Aspects Of Ndembu Ritual
  • Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis
  • Europe and the People Without History
  • Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams
  • Stone Age Economics
  • Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (updated with a new preface)
  • Outline of a Theory of Practice
  • Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment
  • The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective
  • The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction
  • The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies
  • Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author
  • The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art
  • Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil
  • Patterns of Culture
  • Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians
84770
Michael Taussig (born 1940) earned a medical degree from the University of Sydney, received his PhD. in anthropology from the London School of Economics and is a professor at Columbia University and European Graduate School. Although he has published on medical anthropology, he is best known for his engagement with Marx's idea of commodity fetishism, especially in terms of the work of Walter Benja ...more
More about Michael T. Taussig...
Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses: A Particular Study of the Senses My Cocaine Museum Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia What Color Is the Sacred?

Share This Book