By Thomas C. Patterson
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Extra info for America's Past: A New World Archaeology
This of course does not imply that we should not strive for objectivity through the use of sound theoretical and methodological frameworks and a healthy dose of self-reflection. The diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives archaeologists bring to the study of the past is representative of the same diversity that existed among individual actors in the past. As a result each individual (both past and present) while experiencing the same event, or in the case of the archaeologist analyzing the same data set, may interpret, process, and understand what they are experiencing differentially.
As a result exploitation permeates every aspect of social life, from the domination of core over periphery on a global scale, to the local-scale exploitation between owner and laborer, between ethnicities, races, and genders. Viewing plantation systems as part of these local and global networks of inequality and exploitation empowers archaeologists to understand household and site-specific inequalities and exploitation both “as microcosms of the structural inequities of the capitalist world-system” (Dunaway 2001:12), but also as historically particular adaptations to a globalizing world.
The periphery produces raw and agricultural materials that are exported to the core and semi-periphery. Economic activities in the periphery rely more heavily on human labor than on mechanization. The semi-periphery is intermediate between the core and periphery and is characterized by a mixture of both manufacturing and the export of raw and agricultural materials. The relationship between the core and periphery is an exploitative one. The trade and economic relationships between the two zones typically benefit the capitalists in the core at the expense of the producers in periphery.
America's Past: A New World Archaeology by Thomas C. Patterson