Marvin Harris (August 18, 1927 – October 25, 2001) was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism. In his work he combined Karl Marx's emphasis on the forces of production with Thomas Malthus's insights on the impact of demographic factors on other parts of the sociocultural system. Labeling demographic and production factors as infrastructure, Harris posited these factors as key in determining a society's social structure and culture. After the publication of The Rise of Anthropological Theory in 1968, Harris helped focus the interest of anthropologists in cultural-ecological relationships for the rest of his career. Many of his publications gained wide circulation among lay readers.
Over the course of his professional life, Harris drew both a loyal following and a considerable amount of criticism. He became a regular fixture at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association where he would subject scholars to intense questioning from the floor, podium, or bar. He is considered a generalist, who had an interest in the global processes that account for human origins and the evolution of human cultures.
In his final book, Theories of Culture in Postmodern Times, Harris argued that the political consequences of postmodern theory were harmful, a critique similar to those later developed by philosopher Richard Wolin and others.
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... Harris left a large body of scholarly work ... See List of Marvin Harris works for a complete list ... titled The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig) More academically oriented works include Harris, Marvin, Ross, Eric B ...
Famous quotes containing the words harris and/or marvin:
“Mother came to us destitute. She brings a child into the world, takes one look at him and promptly dies. Without leaving so much as a forwarding name and address.”
—Vernon Harris (c. 1910)
“And he had an ethical bypass at birth.”
—Stanley Weiser, U.S. screenwriter, and Oliver Stone. Marvin (John C. McGinley)