Claude Meillassoux

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Claude Meillassoux (/ˌməˈs/; French: [mɛjasu]; December 26, 1925 – January 3, 2005) was a French neo-Marxist economic anthropologist and Africanist.

Meillassoux, a student of Georges Balandier, did fieldwork among the Guro (Gouro) of the Côte d'Ivoire: his thesis was published in 1964. In the 1970s he criticised Marshall Sahlins's use of the notion of "domestic mode of production". Meillassoux was throughout his life a politically committed critic of social injustice.

His son Quentin is an academic philosopher.


  • Femmes, greniers et capitaux (1975, Maspero; transl. as Maidens, Meal and Money: Capitalism and the Domestic Community)
  • Anthropologie de l'esclavage: le ventre de fer et d'argent (1986; transl. 1991 as The Anthropology of Slavery: The Womb of Iron and Gold)


  • "Essai d'interprétation du phénomène économique dans les sociétés traditionnelles d'autosubsistance", Cahiers d'études africaines, 1960, 4: 38-67
  • “From Reproduction to Production: A Marxist Approach to Economic Anthropology.” Economy and Society 1(1), 1974

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