Anthropology and the Present Moment



This article, in honor of Antonio Lauria-Perricelli, examines some of the central theoretical issues which the current economic crisis poses for anthropological theory and practice. It points out that the “brute materiality” of the crisis, calls into question culturalist concepts of practice derived from Bourdieu as well as poststructuralist theories which minimize the significance of material macrostructures. It ends by emphasizing the need for a renewed understanding of the economy by anthropologists as well as for a more dialectical notion of structure as inherently contradictory and dynamic.