The Ghost in the Machine: A Response to Roller

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© 2018, Society for Historical Archaeology. In this commentary, I reflect on the productive relations of the Simone family, the occupants of the site that Roller uses for his case study, to suggest that arguments for consumption need to be dialectically integrated with understandings of production relations. Adding production to the machinic recognizes that the very concept of the machine relates to transformations in work and labor in capitalist production, as machines increasingly replace human labor. From the perspective of productive relations, different questions emerge that should resonate with everyone in our contemporary moment: What happens when capital does not need our labor? What happens when capital does not need us to consume?

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Historical Archaeology