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Archive | Short Articles

Joan Acker’s Feminist Historical-Materialist Theory of Class

Marxism and feminism are usually seen as divorced from each other today, following the breakup of what Heidi Hartmann famously called their “unhappy marriage.” Yet, some theorists still show the influence of both. In my view, Joan Acker is both one of the leading analysts of gender and class associated with the second wave of […]

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‘No Radical Change in the Model’

In the 2006 presidential election campaign in Brazil, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known as Lula), leader of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT or Workers’ Party), was interviewed at length on July 11, 2006, by the Financial Times (which also interviewed Lula’s main rightist challenger Geraldo Alckmin). The interview touched on many topics but […]

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The Environmental Conditions of the Working Class: An Introduction to Selections from Fredrick Engles’ The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844

Both urban sociology in general and urban environmental justice studies began with Frederick Engels’s seminal work The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Engels provided a walking tour of the environmental conditions in the manufacturing establishments and slums of the factory towns of England, together with a similar view of London. He […]

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Land, the Color Line and the Quest of the Silver Fleece

“Land, the Color Line and the Quest of the Silver Fleece: An Introduction to W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folkand The Quest of the Silver Fleece (selections),” (coauthored with Brett Clark, Clark listed first) Organization and Environment, vol. 16, no. 4 (December 2003), 459-69. DOI: 10.1177/1086026603259095 Manning Marable (1999) writes that William Edward Burghardt Du […]

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Marx and the Dialectic of Orgainc/Inorganic Relations

Our article “The Dialectic of Organic/Inorganic Relations: Marx and the Hegelian Philosophy of Nature” (Foster & Burkett, 2000) appeared in Oraganization & Environment exactly a 1 year ago. Our purpose in that article was a very specific one made very clear from the beginning. We were concerned with addressing one of the most persistent and […]

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William Stanley Jevons and The Coal Question

William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882) is best known as a British economist who was one of the pioneers of contemporary neoclassical economic analysis, with its subjective value theory rooted in marginal utility. His applied economics and theoretical insights marked new points of departure for later economist who would more fully shape the neoclassical tradition. But Jevons […]

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E. Ray Lankester, Ecological Materialist

E. Ray Lankester (1847 to 1929) is largely forgotten today—his impor- . tance is only just now being rediscovered. Yet, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Lankester was at the very pinnacle of the British scientific establishment and a well-known, even larger-than-life, public fig- ure. In Arthur Conan […]

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Market Fetishism and the Attack on Social Reason

In an age when the rationalist tradition of the Enlightenment is under attack, it is perhaps worth recalling that the arch-conservative economist, Friedrich Hayek, the leading intellectual figure of the free market right, made one of the sharpest attacks ever to be directed at the idea that reason can play a useful role in shaping […]

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Crises Lasting for Decades

Sometimes a theoretical debate will degenerate into a tower of babel because the participants, without being aware of the fact, are answering not the same question but different questions. It is therefor essential to be clear about what is being asked. In the case of my essay in The Imperiled Economy (Foster, 1987), which Hower […]

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