Plantation Status and Consumer Choice

A Materialist Framework for Historical Archaeology
  • Charles E. OrserJr.


In all of American history, the southern plantation stands alone as unique. Caused mainly by the presence of slaves before 1865, and tenancy after that date, this distinctiveness has intrigued scholars for many years. Although American archaeologists have been slower to study plantations, research on plantations has been growing recently (Fairbanks 1984; Orser 1984). Nonetheless, even though great strides have been made in illustrating the material culture used at plantations, fewer archaeologists have been willing to confront the more difficult problems associated with plantation social position, economic ranking, and consumer choice. These deficiencies are unfortunate because an understanding of these sociological questions is consistent with the goals of anthropological historical archaeology.


Consumer Choice Plantation Status Historical Archaeology Wage Laborer Historical Materialism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles E. OrserJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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