There are many ways to define the theory of political economy (especially depending on the field of study you ask). Based on my background in anthropology, I define it like this:
Political economy is the study of cultural phenomenon in the broader context of economic, political and social power structures. It is a way of studying culture that recognizes the influence of politics, economic structures and social hierarchies on everyday life.
… More Everyday Anthropology: Political Economy
Transnationalism is the idea that there are people whose cultural, social and economic ties extend across national borders. For example, many immigrants maintain a close relationship with the country they were born in, while still participating in the new society that they moved to. … More Everyday Anthropology: Transnationalism
Environmental justice centers around the belief that all people have a right to a healthy living environment and fair treatment through environmental laws and regulations. In addition, environmental justice persists because of the existence of environmental injustices—ways that environmental issues such as pollution and natural disasters disproportionately affect vulnerable and disadvantaged people. … More Everyday Anthropology: Environmental Justice
Social constructs are, by definition, concepts that have been made and agreed upon by the majority of people in a culture or society. Social constructs are a commonly discussed topic in anthropology, for a variety of interesting reasons. … More Everyday Anthropology: Social Constructs
The idea behind reflexivity is that the researcher (in this case, the anthropologist) should reflect on their identity and the role that this identity plays in the society that they are researching within. In other words, research in anthropology is not just about observing others, but also yourself.
… More Everyday Anthropology: Reflexivity
In anthropology, as well as in geography and other disciplines, there is a concept of “Space” vs. “Place.”
Space is location, physical space and physical geography.
Place is what gives a space meaning, “personality” and a connection to a cultural or personal identity. It is the culturally ascribed meaning given to a space. It is the “vibe” that you get from a certain space, and it exists for a reason. … More Everyday Anthropology: Space vs. Place