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Economic Anthropology: Distribution and Exchange

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Information about Economic Anthropology: Distribution and Exchange

Published on January 19, 2008

Author: PaulVMcDowell

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Describes Systems of Exchange. Reciprocity; Redistribution; Market Exchange
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Economic Anthropology: Distribution and Exchange

Distribution: Exchange Relations Once produced, good and service must be distributed Three ways by which goods are distributed Reciprocity: direct exchange of goods and services Redistribution: Flow of goods and services to central authority, then returned in different form Market exchange: buying and selling through price mechanism

Once produced, good and service must be distributed

Three ways by which goods are distributed

Reciprocity: direct exchange of goods and services

Redistribution: Flow of goods and services to central authority, then returned in different form

Market exchange: buying and selling through price mechanism

Imperatives of Exchange: Background Marcel Mauss: The Gift Preface: “When two groups of men meet, they may move away or in case of mistrust they may resort to arms or else they may come to terms” Coming to terms, he called “total prestations” or an obligation that has the force of law in the absence of law

Marcel Mauss: The Gift

Preface: “When two groups of men meet, they may

move away or

in case of mistrust they may resort to arms

or else they may come to terms”

Coming to terms, he called “total prestations” or

an obligation that

has the force of law

in the absence of law

Obligations of the Gift Obligation to give To extend social ties to other person or groups Obligation to receive To accept the relationship Refusal is rejection of offered relationship Induces hostilities Obligation to repay Failure to repay renders one a beggar

Obligation to give

To extend social ties to other person or groups

Obligation to receive

To accept the relationship

Refusal is rejection of offered relationship

Induces hostilities

Obligation to repay

Failure to repay renders one a beggar

Types of Reciprocity: Generalized The obligations underlie the principles of reciprocity Reciprocity: Direct exchange of goods and services Generalized reciprocity: altruistic transactions in which gifts are freely given without calculating value or repayment due Example: meat distribution among !Kung (upper left) Example: family pooling of resources, even birthday presents (lower left) Usually occurs among close kin

The obligations underlie the principles of reciprocity

Reciprocity: Direct exchange of goods and services

Generalized reciprocity: altruistic transactions in which

gifts are freely given without calculating value or repayment due

Example: meat distribution among !Kung (upper left)

Example: family pooling of resources, even birthday presents (lower left)

Usually occurs among close kin

Types of Reciprocity: Balanced Balanced reciprocity: Direct exchange Value of gift is calculated Time of repayment is specified Selling surplus food (upper left) Kula ring, Trobriand Islands One trader gives partner a white armband (see map, lower left) Expects a red necklace of equal value in return Promissory gifts are made until return occurs Usually occurs among distant kin

Balanced reciprocity: Direct exchange

Value of gift is calculated

Time of repayment is specified

Selling surplus food (upper left)

Kula ring, Trobriand Islands

One trader gives partner a white armband (see map, lower left)

Expects a red necklace of equal value in return

Promissory gifts are made until return occurs

Usually occurs among distant kin

Types of Reciprocity: Negative Negative reciprocity: An exchange where One party tries to get the better of the exchange from the other party. Example: hard bargaining or deception Example: horse raids (upper left) Example: selling prepared food to a captive market (lower left) Usually occurs among unrelated persons Variation: silent trade

Negative reciprocity: An exchange where

One party tries to get the better of the exchange

from the other party.

Example: hard bargaining or deception

Example: horse raids (upper left)

Example: selling prepared food to a captive market (lower left)

Usually occurs among unrelated persons

Variation: silent trade

Case Study: Big Man Complex Big men are headmen with a following Following created by doing a favor (e.g. lending pigs) Favor is difficult to repay Individually, exchange is reciprocity Collectively, has appearance of redistribution

Big men are headmen with a following

Following created by doing a favor (e.g. lending pigs)

Favor is difficult to repay

Individually, exchange is reciprocity

Collectively, has appearance of redistribution

Big Men’s Power: Limits Cannot enforce the obligations Subject to competition to other big men Exchange feasts every 10 years with another big man equal in status

Cannot enforce the obligations

Subject to competition to other big men

Exchange feasts every 10 years with another big man equal in status

Redistribution Process whereby goods and services Flow to a central authority (king, chief, government) Where they are sorted, counted, and Reallocated Classic example: Potlatch (left) Historical example: administered trade

Process whereby goods and services

Flow to a central authority (king, chief, government)

Where they are sorted, counted, and

Reallocated

Classic example: Potlatch (left)

Historical example: administered trade

Redistribution: Socialist Model Central feature of command economies Ethnographic example: Inca labor tax Here, men turn the soil with foot plows While the women break up the clods Modern examples: socialist countries Students from across Latin America at Cuban medical school

Central feature of command economies

Ethnographic example: Inca labor tax

Here, men turn the soil with foot plows

While the women break up the clods

Modern examples: socialist countries

Students from across Latin America at Cuban medical school

Market Exchange Exchange of goods among many buyers and sellers Directly, by barter, or Indirectly, by money and pricing Example: Yoruba market in Nigeria (upper left); Haitian market woman (lower left) Markets include Crowds of buyers and sellers Instant information on prices Freedom of market entry and exit

Exchange of goods among many buyers and sellers

Directly, by barter, or

Indirectly, by money and pricing

Example: Yoruba market in Nigeria (upper left); Haitian market woman (lower left)

Markets include

Crowds of buyers and sellers

Instant information on prices

Freedom of market entry and exit

Market Exchange: Actors Actors are: Supplier, whose willingness to sell is directly proportional to price increases Purchaser, whose willingness to buy (demand) is directly proportional to price decreases Interaction lead to price equilibrium--no profit

Actors are:

Supplier, whose willingness to sell is directly proportional to price increases

Purchaser, whose willingness to buy (demand) is directly proportional to price decreases

Interaction lead to price equilibrium--no profit

Example: Regional Guatemalan Markets Case Study: San Francisco el Alto Entry: seller pay small tax; buyers pay none Many buyers and sellers Price is constant topic of conversation Profit is minimal Regional specialization guarantee buyers for product

Case Study: San Francisco el Alto

Entry: seller pay small tax; buyers pay none

Many buyers and sellers

Price is constant topic of conversation

Profit is minimal

Regional specialization guarantee buyers for product

Conclusion Economy entails distribution of goods and services Still, economy is embedded in society Big man complex involves politics Maintains power by persuasion, negotiation Kula ring is also embedded in prestige Interconnections will be seen in other topics: social groups and politics

Economy entails distribution of goods and services

Still, economy is embedded in society

Big man complex involves politics

Maintains power by persuasion, negotiation

Kula ring is also embedded in prestige

Interconnections will be seen in other topics: social groups and politics

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