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Chapter 8 Economics What We Will Learn • • • • How do anthropologists study economic systems cross-culturally? How do people use culture to help them adapt to their environment? How are resources such as land and property allocated in different cultures? What principles of distribution are used in various parts of the world? Focus of Economics • • • Production Distribution Consumption Economic Anthropology • • Economics focuses on production, distribution, and consumption within the industrialized world. Economic anthropology studies production, distribution, and consumption comparatively in all societies of the world, industrialized and nonindustrialized. Formal Economic Theorists • Those economic anthropologists who suggest that the ideas of Western economics can be applied to any economic situation. Question • The sub-discipline of ________ studies production, distribution, and consumption comparatively in all societies of the world, industrialized and non-industrialized alike. a) economic anthropology b) cultural anthropology c) applied anthropology d) material culture Answer: a • The sub-discipline of economic anthropology studies production, distribution, and consumption comparatively in all societies of the world, industrialized and non-industrialized alike. Cross-cultural Examination of Economic Systems 1. 2. 3. Regulation of resources: How land, water, and natural resources are controlled and allocated. Production: How material resources are converted into usable commodities. Exchange: How the commodities are distributed among the people of the society. Allocation of Resources • Individual property rights are strongly valued and protected in the United States, but in some parts of the world they are more loosely defined. Pastoralists and Resources • Because this group of East African pastoralists treats land as belonging to everyone in the society, you are not likely to find any “No Trespassing” signs here. Kikuyu and Resources • During the colonial period in Kenya, the British failed to understand that land among the Kikuyu was allocated according to lineage membership and had much more than mere economic importance. Property Rights • Western concept of individual ownership (an idea unknown to some non-Western cultures) in which a large kinship group, instead of the individual, determines limited rights to property. Universalism • Rewarding people on the basis of some universally applied set of standards. Particularism • The propensity to deal with other people based on one’s particular relationship to them rather than according to a universally applied set of standards. Production • A process whereby goods are obtained from the natural environment and altered to become consumable goods for society. Religion and Food Production • • In Hindu India the cow is sacred and never killed for food. This is an excellent example of how a religiously based food prohibition can be economically rational as well. Division of Labor • • Deciding which types of people will perform which categories of work. Every society, whether large or small, distinguishes between the work appropriate for men and women and for adults and children. Gender Specialization • • Women generally tend crops, gather wild foods, care for children, prepare food, clean house, fetch water, and collect cooking fuel. Men usually hunt, build houses, clear land for cultivation, herd large animals, fish, trap small animals, and serve as political functionaries. Theories of Gender Specialization 1. 2. 3. Because men have greater body mass and strength, they are better equipped physically to engage in hunting, warfare, and land clearing. Women do tasks that are compatible with child care. In terms of reproduction, men tend to be more expendable than women. Age Specialization • • usually become involved in work activities at a considerably earlier age. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 work throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and of these, nearly half work full-time. Child Labor • • These Pakistani children are working full time in an embroidery shop for pennies a day rather than going to school. According to the International Labor Organization, there were 246 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 in the workforce worldwide in 2002. Durkheim and Division of Labor Two types of societies • Mechanical solidarity - societies with a minimum of labor specialization. • Organic solidarity - highly specialized societies, solidarity is based on mutual interdependence. Question • Whether based simply on gender and age, or more complex reasons, all societies have established ________ to allocate tasks. a) divisions of labor b) divisions of gender c) age set categories d) hierarchical roles Answer: a • Whether based simply on gender and age, or more complex reasons, all societies have established divisions of labor to allocate tasks. Question • Lack of knowledge and physical strength may be a reason for ________ division of labor. a) gender b) age c) specialization d) hierarchical Answer: b • Lack of knowledge and physical strength may be a reason for age division of labor. Question • The term ________ refers to social solidarity resulting from increased labor specialization and mutual interdependence. a) labor solidarity b) organic solidarity c) social solidarity d) mechanical solidarity Answer: b • The term organic solidarity refers to social solidarity resulting from increased labor specialization and mutual interdependence. Modes of Distribution • • • Reciprocity - The exchange of goods and services of roughly equal value between two trading partners. Redistribution -Goods and services are given to a central authority and reallocated to the people according to a new pattern. Market exchange - Involves the use of standardized currencies to buy and sell goods and services. Three Kinds of Reciprocity 1. 2. 3. Generalized - involves giving a gift without any expectation of immediate return. Balanced - exchange of goods and services with the expectation that equivalent value will be returned within a specific period of time. Negative - exchange of goods and services between equals in which the parties try to gain an advantage. Redistribution • • Goods are given to a central authority and then given back to the people in a new pattern. Redistribution involves two distinct stages: 1. An inward flow of goods and services to a social center. 2. An outward dispersal of these goods and services back to society. Big Men/big Women • Self-made leaders, found widely in Melanesia and New Guinea, who convince their followers to contribute excess food to provide feasts for the followers of other big men or big women. Silent Trade • A form of trading found in some smallscale societies in which the trading partners avoid face-to-face contact. Kula Ring • A form of reciprocal trading found among the Trobriand Islanders involving the use of white shell necklaces and red shell bracelets. Trading • These shell necklaces and bracelets have been used for generations to facilitate trade among the Trobriand Islands. Bridewealth • The transfer of goods from the groom’s lineage to the bride’s lineage to legitimize marriage. Potlatch • A form of competitive giveaway found among Native Americans from the Northwest Coast that serves as a mechanism for both achieving social status and distributing goods. Potlatch • • Tlingit dancers in Alaska pose in traditional ceremonial attire (circa 1895) during a potlatch ceremony, which serves as a mechanism for allocating social status and distributing goods. Market Exchange • • • A form of distribution in which goods and services are bought and sold and their value is determined by supply and demand. Standardized currency (money) • A medium of exchange that has well-defined and understood value. Barter • Direct exchange of commodities between people that does not involve currency. Question • _______ refers to how commodities are distributed among the people of a society. a) The regulation of resources b) Allocation of resources c) Production d) Exchange Answer: d • Exchange refers to how commodities are distributed among the people of a society. Informal Economy • This man selling goods on the streets of New York City illustrates the informal economy operating in the United States. Globalization • • • Since the 1980s the economies of the world have become globalized. Tariffs are lowered and trading is deregulated. Increased the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Globalization • Protestors demonstrate against the abuses of globalization at the 1999 meetings of the World Trade Organization in Seattle.