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Chapter 8, Economics
Key Terms
allocation of resources
Rules adopted by all societies that govern the
regulation and control of such resources as
land, water, and their by-products.
balanced reciprocity
The practice of giving with the expectation
that a similar gift will be given in the opposite
direction either immediately or after a limited
period of time.
The direct exchange of commodities between
people that does not involve a standardized
big men/big women
Self-made leaders, found widely in Melanesia
and New Guinea, who gain prominence by
convincing their followers to contribute
excess food to provide lavish feasts for the
followers of other big men or big women.
The transfer of goods from the groom’s
lineage to the bride’s lineage to legitimize
division of labor
The set of rules found in all societies dictating
how the day-to-day tasks are assigned to the
various members of a society.
economic anthropology
A branch of the discipline of anthropology that
looks at systems of production, distribution,
and consumption most often in the
nonindustrialized world.
The academic discipline that studies systems
of production, distribution, and consumption,
most typically in the industrialized world.
formal economic theorists
Those economic anthropologists who suggest
that the ideas of Western economics can be
applied to any economic situation.
generalized reciprocity
The practice of giving a gift with an expected
The worldwide process, dating back to the fall
of the Berlin Wall, which involves a revolution
in information technology, a dramatic opening
of markets, and the privatization of social
kula ring
A form of reciprocal trading found among the
Trobriand Islanders involving the use of white
shell armbands and red shell bracelets.
market exchange
A form of distribution where goods and
services are bought and sold and their value
determined by the principle of supply and
mechanical solidarity
A type of social integration based on
mutuality of interests found in societies with
little division of labor.
negative reciprocity
A form of economic exchange between
individuals who try to take advantage of each
organic solidarity
A type of social integration based on mutual
interdependence; found in societies with a
relatively elaborate division of labor.
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.