Chapter 18_ Economic Systems by liuhongmei


									CHAPTER 19

Economic Systems
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   How Do Anthropologists Study
    Economic Systems?
   How Do Different Societies Organize
    Their Economic Resources and Labor?
   How and Why Are Goods Exchanged
    and Redistributed?
Economic Systems

   Despite the complexity of the culture,
    all cultures have some form of an
    economic system because they all
    have some form of subsistence.
   All cultures have a means of producing,
    distributing, and consuming goods.
The Yam Complex in Trobriand
   Trobriand Island men devote a great
    deal of time and energy to raising
    yams, not for themselves but to give to
    others ( sisters and married daughters).
   The yams which switch hands from the
    women to their respective husbands is
    to show one’s respect for her husband.
   The more yams a man has in his yam
    house the higher his status because it
    shows he is well respected and liked.
Control of Land & Water
   The access to land and fresh water is
    naturally a resource all living people
    must obtain.
   Some societies have private ownership
    of these resources where as others
    divide them up among who has
    occupied that land the longest.
   We will examine all modes of
    subsistence by their control of land and
Food Foraging

   Land is usually control by kinship
    groups rather than an individual.
   All bands will have their own “territory”
    an area they occupy that is considered
   Food foragers determine who will hunt
    game and gather plants in their home
    range and where these activities take
Food Producing

   Pastoralists require a system that
    determines rights to watering places and
    grazing land for their animals. Often land
    will be divided up based on watering holes.
   Farmers (agricultural) must have some
    means of determining title to land and
    access to water for irrigation.
   Small scale farmers generally “own” land on
    lease and must pay tribute to the chief of
    the tribe who is said to own the land.

   In Western capitalist societies, private
    ownership of land and rights to natural
    resources generally prevails.
   This is also based on the individual not
    the group as it might be for foraging
    and some producing societies.
Technology Resources

   Similar to economic systems all
    societies will have some form of
    technology which is best described as
    tools and other material equipment,
    together with the knowledge of how to
    make and use them.
   Technology complexity can vary among
    groups but one thing is important
    technological advances are relative to
    the society in which they are found.

   Food foragers and patoralists who are
    nomadic have fewer and simpler tools
    than sedentary farmers. In fact the
    average member of the Ju/’hoansi
    owns about 25lbs of possessions per
   The primary tools for horticulturists
    include the axe, digging stick, and hoe.
Division of of Labor

   Despite variations of labor patterns
    cross culturally it can be said that every
    society has a division of labor by
    gender and age at the very minimum.
   There are three documented patterns
    of labor by gender:
      Flexible/integrated pattern
      Segregated pattern
      Dual sex Configuration
Flexible/Integrated Pattern

   Seen most frequently among food
   35% of tasks are performed equally by
    men and women.
   Tasks considered appropriate for one
    gender may be performed by the other
    without the loss of face.
   Boys and girls grow up in much the
    same way and learn to value
    cooperation over competition.
Segregated Pattern

   Common to pastoral, intensive
    agricultural, and industrial societies.
   Almost all work is defined as masculine
    or feminine.
   Men and women rarely engage in joint
    efforts and do not help one another.
   Both boys and girls are raised primarily
    by women. After puberty boys will
    spend most time with adult men and
    girls with adult women.
Dual Sex Configuration

   Seen among some Native American
   Men and women carry out their work
   The relationship is one of balanced
    complimentarily rather than inequality.
   Each gender manages its own affairs,
    and the interests of both men and
    women are represented at all levels.
Division of Labor by Age

   Typical to have a division by age in all
    societies although it varies greatly.
   Food foraging societies such as the
    Ju/’hoansi do not expect children to
    contribute to subsistence until their late
    teens. Elders will also “retire” around
    the age of 60.
   In some farming communities both
    children and elders are expected to
    contribute to the group or household.
    Girls among the Mayan peasant groups
    may begin to do housework and watch
    younger children around the age of 7 or
    8 years old.
   Industrial societies may also find
    younger children and elders working in
    factories to help support their families.

   There are three main forms of reciprocity which
    one mode of distribution.
     Generalized - The value of what is given
      is not calculated and repayment is not
     Balanced -A direct obligation to
      reciprocate in equal value for the
      relationship to continue.
     Negative - The giver tries to get the
      better of the deal.
    What do you see most in your culture?
The Kula Ring

   Form of Balanced Reciprocity
   The ceremonial trading of shell necklaces and armbands in
    the Kula ring encourages trade throughout Melanesia.

   Bartering occurs when two or more partners
    from different groups negotiate a direct
    exchange of one trade good for another.
   Often this transaction can turn hostile of
    both parties are not in agreement- thus
    similar to negative reciprocity.
   As each party seeks to get the best possible
    deal, both may negotiate until a balance has
    been reached where each feels satisfied at
    having achieved the better of the deal.

   Silent trade or bartering with no verbal
    communication may be common due to a
    lack of a common language between
    neighboring groups.
   Allows for the maintenance of solidarity
    between allies and the building of such

   Redistribution is the form of exchange in
    which goods flow into a central place where
    they are sorted, counted, and reallocated.
   Redistribution involves a certain amount of
    power and control.
   In societies with a surplus to support some sort
    of government, goods in the form of gifts,
    tribute, taxes, and the spoils of war are
    gathered into storehouses controlled by a chief
    or some other type of leader.
   From there, they are handed out again.
Motives in Redistributing
The leadership by the chief or person in charge of
   redistribution has three motives in
1. Gain or maintain a position of superiority
   through a display of wealth and generosity.
2. Assure those who support the leadership an
   adequate standard of living by providing them
   with desired goods.
3. Establish alliances with leaders of other groups
   by hosting them at lavish parties and giving
   them valuable goods.
Gaining Status & Prestige

   Conspicuous consumption- a term
    coined by Thorstein Veblen to describe
    the display of wealth for social prestige.
    This is a way to gain social status
    without actually distributing anything.
   Potlatches on the other hand are a
    form of conspicuous consumption
    where a village chief will give away his
    goods (food) to his people in a showy
    displace of his wealth.
Gaining Status & Prestige

   Potlatches often compel others in the
    society to also give away goods by hosting
    a public feast so that no one person
    accumulates more wealth than another.
    These are called leveling mechanisms.
   One last method of gaining status and
    prestige is prestige economy. The main
    difference between this and conspicuous
    consumption is that mass wealth is obtained
    for the purpose of giving it away to others.
        Market Exchange
   Buying and selling of goods and services, with prices set by
    rules of supply and demand is known as Market Exchange.
   Prices are set on the basis of supply and demand. Often
    money may be used although it is not necessary as in some
    non-industrial societies. Other goods may be used for barter/
      Money is defined as something used to make payments
        for goods and services as well as to measure their value.
   The wide range of things that have been used as money in
    one or another society includes salt, shells, stones, beads,
    feathers, fur, bones, and teeth.
Informal Economy (Black
   The production of marketable commodities
    that for various reasons escape
    enumeration, regulation, or any other sort of
    public monitoring or auditing.
   Examples of goods or services that may be
    obtained on this type of market:
      Child care, house cleaning, gardening,
       alcohol, drugs, prostitution, illegal labor,
       gambling, etc.

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