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Lecture 10

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Lecture 10 July 25, 2013 Assignment #2 is due next week, Aug 1st. DISTRIBUTION AND EXCHANGE - Karl Polyani defined 3 basic modes of distribution/exchange 1. Reciprocity 2. Redistribution 3. Market Exchange 1. RECIPROCITY  Informal exchange of goods and /or labour  Basis of most non-market economies, but common to all  Powerful form of exchange that creates and emphasizes social relationships.  Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) - The Gift (1923)  Gift economies of small-scale societies contrasted with commodity exchanges  Explores the way that the reciprocal exchange of objects between groups builds relationship between humans - no such thing as free gift  Distinguished between 3 obligations  Giving- the necessary initial step for the creation and maintenance of social relationships  Receiving- for to refuse to receive to reject the social bond  Reciprocating - in order to demonstrate one's own status, prestige, honour and wealth  3 Main Types  1. Generalized --> Someone gives and expects nothing immediate or of equal value in return. Signifies close social relationship.  2. Balanced --> Someone gives and expect return of something of equal value. Signifies social distance. Lack of reciprocation can harm social relationship E.g., If you go to prof to borrow money for lunch, he expects that you will return the money next week.  3. Negative --> Exchange were one parties intends to benefit at expense of the other. Minimum amount of social trust/relationship. Example: Cattle raids - Reciprocity: The Kula Ring  Kula exchange is a complex system of gifts and counter-gifts whose rules are laid down by custom.  Kula valuable are non-use items traded purely for purpose of enhancing one's social status and prestige  Exchanges establish strong, ideally lifelong relationships between the exchange parties  Important chiefs can have hundreds of partners (and therefore kula items) while less significant participants may only have fewer than dozen  Melanisians carefully extinguish between gift exchange and market exchange 2. REDISTRIBUTION  Goods (or services) more from the local level to a center  Controlled through a hierarchy of officials who many consume some of the goods  Eventually, goods are redistributed- that is, they flow in the reverse direction, down through the hierarchy and back to the local level.  Often serves purpose of social security --> making sure all members of groups of basic necessities to survive.  Act of leveling mechanisms: Shrink gaps between rich and poor and help to limit social inequality.  Examples: social welfare programs, like public healthcare or Employment Insurance (EI). REDISTRIBUTION: The Potlatch  Potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practices by Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and the U.S.A.  Rituals in which sponsors (assisted by members of their communities) gave away resources in exchange for greater prestige  Banned by Europeans because it was seen as "irrational and wasteful". Barrier to assimilation.  Shown by anthropologists to be adaptive response to alternating periods of abundance and scarcity. 3. Market Exchange  The Market Principle  In capitalist economy, market principle governs distribution of means of production  Law of Supply and Demand  Transactions are made with labour, goods and services brought with money  No lasting social relations between producer and consumer  Karl Polanyi- European states (England) were first societies to have market principle as primary force driving production and exchange. Market Society. CONSUMPTION - Consumption: The acquisition and/or use of goods. - Can serve to meet basic needs, or to highlight identity/ and or social status - Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the purchases of goods and services in ever-great amounts. - Conspicuous Consumption is the spending on money on goods in order to display status. E.g., wearing fancy jewellery to show off the status. - Many non-industrial societies limit consumption to subsistence goods, and discourage conspicuous consumption through informal social control --> Taboos and rumours, gossip witchcraft. Chap. 6... What is the "Political" - Sociopolitica
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