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COMPLETE Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Notes: Part 3 [90% on final]

8 Pages

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CAS AN 101

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The Gift 10/16/2012 Relevance Behind all of the weird language, we can use it to understand relationship between economy and people  today Societies progress from one stage to the next We study from primitive to advanced society (NOT ANYMORE) We need to understand capitalist economy as historical part Different from we need to condemn capitalism Economic System: organized arrangement for producing, distributing, and consuming goods We construct ways to get these things through trade Economic system doesn’t work in way they were told, in the way it’s supposed to What current debates are referring to Really hard to move from that level of critique to a generative stance with a solution Mauss: “advanced” is not the only way, not the BEST way Economic Anthropology Primary resources are same around world, but rules directing the use of these is embedded in people’s  culture Economy as embedded in the total culture Economic systems (and theories) other than capitalist market economies Look at things within context of particular culture in society Look at globalization Same questions as economists, but look at it in embedded way Questions the basis of a given economy within its culture, then looks at factors Economic anthropology: this depends on the culturally defined “wants and needs” Non­economic variable of culture Purely economic logic: economic sphere isn’t separate from social, political spheres COMPLEX WHOLE Can’t extract economy out of that Mauss: demonstration of various societies that can’t be understood through classical economic theory Arguing against: idea that capitalism is the “natural” way Forefather of classical economic theory: Adam Smith Dominant view, credit him with beginning Capitalism is not only superior, but also the natural way to form the economy Linked to concepts of personhood: idea that it is natural relies on concept as person as independent  autonomous individual instead of social being which isn’t natural/universal Required presupposition that leads to economic individuals acting in own self­interest Utilitarianism: people act in own self interests Historical construction Wants to return to the “principle of our life”, give freely; that is basis of social solidarity Gift I received: colored sharpies from mom (for no reason? Because she missed me?); made me feel sad  because I missed her, laughed b/c she would be only person to buy them Gift I gave: candy to Tom for his birthday. Was trying to think of what kind of candy he liked. Wanted to  show that I am a new friend that he can trust, impress him for remembering his birthday Mauss: looking at archaic societies to find system of logic that is universally human but manifested  differently in our society Traces p
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