Cultural Anthropology Notes
Cultural Anthropology Notes Anth 2800
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carly Rothert on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 2800 at University of Toledo taught by Shahna Arps in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Language at University of Toledo.
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Date Created: 02/18/16
Anthropology Ch. 6 Notes Economics: the study of the ways in which the choices people make as individuals and as members of societies combine to determine how their society uses its resources to produce and distribute goods and services making this decision depends on culture Economic system:the norms governing production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services within a society ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR: assume that decisions makers will always maximize their financial benefit and minimize their work o not always true Need to assume that people always act to increase material wellbeing, but find out what motivates them Prestige: social honor or respect o western societies direct energy toward this o can be consumption and display of goods and services or giving away goods and services division of labor: the pattern of apportioning different tasks to different members of society ALLOCATING RESOURCES: productive resources: material goods, natural resources, or information used to create other goods or information o Ex: tools, money point of contrast in economic systems is the extent to which the members of a society have access to productive resources o small societies have limited number of resources but everyone has access o bigger societies have more resources but access is limited cultures relationship to land and water o foragers: spread out with flexible boundarieschange with the availability of resources o pastoralists: livestock are owned and managed by heads of households and kept as a form of wealth Land and water are owned and agreements are made with others to let animals feed on waste in the winter o horticulture: land is owned by an extended kin groupland can't be sold, and everyone has access to land through their group o industry: land is important source of wealth and powerland owned by individuals and owners can use the law to keep people off their land o agriculture: land is owned by elite groupfieldwork is done by laborers ORGANIZING LABOR: Household: a group of people united by kinship or other links who share a residence and organize production, consumption, and distribution among themselves o different from family because it may include lodgers, servants and others o use most of the goods they produce themselves households and kin groups seek social or religious goals over financial gain in economies where households are the units of production there can be little economic growth in western society joblessness or the inability to earn a living wage diminishes an adult's identity and status every society has some sort of division of labor between men and women SPECIALIZATION IN COMPLEX SOCIETIES o division of labor in society becomes more specialized and complex as the pop increases and agricultural production intensifies o occupational specialization spreads through society as individuals are able to exchange their services or the products they produce for food and wealth o much of the world's population in industrial or postindustrial societies and almost everyone is a specialist of one kind or another o specialization has advantages in terms of efficiency and the ability to produce large quantities of goods, but it can take a physical and emotional toll of workers DISTRIBUTION: SYSTEMS OF EXCHANGE AND CONSUMPTION goods and services are exchanged in all societies three types of exchange systems expos in most societies and each one is predominantly associated with a certain kind of political and social organization RECIPROCITY o reciprocity: a mutual giveandtake among people of equal status generalized reciprocity: giving and receiving goods with no immediate or specific return expected usually among close kin Ex: mother and child important with food among foragers Balanced reciprocity: the giving and receiving of goods of nearly equal value with a clear obligation of a return gift within a specified time limit Ex: gifts given on birthdays common of trading relations among nonindustrialized peoples without market economies Kula Ring: a pattern of exchange among trading partners in the South Pacific Islands alliances created through the exchange of goods between islands Negative reciprocity: exchange conducted for the purpose of material advantage or the desire to get something for nothing common in both impersonal and unfriendly transactions usually ok with outsiders but not with insiders USING ANTHROPOLOGY: GIFTS, BRIBES, AND SOCIAL NETWORKS o using gifts to build social networks that may serve instrumental purposes may be part of large current day societies raises questions about the line between a gift and a bribe o neither gift givers or receivers understand their actions as simple corruption REDISTRIBUTION o redistribution: exchange in which goods are collected and then distributed to members of a group Ex: household food sharing, taxation o especially important in societies where political organization includes big men, selfmade leaders who gain power and authority through personal achievement collect goods from supporters and these items are redistributed by through feasts that the bigman sponsors o Potlatch: a form of redistribution involving competitive feasting practiced among Northwest Coast Native Americans held to honor and to validate the rank of chiefs and other notables, usually in connection with births, deaths, and marriages host publicly traces his line of descent and claimed the right to certain titles and privileges. Each of these claims was accompanied by giving away and sometimes destroying large quantities of food and goods, such as blankets and carved wooden boxes. As these goods were given or destroyed, the individual and his supporters boasted of their wealth and power Canada outlawed this, but it was revived as a symbol of tribal identity and cooperation rather than a major element in tribal economy o leveling mechanism: a practice, value, or form of social organization that evens out wealth within a society force accumulated resources or capital to be used in ways that ensure social goals are considered along with economic ones o Cargo System: a ritual system common in central and south america in which wealthy people are required to hold a series of costly ceremonial offices help limit gap between rich and poor, but don’t eliminate it MARKET EXCHANGE o market Exchange: an economic system in which goods and services are bought and sold at a money price determined primarily by the forces of supply and demand o market economies are very impersonal o everyone must think they will be treated fairly by people they don't know and that strangers that exploit this must be punished o most occur in social and cultural contexts that limit or forbid certain kinds of transactions CAPITALISM o world's predominant economic system o firms: an institution composed of kin and/or nonkin that is organized primarily for financial gain produce goods as a means to create wealth o capital: productive resources that are used with the primary goal of increasing their owners financial wealth most common use of resources o Capitalism: an economic system in which people work for wages, land and capital goods are privately owned, and capital is invested for profit 1) most productive resources are owned by a small portion of the pop 2) most individuals primary resource is their labor 3) the value of workers contribution to production is always intended to be greater than the wages they receive o Societies are dominated by market exchange, but this doesn’t mean that people always experience their economy in terms of buying and selling at whatever price the market will bear capitalism always occurs within the context of other social relationships RESISTANCE TO CAPITALISM o capitalism results in a permanently differentiated economic and social classes dictates that there will always be rich and poor o different groups have protested the move away from skilled labor