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Flashcards in Economic Systems - Text Deck (78):

What is an economic system?

The production, distribution, and consumption of goods


What do economic systems ensure the survival of?

Survival of human groups and their cultures.


What is the anthropological variable of culture necessary to understand in any given economic system?

How the schedule of wants and demands of a given society is balanced against the supply of goods and services available. Economic processes cannot be interpreted without culturally defining the demands and understanding the conventions that dictate how and when these demands are satisfied. Economic sphere of behaviour is not separate from the social, religious, and political spheres.


Describe the economic system among the Trobriand Islanders?

- yam production
- man spends a great deal of time and energy raising yams
- for his sisters and married daughters
- the reasons a man gives yams to a woman is to show her support for her husband and to enhance his own influence
- ays are loaded not her husband's yam house, symbolizing that he is a man of power an influence in his community
- a yam house like a bank account; when full, a man is wealthy and powerful.


True or False: yam exchange are as much social and political transactions as they are economic ones.



How do contemporary small-scale cultures operate?

Not in isolation; today each group of people is connected to a larger economic system -- namely, the market economy -- and a political organization -- the state.


what are the productive resources a social group uses to produce desired goods and services?

raw materials,labour, and technology


What does every human culture have a division of labour based on?

sex and age


What is good about dividing labour by sex?

Increases the changes that learning necessary skills will be more efficient, since only half the adult skills need to be learned by any individual


What is good about dividing labour by age?

provides sufficient time for developing those skills


Where do tasks most often regarded as "women's work" take place?

tend to be carried out near the home


Where are tasks most often regarded as "men's work" take place and involve?

Tend to require strength, rapid bursts of energy, frequent travel away from home, and higher levels of risk and danger


What are the three configurations of gender division of labour?

- one featuring flexibility ad sexual integration
- one involving rigid segregation by sex
- one combining elements of the other two


In flexible/integrated pattern of labour, where is it most seen? What percent of both sexes perform activities with approximate equal participation?

- foraging and subsistence farmers
- 35%


How do sexually segregated cultures define work? Where is this pattern found?

- rigidly define almost all work as either masculine or feminine
- in such cultures, it is inconceivable that someone would do something considered the work of the opposite sex
- this pattern is often found in pastoral nomadic, intensive agricultural, and industrial societies, also in the Inuit, where men's work keeps them outside the home for much of the time.


How is work defined in ordual sex configuration? Where was this common?

- Men and women carry out their work separately, but the relationship between them is one of balance rather than inequality. Interests of both men and women are represented at all levels and neither sex exerts dominance over the other.
- Common among first nations peoples, who economies were based on subsistence farming, as well as among several West African kingdoms, including the Dahomeans


How does the role of children in the economy in terms of work and responsibility differ between nonindustrial cultures and modern North America?

Children may make a greater contribution to the economy in many nonindustrial cultures


How many child labourers are there is South Asia alone?

likely about 15 million


Where does cooperative work date back to?

foraging times


True or False: Cooperative work groups amy still be found in nonindustrial as well as industrial societies.



What is the basic cooperative unit in most human societies? Describe. How does this differ in industrial societies?

The household. It is a unit of both production and consumption; only in industrial societies have these two activities been separated.


How does craft specialization differ between industrial and nonindustrial societies?

In nonindustrial societies, ach person in the society has knowledge and competence in all aspects of work appropriate to his or her age and sex. In modern industrial societies, by contrast, many more specialized tasks are performed and no individual can begin to learn them all.


Where is specialization more like to occur?

Among people who produce their own food


What do all cultures have that determines the way and resources are allocated?



How do each of the 5 subsistence patterns determine the way land resources are allocated?

- Foragers: determine who can hunt game and gather plants and where these activities take place
- Horticulturalists: decide how their farmland is to be acquired, worked, and passed on.
- Pastoralists: require a system that determines rights to watering places and grazing land, as well as the right of access to land they move their herds over.
- Intensive agriculturalists: must have some means of deterring title to land and access to water supplies for irrigation.
- Industrialized Western societies: a system of private ownership of land and rights to natural resources general prevails.


How is land often controlled in nonindustrial societies?

controlled by kinship groups such as the lineage or band, rather than by individuals


Who is the practice of defining territories on the basis of core features typical among? What is the benefit

- foragers, though territorial boundaries are left vaguely defined at best
- the size of band terrifies, as well as the size of the bands, can be adjusted to keep in balance with availability of resources


What is technology?

Tools and other material equipment, together with the knowledge of how to make and use them.


Why are foragers and pastoral nomads apt to have fewer and simpler tools than more sedentary farms?

Because a great number of tools would decrease their mobility


What are the primary tools among horticulturalists?

the axe, machete, and dining stick or hoe


What is marine transhumance?

Seasonal migration of people from one marine resource to the next.


What did Karl Polanyi argue?

That all forms of human exchange can be classified into one of three modes: reciprocity, redistribution,a nd market exchange


What gave way to small-boat family operations in the 1800s?

migratory fishing or marine transhumance


What used to shape the economic lives of maritime Canada? What changed in 1995?

For a great many years, marine and freshwater fisheries shaped the cultural, social,a nd economic lives of maritime Canada. The 1995 cod moratorium in Newfoundland was socially disruptive and continues to have a profound effect on individuals and local communities.


What is reciprocity?

The exchange of goods and services of approximately equal value between two parties.


What are the three types of reciprocity?

1) generalized reciprocity
2) balanced reciprocity
3) negative reciprocity


What is generalized reciprocity?

- A mode of exchange in which the value of the gift is not calculated, nor is the time of repayment specified.
- Also called "delayed" reciprocity, in that the gift giving is a way of storing up "credit" for the future.
- Practised by hunter-gatherers as they divide resources such as meat.


What is balanced reciprocity?

- A mode of exchange whereby the giving and the receiving are specific in terms of the value of the goods and the time of their delivery
- The giving and receiving, as well as the time involved, are more specific; a person has a direct obligation to reciprocate promptly in equal value if the social relationship is to continue
- trading baseball cards or buying drinks in North America


What does giving, sharing, and receiving constitute?

A form of social security and insurance.


What is negative reciprocity?

- A form of exchange whereby the giver tries to get the better of the exchange
- The ultimate form of negative reciprocity is to take something by force
- Hard bargaining
- Ex. car salesman in North America


True or false: some believe that to deceive when trading with foreign peoples is morally accepted.



What are the two types of reciprocity that exchanges that occur within a group usually take?

balance or generalized


What type of reciprocity occurs when exchanges occur between two groups?

the potential for hostility and competition exists; therefore, such exchanges may well take the form of negative reciprocity


What is barter an example of?

negative reciprocity, involving the exchange of scare items from one group for desirable goods from another group


What is silent trade?

- a form of barter with no verbal communication
- lack of a common language, serve to control situations of distrust so as to keep relations peaceful
- it makes exchange possible where problems of status might make viral communication unthinkable


Wat is redistribution?

A form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place where they re sorted, counted, and reallocated.
- In the redistribution systems, the exchange is not between individuals or between groups; rather, products are funnelled into one source and parcelled out again as directed by a central administration


Where is redistribution common?

in cultures with a sufficient surplus to support some sort of centralized authority. Income flows into the public offers in the form of gifts, taxes, and the spoils of war.


What is an example of redistribution in North America?



Which empire had one of the most efficient administration systems that world has ever known, in terms of both tax collection and methods of control?

Inca empire in Peru


What is levelling mechanism?

A societal obligation compelling people to redistribute goods so that no one accumulates more wealth than anyone else.
- Common in cultures where people devote most of their time to subsistence activities


What is conspicuous consumption?

- A term Thorstein Veblen coined to describe the display of wealth for social prestige
- In cultures where a substantial surplus is produced, display for social prestige
- A strong motivating force for the distribution of wealth


What is potlatch an example of?

conspicuous consumption, better named (in this form) as "conspicuous generosity"


What is potlatch?

A special celebration in which the people of a community come together to enjoy elaborate feats, ceremonial dancing, and gif giving. The potlatch serves as an opportunity for chiefs to inhale their status with public displays of generosity.
- Each goes, from the youngest child to the highest ranking elder, receives a gift; the value of the gifts is based on the guest's rank. In this way the gift giving validates the status not only of the host but also of his guests.


What are contemporary potlatches held for?

Much for the same reasons as they did in the past: baby showers, naming, wedding, anniversaries, special birthdays, graduations, and memorials for the dead.


How does the host of a potlatch gain status?

The more extravagant the potlatch, the more states for the host. Reciprocity was expected; guests at a potlatch would be honour-bound to hold their own potlatch in the near future. In this way potlatches also served a a levelling mechanism, preventing any one group or individual from becoming too wealthy or powerful.


What was the emphasis on in potlatches?

On giving away goods


What is market exchange?

The buying and selling of goods and a services, with prices set by the powers of supply and demand.


True of false: some form of money must be involved in market exchange

false, goods may be directly exchanged through some form of reciprocity between the specific individual involved.


What is money?

Anything used to make payments for goods or labour as well s to measure their value; may be special-purpose or multipurpose.


That is the "market peace"?

Rules for banning conflict in the marketplace that allowed warring parties to trade in peace before resuming hostilities after returning home.


True or false: in the marketplace, land, labour, and occupations are not bought and sold as they are through ht eWestern market economy.



True or False: In nonwestern marketplaces, the noneconomic activities may overshadow the economic ones.



What are some important contributes of chinese to the Canadian economy?

- Canadian Pacific Railway
- opened up small business
- creating vibrant Chinese commercial districts
- fuelled the real estate markets
- those who came to Canada looking for investment and entrepreneur opportunities ante brought significant capital with them


What is the importance of Chinatowns?

- Offer employment to many Chinese people, including refugees, who may not posses the education, skills, or necessary Canadian qualifications to find other employment
- Contributed to the cultural growth an diversity of Canada


True or False: Chinese immigrants, in particular immigrants from Hong Kong, make up the majority of the 3 million or so Asian people who've come to Canada.



What is consumption?

The ingestion of food and the exploitation of available resources.


What are the two perspectives anthropologists view consumption from?

- it is the food, beverages, goods, an services we consume as fellas the accompanying rituals and customs
- it is the reuses we use or exploit in our everyday lives.


What meets our basic needs for food, liquids, and protection from them elements along wit fulfilling our wants and desires.



What is consumption of alcohol an example of?

gender-determine tabbloo


What is fasting an example of?

food taboos


What are food taboos?

cultural significance of eating, many taboos have developed regarding what people can and cannot eat


What are 2 examples of food as ritual and social interaction?

- food is commonly used in rituals,such as for sacrifices at religious shrines
- food also seems to play a powerful role in the formation an maintenance of social social groups


What are two misunderstandings that result from our failure to overcome ecocentric biases with regards to our understandings of the modern world?

1) They encourage development schemes for countries that by Western economic standards are underdeveloped. This often leads to poverty, poor health, discontent, and a host of other ills.
2_ aChieving an understanding of the economic systems of others peoples that is not bound by the hopes and expectations of our culture also has become important for today's corporations


What is globalization?

The process of opening up world markets using modern technology. Markets around the world have been opened to free trade, resulting in still competition between states for lucrative markets, skilled labour, and limited resources.


What is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

The basic goal of this agreement--and of similar ones--is to remove barriers such as tariffs that restrict the movement and services across political boundaries.


What are three of the most influential forces that driving globalization?

Technology and rapid and relatively inexpensive transportation, and electric communication systems.


What are some of the problems globalization has caused?

- Detractors contend that globalization has benefited rich and powerful Westerners while doing little to help outside this elite.
- Multination corporations are taking advantage of cheaper labour costs, this has jeopardized the economic well-being of North American workers.
- Activists protest the exploitation of developing countries, both the human toll and the damage to environments where few protective controls are in in place.
- The gap between the have and have-not nations continues to grow, despite the promises


What is Jonathan Schell's growing global citizenry opposing globalization known as?

"the other superpower"