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Exchange & Coca-Colanization
The American Myth of Homo-Economicus
All humans are selfish and seek to maximize their own material gain.
Modes of Distribution & Exchange
1. Reciprocity - Foraging / Horticulture -- no money involved, generally small scale
2. Redistribution - All but different in each -- examples like income taxes
3. Market Exchange - Agriculture/Industrialism -- supply and demand These correlations come about because of the social and political organization that each mode of subsistence produces. We will discuss this in more detail later. Basically, agriculture and industrialism support much larger populations, and larger populations are less likely to emphasize reciprocity due to the increasing anonymity of social relations.
3 Types of Reciprocity
Generalized: A mode of exchange in which the value of what is given is not calculated, nor is the time of repayment specified. (e.g. dealing with family members)
Balanced: A mode of exchange in which the giving and receiving are specific as to the value of the goods and the time of their delivery. (e.g. dealing with anacquaintance)
Negative: A form of exchange in which the aim is to get something for as little as possible. Neither fair nor balanced, it may involve hard bargaining, manipulation and outright cheating. (e.g. dealing with a salesman)
--it's a myth that most people seek to maximize economic gain, because in places like New Guinea, the focus in exchange is more on the relationships created than on what is gained
Example of Redistribution: Kaiyep Kulip
Kaiyep Kulip is a feast that my friends in Papua New Guinea do whenever there is too much kaiyep (pandanus fruit) around. One village area challenges another village area to try to eat all the food they eat. This is a form of redistribution because large amounts of resources are pooled into one and then redistributed to others.
Birth of Market Exchange
increased population =>
specialization / division of labor =>
need frequent and formalized exchanges =>
Gift vs. Commodity Exchange
break for discussion ...
Wesch laughs/cries over Coca-Cola jingle...
Coca-Colanization (check out Part 3 of "The Cola Conquest" DVD on reserve in the library)
Latest page update: made by Weyrauch
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