Economic Anthropology. Cross-cultural study of the production , distribution , and consumption of goods and services. Production. How people organize their work Preindustrial society divide labor by: Gender Age In Industrial societies, detail labor (labor split into subparts).
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Cross-cultural study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Access to goods and services
A pattern of exchange among many trading partners in the Trobriands and other South Pacific islands
Participants travel at times hundreds of miles by canoe in order to exchange Kula valuables which consist of red shell-disc necklaces that are traded to the north (circling the ring in clockwise direction) and white shell armbands that are traded in the southern direction (circling counterclockwise)
Leveling mechanism is a practice, value, or form of social organization that evens out wealth within a society.
Cargo system is a ritual system common in Central and South America in which wealthy people are required to hold a series of costly ceremonial offices.
Surplus economic resources – especially pigs – are accumulated and then distributed as gifts
Giving pigs increases the personal prestige and political influence of the giver – the “Big Man”
Creates obligation among those that receive it
Universal characteristic of society
In foraging societies, men generally hunt and women generally gather
In agricultural societies, both men and women play important roles in food production
Detail labor involves breaking each task down to its subtasks in production
Assigning each subtask to each individual and ordering each individual how to do each subtask.
Inequality of wealth grows as society becomes more complex
1 person would have $38.10
4 people would have 5.32 each
5 people would have 2.30 each
10 people would have 1.25 each
20 people would have .60 each
20 people would have .23 each
40 people would have ½ cent each
Mirage Villas, Las Vegas, 4,500 square feet of luxury for only $4,500 per night
8,800 sq ft for only $40,000 a night:
Over $50 billion in Microsoft stock, and an annual income of about $176 million
$30 to $40 billion that he has donated to his own charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which is currently his main work.
Compare this with the average net worth of the top 1 percent – only $14.8 million.
Transformation of goods, ideas, or other entities that may not normally be regarded as goods into a commodity.
The Role of the Mayan Rain God:
Past and Present
Effigies of Chaac are often painted with blue, red, yellow, white, black, and green
Often, the people in smaller towns will first pray in the Catholic church for rain, then will take prayers to Chaac into the cornfields if the rain still does not come
The Mayan Shaman chooses a spot near a tree, and conducts prayers with no other people nearby
The Shaman then makes ´Kol´, a corn based food, as well as a corn based drink
Food and drink are distributed among the people
Regular ceremonies to Chaac still exist
Cha-chaac is a ritual performed at the start of the rainy season
Mayan people must travel far into the wilderness to practice these rites, in order to avoid persecution
The Uxmal Light and Sound show is one example of attempts to use Mayan culture to bring in tourist revenue
According to Eduardo of Muna, the commodification of Chaac as ornaments or souvenirs is not offensive to the Mayan people, since the traditional ancient rites have been all but forgotten by the common people
Juan of Merida, on the other hand, suggested that peddling Chaac images, especially those made in another country, cheapens the culture
At Muna we found representations of Chaac that were much more than simple replicas…