Fall 2010 Lecture 20 Trade and Exchange

Fall 2010 Lecture 20 Trade and Exchange - Exchange and...

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Unformatted text preview: Exchange and Trade Exchange and trade have been defined as: the "mutually appropriative movement of goods between hands." People make trade connections and set up the exchange systems that handle trade goods when they need to acquire goods and services that are not available to them within their own immediate area. Types of Exchange Exchange can be internal, within a society, or external, with other groups. Anthropologists have come to distinguish three main types of exchange: reciprocal , redistributive , and market . Reciprocal Exchange Reciprocity is the mutual exchange of goods between two individuals or groups; it is at the heart of much gift-giving and barter trade. !Kung Bushmen Reciprocal Exchange What is distinctive about reciprocal exchange is not that products and services are simply given away without any thought or expectation of return, but rather that there is: (1) no immediate return; (2) no systematic calculation of the value of the services and products exchanged; and (3) an overt denial that a balance is being calculated or that the balance must come out even. Silent Trade The objects to be exchanged are set out in a clearing, and the first group retreats out of sight. The other group comes out of hiding, inspects the wares, lays down what it regards as a fair exchange of its own products, and retreats again. The first group returns and, if satisfied, removes the traded objects. If not, it leaves the wares untouched as a signal that the balance is not yet even. In this fashion, the Mbuti of the Ituri Forest trade meat for bananas with the Bantu agriculturalists, and the Vedda of Sri Lanka trade honey for iron tools with the Sinhalese. Trade Partnerships The most common solution to the problem of trading without kinship ties or state-supervised markets is the establishment of special trade partnerships . In this arrangement, members of different bands or villages regard one another as metaphorical kin. The members of trading expeditions deal exclusively with their trade partners, who greet them as "brothers" and give them food and shelter. Trade partners try to deal with one another in conformity with the principle of reciprocity, deny an interest in getting the best of the bargain, and offer wares as if they were gifts. Bronislaw Malinowski 1884-1942 Trobriand Islands and the Kula Ring Kula Armband and Necklace Trobriand Ring Trobriand Ring Trobriand woman with Kula valuables Trobriand men at marriage feast Kula Ring Boat Kula Ring Boat Kula Ring Boat Trobriand Village Trobriand Village Gift Exchange (gift-giving) Gift exchange or gift-giving is one type of reciprocity....
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2012 for the course PUBH 2113 taught by Professor Edberg during the Fall '11 term at GWU.

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Fall 2010 Lecture 20 Trade and Exchange - Exchange and...

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