DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Barter is one form of negative reciprocity in which

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Barter is one form of negative reciprocity in which scarce goods from one group are exchanged for desirable goods from another group. In negative reciprocity, the giver tries to get the better of the exchange, and the ultimate form of negative reciprocity is simply to take something by force. Silent trade is a form of barter in which no verbal communication takes places. Strong centralized political organization is necessary for redistribution to take place. This is a form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place and are distributed again, such as the taxation system of the United States. In some societies prestige derives from the giving away or distribution of valuables. In the West, conspicuous consumption (a term coined by Thorstein Veblen) involves the display of wealth by its owner for social prestige. Market exchange involves the buying and selling of goods and services with the prices set by supply and demand. Typically, but not always, it involves money-—anything used to make payments for goods and services as well as to measure their value. Noting a distinction between the formal and informal sectors of the market economy, Haviland defines informal economy as "the system by which producers of goods and services provide marketable commodities that escape government control." Production is not typically performed by specialists in tribal societies. Age and gender may determine who weaves, makes pottery, etc. Specialization refers to division of labor, where people carry out the activities they are more qualified for and adept at performing. In most tribes, there is no specialization--that is a feature of industrialized societies. Exception would be specialist tribes in Amazonia that specialize in order to engage widely in trade and social activity. Industrial economy involves impersonal relationships. The economy functions separately from the social and kinship organization. On the other hand, a non-industrial economy is integrated with, or embedded within the social system. Domestic production is performed inside the home by a family and kinship. Many less complex societies engage in it. Tributary Production is performed in non-industrial societies in which most people produce their own food, but an elite controls a portion of production. In non-industrial societies, ritual feasting may actually be a solution to regional problems of uneven food availability. The potlatch and ritual consumption often viewed as "wasteful" among northwest coast Indians like the Kwakiutl, actually has a purpose of redistribution of food to more needy groups . Ceremonial distribution of property and gifts to affirm or reaffirm social status, are uniquely institutionalized by the
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American Indians of the Northwest Pacific coast. Wealth is used to "purchase" prestige through ritual generosity and conspicuous consumption.
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