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7.8: End of Chapter Discussion

  • Page ID
    56429
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    Discussion

    1. Why are the economic activities of people like the fair trade coffee farmers described in this chapter challenging to characterize? What benefits do the coffee farmers hope to achieve by participating in a fair trade cooperative? Why would participating in the global economy actually make these farming families more independent?
    2. This chapter includes several examples of the ways in which economic production, consumption, and exchange link our lives to those of people in other parts of the world. Thinking about your own daily economic activities, how is your lifestyle dependent on people in other places? In what ways might your consumption choices be connected to global economic inequality?
    3. General purpose money is used for most transactions in our society. How is the act of purchasing an object with money different from trading or gift-giving in terms of the social and personal connections involved? Would an alternative like the Ithaca HOURS system be beneficial to your community?
    4. The Barbie doll is a product that represents rigid cultural ideas about race, but Elizabeth Chin discovered in her research that girls who play with these dolls transform the dolls’ appearance and racial identity. What are some other examples of products that people purchase and modify as a form of personal expression or social commentary?

    GLOSSARY

    Balanced reciprocity: the exchange of something with the expectation that something of equal value will be returned within a specific time period.

    Consumption: the process of buying, eating, or using a resource, food, commodity, or service.

    Exchange: How goods are distributed among people.

    Generalized reciprocity: giving without expecting a specific thing in return.

    General purpose money: a medium of exchange that can be used in all economic transactions.

    Market exchange: how goods are distributed among people.

    Means of production: the resources used to produce goods in a society such as land for farming or factories.

    Mode of production: the social relations through which human labor is used to transform energy from nature using tools, skills, organization, and knowledge.

    Negative reciprocity: an attempt to get something for nothing; exchange in which both parties try to take advantage of the other.

    Production: Transforming nature and raw materials into the material goods that are useful and/or necessary for humans.

    Political economy: an approach in anthropology that investigates the historical evolution of economic relationships as well as the contemporary political processes and social structures that contribute to differences in income and wealth.

    Redistribution: the accumulation of goods or labor by a particular person or institution for the purpose of dispersal at a later date.

    Structural violence: a form of violence in which a social structure or institution harms people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.

    Subsistence farmers: people who raise plants and animals for their own consumption, but not for sale to others.


    Adapted From

    "Economics" by Sarah Lyon, University of Kentucky. In Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, 2nd Edition, Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, 2020, under CC BY-NC 4.0.


    7.8: End of Chapter Discussion is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.