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6.S: CONCLUSION and Exercises

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    Anthropologists have identified forms of structural inequality in countless places around the world. As we will learn in the Public Anthropology chapter, anthropology can be a powerful tool for addressing the pressing social issues of our times. When anthropological research is presented in an accessible and easily understood form, it can effectively encourage meaningful public conversations about questions such as how to best disperse relief aid after natural disasters.

    One of economic anthropology’s most important lessons is that multiple forms of economic production and exchange structure our daily lives and social relationships. As we have seen throughout this chapter, people simultaneously participate in both market and reciprocal exchanges on a regular basis. For example, I may buy lunch for a friend today with the idea that she will return the favor next week when she cooks me supper. Building on this anthropological idea of economic diversity, some scholars argue that in order to address the economic inequalities surrounding us we should collectively work to construct a community economy, or a space for economic decision-making that recognizes and negotiates our interdependence with other humans, other species, and our environment. J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy argue that in the process of recognizing and negotiating this interdependence, we become a community.77

    At the heart of the community economies framework is an understanding of economic diversity that parallels anthropological perspectives. The economic iceberg is a visual that nicely illustrates this diversity.78 Above the waterline are economic activities that are visible in mainstream economic accounts, things like formal wage labor and shopping for groceries in a supermarket. Below the waterline we find the wide range of people, places, and activities that contribute to our well-being. This conceptual tool helps us to explore interrelationships that cannot be captured through mechanical market feedback loops.79

    The most prevalent form of labor around the world is the unpaid work that is conducted within the household, the family, and the neighborhood or wider community. When we include these activities in our understanding of the diverse economy, we also reposition many people who may see themselves (or are labeled by others) as unemployed or economically inactive subjects.80 When we highlight these different kinds of labor and forms of compensation we expand the scope of economic identities that fall outside the narrow range valued by market production and exchange (employer, employee, or entrepreneur).81 Recognizing our mutual connections and the surplus possibilities in our own community is an important first step toward building an alternative economy, one that privileges community spheres rather than market spheres and supports equality over inequality. This also resonates with one of economic anthropology’s central goals: searching for alternatives to the exploitative capitalist relations that structure the daily lives of so many people around the world today. 82

    DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    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?

    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?

    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?

    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.

    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.

    Homo economicus: a term used to describe a person who would make rational decisions in ways predicted by economic theories.

    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.

    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.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sarah Lyon is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Her work is situated at the juncture of development studies, economic anthropology and food studies. She is particularly interested in how alternative food networks such as fair trade work to create and sustain diverse economies in the United States and Latin America.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Acheson, James. The Lobster Gangs of Maine. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 1988.

    Besky, Sarah. The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

    Bohannan, Paul and Laura Bohannan. Tiv Economy. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1968.

    Carrier, James. Gifts and Commodities: Exchange and Western Capitalism Since 1700. New York: Routledge, 1995.

    Chin, Elizabeth. Purchasing Power: Black Kids and American Consumer Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

    Gibson-Graham, J. K., Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy. Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

    Hansen, Karen. Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

    Hart, Keith. “Money in Twentieth Century Anthropology.” In A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, edited by James Carrier. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012.

    King, Martin Luther Jr. “A Christmas Sermon on Peace, December 24, 1967,” http://thekingcenter.org/archive/doc...ristmas-sermon.

    Lyon, Sarah. Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair Trade Markets. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011.

    Marx, Karl. “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.” In The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker. New York: W. W. Norton, 1978[1852].

    Mauss, Marcel. The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. London: Routledge, 1990[1925].

    Osburg, John. Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China’s New Rich. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

    Papavasiliou, Faidra. “Fair Money, Fair Trade: Tracing Alternative Consumption in a Local Currency Economy.” In Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies, edited by Sarah Lyon and Mark Moberg. New York: New York University Press, 2010.

    Piddocke, Stuart. “The Potlatch System of the Southern Kwakiutl: A New Perspective,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 21 (1965).

    Schuller, Mark. “Haiti’s Disaster after the Disaster: the IDP Camps and Cholera,” Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, December 10, 2013. https://sites.tufts.edu/jha/archives/869

    ———. Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012.

    Smith, Daniel. A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

    Wesimantel, Mary. Food, Gender, and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

    Wolf, Eric. Europe and the People without History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

    NOTES

    1. James Carrier, “Introduction,” in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed. James Carrier (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012), 4.

    2. Richard Wilk and Lisa Cliggett, Economies and Cultures: Foundations of Economic Anthropology (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2007), 37.

    3. Carol Tarvis,“How Homo Economicus Went Extinct,” Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-homo...nct-1431721255

    4. Eric Wolf, Europe and the People without History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982).

    5. Richard Lee, The Dobe Ju/’hoansi (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2013). See also, Thomas Patterson, “Distribution and Redistribution,” in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed. James Carrier (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012).

    6. Hill Gates, China’s Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism (New York: Cornell University Press, 1996).

    7. Thomas Patterson, “Distribution and Redistribution,” in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed. James Carrier (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012), 204.

    8. Martha Alter Chen, “The Informal Economy in Comparative Perspective,” in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed. James Carrier (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012), 493.

    9. Keith Hart, “Money in Twentieth Century Anthropology,” in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, ed. James Carrier (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012).

    10. See www.fairtrade.net for more information.

    11. Sarah Lyon, Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair Trade Markets (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011).

    12. Friedrich Schneider, Andreas Buehn, and Claudio E. Montenegro, “Shadow Economies from All Over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5356, July 2010. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/...pdf?sequence=1.

    13. Karen Hansen, Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).

    14. Elizabeth Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (New York: Portfolio, 2013).

    15. Robyn Curnow and Teo Kermeliotis, “Is Your Old T-Shirt Hurting African Economies?” CNN, April 12, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/12/busine...lothes-africa/.

    16. Karen Hansen, Salaula.

    17. Marshall Sahlins, Stone Age Economics (Chicago: Aldine, 1972).

    18. Keith Hart, “Money in Twentieth Century Anthropology,” 179.

    19. Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (London: Routledge, 1990[1925]).

    20. Richard Wilk and Lisa Cliggett, Economies and Cultures: Foundations of Economic Anthropology, 158.

    21. Ibid.,162.

    22. Ibid.,120.

    23. Bronislaw Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific (New York: Dutton, 1961[1922]).

    24. Pew Research Center, “Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays Then and Now,” December 18, 2013. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/18/c...-then-and-now/.

    25. James Carrier, Gifts and Commodities: Exchange and Western Capitalism since 1700 (New York: Routledge, 1995), 189

    26. Pew Research Center, “Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays Then and Now.”

    27. James Carrier, Gifts and Commodities.

    28. Ibid., 178.

    29. Erika Eichelberger, “What I Learned Hanging out with Nigerian Email Scammers,” Mother Jones, March 20, 2014. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...erian-scammers.

    30. Daniel Smith, A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).

    31. Erika Eichelberger, “What I Learned Hanging out with Nigerian Email Scammers.”

    32. Internal Revenue Service, 2015 Data Book (Washington D.C. Internal Revenue Service, 2016).

    33. Richard Wilk and Lisa Cliggett, Economies and Cultures,156.

    34. Stuart Piddocke, “The Potlatch System of the Southern Kwakiutl: A New Perspective,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 21 (1965).

    35. James Acheson, The Lobster Gangs of Maine (Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 1988).

    36. Alf Hornborg, “Learning from the Tiv: Why a Sustainable Economy Would Have to Be ‘Multicentric,’” Culture and Agriculture 29 (2007): 64.

    37. Paul Bohannan and Laura Bohannan, Tiv Economy (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1968).

    38. Paul Bohannan, “Some Principles of Exchange and Investment among the Tiv,” American Anthropologist 57 (1955): 65.

    39. Ibid., 64.

    40. Faidra Papavasiliou, “Fair Money, Fair Trade: Tracing Alternative Consumption in a Local Currency Economy,” in Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies, ed. Sarah Lyon and Mark Moberg (New York: New York University Press, 2010).

    41. J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy, Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

    42. For more information, see http://ithacahours.info/

    43. Faidra Papavasiliou, “Fair Money, Fair Trade: Tracing Alternative Consumption in a Local Currency Economy.”

    44. Ibid.

    45. Ibid., 216.

    46. Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, “Consumption: From Cultural Theory to the Ethnography of Capitalism,” in Handbook of Sociocultural Anthropology, ed. James Carrier and Deborah Gewertz (New York: Berg Publishers, 2013), 319.

    47. Ibid.

    48. Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood, A World of Goods: Toward an Anthropology of Consumption (New York: Basic Books, 1979).

    49. Colloredo-Mansfeld, “Consumption: From Cultural Theory to the Ethnography of Capitalism.”

    50. Arjun Appadurai, The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

    51. Colloredo-Mansfeld, “Consumption: From Cultural Theory to the Ethnography of Capitalism,” 329.

    52. See for instance, http://www.target.com/p/barbie-endle...l/-/A-15203859

    53. Elizabeth Chin, Purchasing Power: Black Kids and American Consumer Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001).

    54. For example, https://playbarbies.wordpress.com/20...-or-halo-hair/

    55. Mary Wesimantel, Food, Gender, and Poverty in the Ecuadorian Andes (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988).

    56. John Osburg, Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality among China’s New Rich (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013).

    57. Ibid., 121.

    58. Martin Luther King, Jr., A Christmas Sermon on Peace, December 24, 1967, http://thekingcenter.org/archive/doc...ristmas-sermon.

    59. Some examples of this literature include Deborah Gewertz and Frederick Errington, Cheap Meat: Flap Food Nations in the Pacific Islands (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Sarah Lyon, Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair Trade Markets (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011); Theodore Bestor, Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) and Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin, 1985).

    60. Colloredo-Mansfeld, “Consumption: From Cultural Theory to the Ethnography of Capitalism,” 326.

    61. Sarah Besky, The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).

    62. Wilk and Cliggett, Economies and Cultures: Foundations of Economic Anthropology, 84, 95.

    63. Josiah Heyman, “Political Economy,” in Handbook of Sociocultural Anthropology, ed. James Carrier and Deborah Gewertz (New York: Berg Publishers, 2013), 89.

    64. The historical evolution of societies and markets is explored by Eric Wolf in Europe and the People without History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982). The legacies of social domination and marginalization are discussed by Philippe Bourgois in In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

    65. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, in The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd Edition, ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978[1852]).

    66. Johan Galtung, “Violence, Peace, and Peace Research,” Journal of Peace Research 6 no. 3(1969): 167–191.

    67. See Max Weber’s work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism available at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/WEBER/cover.html

    68. “Living Conditions in Haiti’s Capital Improve, but Rural Communities Remain Very Poor,” World Bank, July 11, 2014. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/fea...ains-very-poor.

    69. “CIA Factbook: Haiti,” https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/ha.html.

    70. “Ten Facts about Hunger in Haiti,” https://www.wfp.org/stories/10-facts...t-hunger-haiti.

    71. Mark Schuller, “Haiti’s Disaster after the Disaster: the IDP Camps and Cholera,” Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, December 10, 2013. https://sites.tufts.edu/jha/archives/869

    72. Ibid.

    73. Ibid.

    74. Mark Schuller, Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012).

    75. Terry Buss, Haiti in the Balance: Why Foreign Aid has Failed and What We Can Do about It (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institute, 2008).

    76. Mark Schuller, Killing with Kindness.

    77. J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy, Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), xix.

    78. Byrne, Ken, “Iceberg Image,” http://www.communityeconomies.org/Home/Key-Ideas.

    79. Gibson-Graham, Cameron, and Healy, Take Back the Economy, 11.

    80. J. K. Gibson-Graham, A Postcapitalist Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 62–63.

    81. Ibid., 65.

    82. Keith Hart, “Money in Twentieth Century Anthropology.”