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Consumption and Exchange. Consumption ***Consumption: The dominant way, within a culture, of using up goods and services. **Mode of Exchange: The dominant.

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Presentation on theme: "Consumption and Exchange. Consumption ***Consumption: The dominant way, within a culture, of using up goods and services. **Mode of Exchange: The dominant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Consumption and Exchange

2 Consumption ***Consumption: The dominant way, within a culture, of using up goods and services. **Mode of Exchange: The dominant way, in a culture, of transferring goods, services and other items between and among people and groups.

3 **Modes of Consumption Minimalism: Emphasizes simplicity, is characterized by few and finite consumer demands, and involves an adequate and sustainable means to achieve them. Consumerism: Emphasizes people’s demands and are many and infinite and the means of satisfying them are insufficient and become depleted in the effort to satisfy these demands. ( i.e. supply and demand)

4 Minimalism is sustainable for thousands of years and has been implemented for most of humanity’s time on earth. With the rise of consumerism human beings have consumed in the past 50 years what was consumed by all previous generations combined. The major costs of Consumerism – Environmental and biological species diversity is at risk – The world’s cultural diversity is at risk – The poor everywhere are experiencing an ever growing income gap between the wealthy and super rich.

5 Leveling Mechanisms **Leveling Mechanisms: Are unwritten, culturally embedded rules that prevent an individual from becoming wealthier or more powerful than anyone else. How do these mechanisms work? – Maintained through social pressure and gossip. – Easily maintained in small scale societies in larger groups this harder to enforce.

6 Modes of livelihood, Consumptions and Exchange ForagingHorticulture PastoralismAgriculture Industrialism/ Informatics Modes of Consumption Minimalism Finite needs Consumerism Infinite needs Social Organization of Consumption Equality/sharing Personalized products are consumed Class-based inequality Depersonalized products are consumed Primary Budgetary Fund Basic needs Rent/taxes, luxuries Mode of Exchanged Balanced exchange Market exchange Social organization of Exchange Small groups, face to face exchange Anonymous market transactions Primary Category of Exchange The gift The sale

7 Consumption Funds Consumption Funds: A category within a person’s or household’s budget used to provide for his or her needs and desires. Basic needs fund – Food, drink, shelter, clothing, fuel and the tools involved in producing or providing for them Recurrent cost fund – Maintenance and repair of tools, animals, machinery and shelter Entertainment fund – For leisure activities Ceremonial fund – For social events such as rituals Rent and Tax fund – For payments to landowners or governments for use of lands, housing or services.

8 Entitlements Entitlement: A culturally defined right to life-sustaining resources. Entitlements vary and are dependent upon the economic system of a population. Direct and Indirect Entitlements: – Direct entitlements are the most secure form i.e., agricultural society a person may own land and produce a crop). – Indirect entitlements depend on exchanging something in order to obtain consumer needs; labor, animal hides, money or food stamps.

9 Globally entitlement theory exposes contrasts between countries that have secure and direct access to life – supporting resources and those that do not. ( i.e.- USA and oil, coffee, and luxury items). Cash crops: A plant grown primarily for sale rather than for individual consumption

10 Forbidden Consumption: Dietary Taboos Dietary or food taboos: culturally specific, prohibited foods. Dietary Laws are important not only to cultures but also religious traditions the world over.

11 What is Exchanged? Exchange is the transfer of something that may be material or immaterial between two people, groups and institutions. CategoryExamples Material GoodsFood to family and group members Gifts for special occasions such as weddings Money Nonmaterial GoodsMyths, stories, rituals, Time, Labor PeopleOffspring in Marriage, Slavery

12 Modes of Exchange Balanced vs. Unbalanced exchange Balanced exchange: A system of transfers in which the goal is immediate or eventual equality in value. Unbalanced exchange: A system of transfers in which one party seeks to make a profit. Forms of Balanced Exchange – Generalized reciprocity: Exchange involving the least conscious sense of interest in material gain or thought of what might be received in return. – Pure gift: Something given with no expectation or thought of a return. Forms of Unbalanced Exchange Expected reciprocity: An exchange of approximately equally valued goods or services, usually between people of roughly equal social status. Redistribution: A Form of exchange that involves one person collecting goods or money from many members of a group, who then, at a later time and at a public event, returns the pooled goods to everyone who contributed. Market exchange and Trade: The formalized and competitive exchange or buying and selling of one thing for another according to set standards of value. Other forms of unbalanced exchange: Gambling, Theft, Exploitation and etc.

13 Changing Patterns of Consumption and Exchange Powerful market forces controlled by core countries are the main factors affecting changing patterns of consumption and exchange. Interestingly, local cultures have begun to adopt and adapt globalizing products.

14 Alternative Food Movements: Europe and the USA Seek to establish a direct link between food producers and consumers and marketers by promoting locally grown food. Such movements co-exist in direct opposition to the agro-industrial food system which : Leads to economic ruin of smale-scale producers Shifts diets to fast food, convenience and microwaveable products Transforms meals into eating on the run Promotes a depersonalized, global market and supply chain Has little regard for the environmental consequences of mass production and global marketing.

15 *Potlatch Is a grand feast in which guests are invited to eat and to receive gifts from the hosts. The more the hosts provide the higher their status rises and the more the his guests are indebted to him. The potlatch system helped to smooth out these variations: groups with surplus would sponsor a polatch and those experiencing leaner years were guests. Potlatching establishes a social safety net across a wide interconnected region.

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