the academic discipline that studies systems of production, distribution, and consumption, most typically in the industrialized world.
A branch of the discipline of anthropology that looks at systems of production, distribution, and consumption, wherever they may be found, but most often the non-industrialized world.
formal economic theorists
Those economic anthropologists who suggest that the ideas of Western, industrialized economics can be applied to any economic situation.
allocation of resources
Rules adopted by all societies that govern the regulation and control of such resources as land, water, and their by-products.
The notion of rewarding people on the basis of some universally applied set of standards.
The propensity to deal with other people based on one's particular relationship to them rather than according to a universally applied set of standards.
Western concept of individual ownership in which rights and obligations to land, livestock, or material possessions reside with the individual rather than a wider group.
A process whereby goods are obtained from the natural environment and altered to become consumable goods for society.
division of labor
The rules found in all societies dictating how the day-to-day tasks are assigned to the various members of a society.
A type of societal integration based on mutual interdependence- found in societies with a relatively elaborate division of labor.
A type of social integration based on mutuality of interests- found in societies with little division of labor.
A mode of distribution characterized by the exchange of goods and services of approximately equal value between parties.
The practice of giving a gift without an expected return but with a moral obligation.
The practice of giving with the expectation that a similar gift will be given in the opposite direction after a limited period of time.
A form of trading found in some small-scale societies in which the trading partners have no face-to-face contact.
A form of reciprocal trading found among the Trobriand Islanders involving the use of white shell necklaces and red shell bracelets.
A form of economic exchange between individuals who try to take advantage of each other.
A form of economic exchange in which goods and services are given by members of a group to a central authority (such as chief) and then distributed back to the donors, usually in the form of a feast.
Giving of goods to a chief as a visible symbol of the people's allegiance.
big men/big women
Self-made leaders, found widely in Melanesia and New Guinea, who gain prominence by convincing their followers to contribute excess food to provide lavish feasts for the followers of other big men or big women.
The transfer of goods from the groom's lineage to the bride's lineage to legitimize marriage.
A form of competitive giveaway found among Native Americans from the Northwest Coast that serves as a mechanism for both achieving social status and distributing goods.
A category of economic institutions, such as the potlatch or big men/ big women, in which wealth is distributed and prestige and status are thereby conferred.
a form of distribution in which goods and services are bought and sold and their value is determined by the principle of supply and demand
a medium of exchange that has well-defined and understood value
the direct exchange of commodities between people that does not involve standardized currency
The worldwide process, dating back to the fall of the Berlin Wall, that involves a revolution in information technology, a dramatic opening of markets, and the privatization of social services.