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ANT176: Economics

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Livia Stone

on 21 March 2017

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Transcript of ANT176: Economics

Making a Living
~100,000 years: modern humans
~ 40,000 - 60,000 years: 'culture'
~ 10,000 years ago: agriculture
~ 2,000 years: European Calendar
~ 250 years ago: industrialization
Adaptive Strategy/
Modes of Production

How various peoples 'adapt' to obtain what they need from the environment
Great chain of being & Ethnocentrism
Foraging or
low, disperse population
frequent/seasonal migration
egalitarian (division of labor)
Crops, but often wild
Sometimes mobile
Usually not as much private property
Domesticated animals and crops
More densely populated settlements
Sedentary population
Private Property
Sometimes Peasant Agriculture
Domesticated animals
Usually at least partially mobile
Animals form the basis for subsistence
Monetized economy
Labor is bought
Sedentary population - Private Property
Highly dense population
What is wealth?
Family (social resources)
Food security
- no thought to return (birthday gift)
- exchange of equal value (trade)
- each trying to get the most out of exchange (market)
Mode of production
Means of production
Division of Labor
Lee (1968)
Actual Findings
Gendered division of labor
Veggies 60%-80% of diet
Meat relatively low % (low returns)
Meat more prestigious
Classic study
Very important
Very different from contemporary socio-cultural research
Previous idea was that:
hunter/gatherers were constantly starving
"nasty, brutish, and short" (Hobbes 1651)
Men (hunting) provided most of the calories
Not a difficult lifestyle
Why do we work >40 hrs/week?
Why >12 years of education?
"The Original Affluent Society" (Sahlins 1966)
Wealth = Means > Wants
"provision of goods and services to meet biological and social wants" (Spradley & McCurdy 2016:108)
Reciprocal exchange
Market exchange
!Kung's hxaro system
"We don't trade with things, we trade with people!"
Kula Ring
Gifts are about relationships
The Gift (Mauss 1950)
Gifts retain the spirit of the giver.
Gifts create obligation between people.
Feast of Giving
Men/families gained status through giving
Redistribution of wealth provides stability
Gift creates an obligation to reciprocate
Important for a few reasons:
Status is gained through generosity rather than accumulation
Gifts create power over others
Gifts can be a violence
Western Feudal System
Big Chiefs
Smaller Chiefs
Everybody else
Argonauts of the Western Pacific (Malinowski 1922)
Capitalist market economy is historically, socially, culturally constructed.
It was not inevitable.
Embedded within it are a variety of
moral economies
Marx (1867)
Play a powerful role in
society and culture.
even in market-based systems ('late capitalism') today
Anthropology 176:
Culture, Power, & Class

The Culture of Capitalism
Markets must perpetually grow
Making more $ means creating more $
Debt relies on money being created
Stock holders rely on ever-increasing numbers
Growth needs new products:
new stuff
financial products

More people with money in stocks
More things for them to put money into
sub-prime mortgages
anything that can be bought or sold
creation of new products
making things commodities that weren't before
Capitalism is
(along with all human economies):
Culturally/Socially/Historically Constructed
Powerful social/cultural/political structure
Changing all the time
Use Value
Exchange Value
Commodity Fetishism
maps feelings onto things
attributes agency to commodities
naturalizes commodities
Before ~1780's England:
goods very expensive - not that many
labor very cheap
most things made at home
moral economy of large landowners & service
merchants/business is looked down upon
A farm laborer “did not ask: how much can I earn in a day if I do as much work as possible? But: how much must I work in order to earn the wage, 2 ½ marks, which I earned before and which takes care of my traditional needs? … A man does not ‘by nature’ wish to earn more and more money, but simply to live as he is accustomed to live and to earn as much as is necessary for that purpose” (Weber 1996 [1930]:60).
What Would Marshall Sahlins Say?
Contemporary capitalism manufactures wants
Economy depends on the manufacture of new wants
Affluence/Wealth can never be reached
Culturally/socially constructed
Meaning of childhood is not stable
Contemp. idea is that children are expensive
Children as consumers part of growth
Commodification of Christmas - late 19th
Children may contribute to household income
"Country Wedding" John Lewis Krimmel 1820
"Night Before Christmas" (1823)
"A Christmas Carol" (Dickens 1843)
1870s - retail increases
1920s - dept. store Santas
'Tween' as a category
Wizard of Oz
Disney World
Consumerism on the rise
Moral Economy changing
US 'exporting' consumerism?
Indian middle class 445 million people
Chinese middle class 300 million people
Islam, Christianity, Buddhism traditionally very wary of consumerism
Attached to sexual promiscuity for young women
US Population: 313 million
'Soft Power' and conflict
'Clash of Civilizations'? (Huntington 1992)
implies cultures are rigid and unchanging (Stone)
Most scholarship about ISIS describes people joining b/c of lack of economic opportunity & discourse of consumerism as evil.
% of time/energy spent accumulating $
spending $ on consumer goods (meaning of goods)
education - cost/benefit language
spa lifestyle @ college
How we measure status, wealth
How we care for loved ones
How we practice politics
"...suspended in webs of his own making"
(Geertz 1973, quoting Weber)
$ for campaigns
Consumerism as an expression of politics
Pink Ribbon
Where do you shop?
Even anti-consumer movement is expressed through consumerism
Local food
re-usable bags
Critical thinking around capitalism can get very negative
Find ways to analyze without getting too down on it (Robbins?)
The most important thing structuring society and culture?
Historical Materialism - deterministic relationship
What is socio-economic class?
More Marxian Terms:
World Systems Theory
Wallerstein (1974)
First/Second/Third World
Global North/Global South
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
(Weber 1930 [1904])
How did working go from being a vice to being a virtue?
Calvinist Reformation
Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanack"
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"Time is money."
Work as a cultural value.
"We work to live, Americans live to work."
Disciplining Workers
Discipline & Punish (Foucault 1975)
History of Sexuality (Foucault 1978)
Schools, Factories, Prisons
Women & the Shop Floor
nimble fingers, small hands, good eyesight
propensity to do repetitive work
docile, not rowdy, easily controlled
racism/sexism/ageism is profitable
Necessary conflict?
To the owner's benefit to pay workers
as little as possible.
Spirits of Resistance
and Capitalist Discipline
(Ong 1987)
Shop Floor Culture & Masculinity
rebellion in school
prestige through $, alcohol, girls, 'laffs'
workers v.s. management (teachers v.s. students)
shop floor solidarity
low mobility
East Harlem
transition to service industry downtown
conflicting masculinities
loss of dignity
Factory changes sense of time
changes one's body
changes one's attitudes/feelings
Middle class = expendable income
who is 'core' today?
Bourgois (2002)
Ray - 'illegal bodies'
Selling drugs as resistance
"The public is not persuaded by a structural economic understanding of Caesar and Primo's 'self destruction'" (Bourgois 2016 [2002], 125)
"I am arguing that the transformation from manufacturing to service employment - especially in the professional office work setting - is much more culturally disruptive than the already revealing statistics...would indicate. ... It often takes the form of a sharply polarized confrontation over gender roles" (Bourgois 2016 [2002], 119).
"The underground economy and the social relations thriving off of it are best understood as modes of resistance to subordination in the service sector of the new U.S. economy" (Bourgois 2016 [2002], 125).
workforce categorized into racial/gendered types of work
Spirit possession of workers
sexual danger of work relations
modesty danger of expendable income
vulnerability & spirit possession
"Aihwa Ong suggested that the women were not reacting to anything as abstract as industrial capitalism but against a sense of violation, or a dislocation of human relations" (Robbins 2014:55)
Global Economies
The world has always been global.
Quick history of the world important
Development of global economy driven by merchant adventurer?
Global economy is the single greatest generator of cultural/social change on the planet (Stone)
Patten 2009
Loan for economic restructuring
WB Structural Adjustment Program
Fertilizer Subsidies
Crisis in 1994/5
Prosperity back in 2007
What does this tell us about global systems?
Poverty does not arise in a vacuum. It has history and is constructed.
US economic policy and thought has a direct effect on local economies throughout the world.
Control of capital and credit on an international scale is a major force that shapes local economies and politics throughout the world
History of colonialism and dispossession has not given an even 'start' to all nations or economies.
measure GDP/GNP by country - but they are all inter-related
Neoliberalism/Market Liberalism/Free Market Capitalism
Principles (Korten 1995)
economic growth is path to human progress
free markets (unrestrained by gov't) are the most efficient and optimal
removing barriers to free flow of goods/money around world is good for everyone
privatization improves efficiency
primary responsibility of gov't is ensure property rights and contracts
Cultural Assumptions:
humans are motivated by self-interest
more $ is more beneficial to humans
competitive behavior is more rational
human progress best measured through ability to consume
cultural perspective?
"Economic growth in each decade of the last half of the twentieth century was greater than the economic output in all of human history up to 1950" (Robbins 2011:83)
Bretton Woods Institutions
International Monetary Fund
"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world" (www.IMF.org)
World Trade Organization
"The WTO provides a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all, thus contributing to economic growth and development. " (www.wto.org: mission statement)
World Bank
"We provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries. These support a wide array of investments in such areas as education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management...We offer support to developing countries through policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance." (www.worldbank.org: what we do)
Makes loans to countries
Structural Adjustment Program (until 2012):
World Bank & Power
IMF & World Bank strongly US-led
Washington Consensus
Economists at University of Chicago
cuts to gov't programs (health, education, etc.)
privatization of state-owned enterprises
open economy to foreign competition & investment
allow market to determine interest rates
manage currency exchange
helps foreign investors more than poor people?
WB Reforms
Jim Yong Kim (2012-2022)
Second term starts 7/17
New Goals:
End extreme poverty in a generation (decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3 percent by 2030
Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country
(www.worldbank.org: what we do)
development and monetization is always good (Stone)
Blog Posts:
Thoughtful Opinion
Clear Writing
clearly stated argument
close relationship between argument and evidence/data
'next level' means:
says why the reader should care (What are the stakes?)
applies the reading/argument to life outside the article (What are the consequences?)
Organized - uses paragraphs
Explicit and Precise
Argument builds so that reader can follow writer's thinking

Commodity Chains
Commodity Chains (Wallerstein)
'follow the thing' (George Marcus)
Weatherford (1986)
What are the local uses of coca?
How does the US consumption of cocaine impact peoples' nutrition in Chapare, Bolivia?
What are some of the other effects?
Where does the wealth go?
Diet consists of potatoes, corn, sugar
Coca provides needed vitamins
US policy kills legal agriculture
Illicit trade funnels food circulation toward drug centers
Local people drink more chicha --> alcoholism
Decrease in subsistence agriculture - lack of family labor
Migration to the city - unemployment
Increase in prostitution, HIV
Increase in mental, physical illness (pisacocas)
Benson & Fisher (2007)
Difference between 'desire' and 'need'?
Sweetness & Power
(Mintz 1985)
British colonialism: tea & sugar
A matter of taste?
Sugar consumption in England increased 2,500% from 1650-1800
Industrial revolution
Women not around to cook
Quick meals
Carbs to Sugar
'Drug diet': caffeine, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, chocolate
Quick energy for small breaks
Deadens hunger (caffeine, nicotine too)
results in poor nutrition
State supported
gov't work houses/prisons/army
Evo Morales & Cocaleros
Can see the connections in our global economy.
Brings together producers, distributors, consumers
Minimize commodity fetishism
Social Changes
Reproduced new changes
1. What do you most appreciate about this course? What about this course helps you learn?

2. What do you least appreciate about this course? What about this course makes it more difficult for you to learn?

3. If you could suggest improvements for the course (ways to make it more effective), what would they be?

4. What could you do as a student to improve the effectiveness of this course?

5. On a scale of 1-5, 1 being super easy and 5 being very challenging, rate how intellectually challenging this course is.
What impact does the Guatemalan moral economy of food have on broccoli trade?
What impact does the US moral economy of food have on broccoli trade?
Who or what is driving desires for modernity and betterment?
There is plenty of food - they are even picky
Everyone works ~2-3 days/week
6 hr days
12-19 hrs/week
Old and young (40% of people) do not provide food at all
Own means of production
Sell their labor
Industrial Revolution: ~1780s - ~1840
efficiency becomes important cultural value
land enclosure
wage labor
Money and Consumerism as a
'primary symbolic activity' (Robbins 2014)
Characteristics of Working Class
(post-industrial revolution - 19th Century)
Have to be mobile (to follow jobs)
often along racial, ethnic, religious, gendered lines
Techniques of the body
To the workers' benefit to earn
as much as possible.
Is it resistance/protest?
Which of the following best describes why Robbins (2014) compares money to the Philosopher's Stone?

A) It is more imaginary than it is real.

B) It can only be obtained by those who want to have it and not those who want to use it.

C) It makes those who have it immortal.

D) It converts something of no intrinsic value into something of high value.
For Marx:
Irreconcilable tension
Revolution was inevitable
People are willing to put up with a lot more than Marx thought.
Turns out:
high skill production
primary resources
Why do working-class boys end up in the same jobs as their fathers?
Willis argues that rebellion turns out to reproduce their own oppression
Shop Floor & Gender:
Intersections of class & gender matter
Most codes of masculinity involve strength, struggles over authority
Shop floor becomes a place of peer solidarity and posing challenge to authority
'hard to control'
Most codes of femininity involve conciliation, duty to family
Shop floor becomes a place of making $ for family and deference to authority
'easy to control'
Shop Floor & Culture:
Cultural background of workers matters:
can be exploited to work against workers
Economic change is very disruptive of culture
often in unpredictable ways
Because cultures & economies are integrated:
Culture can be very disruptive of economic plans
There is no culture-free zone.
Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith 1776)
"Invisible Hand" of the market
Each person working in their own self-interest is the best for the common good.
Was very skeptical of corporations.
Believed gov't regulation was needed.
violence of the gift
The most important set of ideas behind our contemp. global economy!
Economy intimately interwoven with the state
state secures private property
decides/enforces the rules of the market
secures/provides 'insurance' against market collapse
Which of the following is an argument that Patten (2009) makes in the article "Malawi versus the World Bank"?

A) Malawi represents an important case because it successfully leveraged the IMF against the World Bank to create national prosperity.

B) The World Bank, under the direction of the Washington Consensus, drove Malawian people further into poverty so that it could sell them subsidized US corn.

C) Malawi probably would not have had so many agricultural problems if farmers had continued to grow milo instead of maiz.

D) The World Bank's Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) did not bring Malawi greater prosperity.
Did not use in FA2014
Cash Crop
Difference between Coca & Cocaine?
What words do you need to know definitions for in order to understand this article?
Commodity chains allow us to see how we are connected.
Decisions that
you make
in your daily life impact others around the world. (mundane decisions)
Global economy plays a
role in structuring society & culture.
If you want to know
something is happening, you can't go wrong by looking to the economy first.
There are people/cultures/desires behind 'supply and demand'.
Luck has very little to do with global inequality.
Nothing about the economy is inevitable or very difficult to change - change happens all the time.
Socio-economic Class (rough):
Poverty level:
U.S. Census Poverty threshold 2015
$12,331 no dependents, $19,096 for two kids
under-employed, unemployed
Working class:
no college (maybe technical), hourly wage
no property (maybe a house)
factory/construction work, truck driver
Lower Middle:
(petite bourgeoisie)
technical degree, maybe salary
little property (house, car)
police, military, teacher, nurse (pink collar)
Middle class:
college degree, salary
make some money off property/interest
Management, business-owner
Upper Class:
(gentry, aristocracy)
education irrelevant
exclusively make money off interest and property
do not work
U.S. Style farmers?
Most middle management, tech industry, insurance, office jobs?
Highly educated or religious scholars?
Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey?
People often experience their class as something other than economic position:
culture (
These things can be true at the same time
How you speak, your performance of your gender, race, sexuality, and values are all deeply intertwined with your socio-economic class.
Against open borders (immigration & trade)
Heavy government intervention/regulation:
industry economics (subsidies, incentives)
infrastructure? (roads, walls, internet?)
healthcare? ("I'll take care of everybody.")
anti-neoliberal/free market
Pro-multinational business (this is how he makes $)
"Free markets" for healthcare
Privatization of prisons and schools (?)
Self-interested, competitive, profit-driven individualism (?)
Has hired lots of free-market people making policy.
neoliberal/free market
20th Century neoliberalism/free market capitalism is over (was from 2008)
Does not necessarily mean that neoliberalism is over (its morality seems to be hanging around).
Future of the global economy is incredibly unclear
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