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Reciporical Economic System

  • Date Submitted: 07/04/2011 07:36 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.9 
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A reciprocal economic system is a form of exchange of goods and services that occurs between members of a kinship group. The basic underlying principle is reciprocity, a mutual, agreed-upon exchange of goods and services. Reciprocity works well in a society in which food items need to be consumed quickly due to spoilage. (Mosser, 2011) There are three forms of reciprocity, generalized, balanced, and negative. Foraging communities do not want to be tied down by surplus of resources. Their environment allows them to access whatever they want when they want it. If they had to store extra resources, this would inhibit them from their mobile lives. This is what is called an immediate return system. Generalized reciprocity is a form of exchange with no expectation of exchange in value usually based on socially recognized family and kin relationships. This idea resembles the karma factor. If you do well for others, good things will come back to you. Since everything is shared, there is no reason for accumulation of wealth. This abolishes jealously and envy which discourage cooperation within a society. Negative reciprocity is an exchange usually between strangers. The basis for this form of exchange is for each side to maximize the value of their returns. It also gives a society a chance to get resources the normally they can’t produce themselves. One reason that major conflict is rare is that bands are small. Kinship is the central organizing principle. (Mosser, 2011)People with in the society can either recon ciliate their differences or move away. Balanced reciprocity is a direct exchange with the promise of the return of an item of equivalent value to the giver within an agreed–upon period of time. If the giver receives an item of lesser value, the giver might decide to terminate the relationship. (Mosser, 2011)   Among horticultural people, both the generalized and the balanced forms of reciprocity are important. The circle of people with whom generalized reciprocal...


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