Anthropology Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 5 - Question 1
90 Days Anthropology Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 10-Dec-2018
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10-Dec-2018 - Question 1
Discuss principles governing production, distribution and exchange among simple socities. 250 words. 15 Marks.
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Production, distribution, exchange and ownership are important components of any economy. The fact applies to simple societies i.e. hunting and gathering tribes, pastoral herders, cultivators and so on.
PRINCIPLES GOVERNING PRODUCTION.
Among three types of production, simple societies usually carry out primary production and modern-industrialized societies largely depend upon secondary and tertiary production. Here, primary production includes hunting (Bushmen, Inuits etc), food gathering (Birhor and Raji) fishing (coastal tribes), pastoral gerding (Yako tribe of Nigeria) cultivation and mining. These societies represent cultural survivors. They directly exploit the natural resources. They hunt or gather food almost daily as they are nomadic. Hunters do become gatherers in times of scarcity. Usually, gatherers always produce more than hunters.
The hunting societies keep their band smaller, the pastoral herders can sustain a larger group and cultivators can afford to have further large group than second ones. The numerical strength depends upon principles of production.
PRINCIPLES GOVERNING DISTRIBUTION.
Each hunt and all of food gathered in the day is equally distributed among all the members of the band. There is no discrimination for one who did not go to hunt or food gathering. They divide the job among themselves. They have sanctions for wilful defaulters. Also, as they cant store, they ultimately have to distribute the food.
The Potlatch event among Kwakiutl redistribute their year long produce through annual feasting and gift giving. Modern states impose taxes on rich people and redistribute it to poor ones. Here, the principle behind distribution is welfare of the society as a whole.
PRINCIPLES GOVERNING EXCHANGE.
As the simple societies progress, division of labour becomes common. The division of labour leads to ‘exchange’. Here the principle governing exchange is that simple societies are not always self-sufficient. The hunters might get hunt one day and miss another day. They are helped by another band group which in turn gets help in future. The resources in these societies are common-pooled i.e. ownership is community owned. One may use fish-net of other and provide a share of fish in exchange. One may use water-wells of another. The actual owners do not stop others from using their resources for one they get something in exchange and secondly, they fear social sanctions.
Overall, these principles governing the production, distribution and exchange not only help carry out their economic aspects smoothly but also help increase their chances of survival. Knowingly or unknowingly, they strengthen the social relations and kinship. Hence, their social institutions.