K. Rynkar – Week 5 blog post – Systems of exchange

The systems of exchange found across cultures and time vary quite differently from one another. I think that the forms of distribution or exchange methods are based on the production style of that particular culture or region. The guidelines of population size, technology, and means and types of production form a cultures distribution method. For example when looking at the United States cultural norm of distribution, market exchange you can see the factors in production that shape our economy.  We have a large population of people, very advanced technology, and a wide variety of advanced means and types of production. Because of all these factors a market exchange style of distribution is necessary. When comparing this to a small tribal culture the factors and outcome are very different. Tribal communities tend to be hunter gatherers, a means of production that differs from the United States greatly. This means that a system of distribution of reciprocity or bartering would be the way to because of their assumed low amount of goods being produced. Also in a tribal community there tends to be a very small population, this makes it easier to follow the distribution style of reciprocity because they know most everyone in their tribe and have relationships which gives them an obligation to exchange as opposed to the United States where we exchange with huge grocery stores that we do not require a social relationship with and there fore are not obligated. Tribal culture’s also have a low technology level which would make a market exchange style of distribution very difficult to structure and carry out rather that simple exchanges or bartering. However because of the United States high technological level market exchanges become much simpler because of our structure and forms of currency. An individuals labor has become apart of the systems of exchange because cultures and societies have become more advanced and the types of jobs and the means of production are altered as a result.

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