Bortle, A- Week 5- Systems of Exchange

Systems of exchange are primarily based on a triangle of culture, society, and the environment.  All three influence how people live their lives. It is built on the base that all communities use and exploit different resources dependent on the triangle. For example, while both walleye and bison may be available to a community, they may only use bison because it is not culturally acceptable to use walleye. Economic systems develop to provide goods and services to meet social wants and biological needs of humans. The two biggest factors being production and distribution.

Production looks at the allocation of resources groups have available to them, who is able to use these resources, who controls the resources, and what rules guide who is able to use them. In some societies there are ownership rights to property and in others people are freely able to access a good. An example is the allocation of water. In many countries water is freely shared, in other countries there are rules for usage and the government is involved in allocation. Production looks at the technology available to exploit these resources, cultural knowledge for making and using tools, as well as how labor is divided to extract the resources and make them into goods. Labor can be divided by age, gender, generational, or by education.

One version of subsistence strategies is hunter gatherers. The lifestyle is based around hunting animals and gathering wild berries, plants, and seeds to provide basic food and supplies. Hunter gatherer societies have a complete absence of control over reproduction of resources. Therefore, they gather as much as available to compensate for not knowing how much will be available in the next location. They have no permanent settlement as they must follow the food. The migratory pattern creates a sparse, low density, and highly mobile population. Multiple family groups may gather in locations with large amounts of food available such as migratory caribou or spawning salmon. Religious festivals were often held during these times of gathering.

Another version of production is agriculturalists which represented a significtan transformation in society. People had more control over the environment for they controlled the reproduction of their food resources. They planted and grew large quantities of food that is eaten by the group but can also be sold or traded. There is a focus on crop rotation in agricultural societies and they use animals to work for them rather than for food. Irrigation systems also came into play. Permanent settlements led to a division of labor, such as owners versus laborers. With larger populations came a central government.

Industrialist society brought about a huge change, also considered a market society. This was dominated by a market where goods and services were exchanged for a currency. This allowed for a high degree of economic specialization and people had more time on their hands for there was a large division of labor. Institutions arose that were not based on basic necessity such as educational, political, and religious institutions. This also meant a larger government came into play with more rules. Industrial economies have a large focus on money determining a person’s worth.

8 thoughts on “Bortle, A- Week 5- Systems of Exchange

  1. I like how you start of by saying the information we were told at the start of the lecture. This makes it feel like it was made for everyone and not just your fellow classmates that have already seen this lecture. Also I like how you focused on production. The best part about this assignment is that people seem to use different exchanges which makes reading others posts more enjoyable. Again I like how you define what production is, again making the whole post feel more professional. Though the one downside of this is that I feel like otherwise you could have fit in another system of exchange or two. I like how you go into the ones you did write about though. It feels as though you went above and beyond on them. This was a very good post, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting this.

  2. I am very enjoying while reading your idea of exchange. I can feel you have a very effective understanding our lectures and express your understandings by writing them into words. You gave a good example about the impact of culture on the exchange system and I very like your example about water in different societies. Although water comes from our natural environment, people gave it different value in the societies. And other interesting I found about culture in the exchange system is when the goods represent culture, it has higher value than others. For example, when people travel in another country, they would like to buy some souvenir, which is a way to represent culture, rather than buy the goods they already have in their culture. So culture plays an important role in trading system. It gives people a value of a good, at the same time, cultural goods usually are more valuable.

  3. The author addressed the different types of subsistence strategies as discussed in the lecture 5.1. Moreover, the author also talks about the transition from each from one type subsistence strategy to the next, as well their effect of each strategy on its society. Another interesting remark made by the author, was how the culture, environment, and society all effect the production and distribution components of the economic system. The example of the bison and the walleye is another clear illustration of how culture can in a major way influence the production decision in a particular environment and society. Furthermore, the author addresses how distribution and production vary from one society to the other. Alluding the fact that some societies, produce mainly from hunting and gathering, while others, rely more highly on machinery and capital. Likewise, the author also touches on the role of the government in the industrialists and agriculturalists forms of subsistence strategies. With the government being more stern in the industrialists by implementing more rules, and the government being more lenient on the case of agriculturalists.

  4. I thought you defined everything from the lecture very well. As you said in the first paragraph, culture determines what resources people will use in their environment, the bison and the walleye example with different native American groups. Industrialists did bring huge change to the economic systems in the world. Because of the high diversity and specialization, it forces people to be innovative and through that people made new ways to make items faster and make them better. Through mass production goods became more affordable and widely available to the masses. Even though the economy has moved toward a more industrial role, the world cannot manage without agriculturalists who provide food for millions of people. Agriculturalists benefited from the industrialists because they brought about more innovation and technology to not only make mass production possible, but machines to help improve how efficient agriculturalists can be. Through technology and innovation brought by industrialists, the world has advanced more and more each decade.

  5. I liked how you explained how culture, society and the environment impact the system of exchange. Each is interdependent on one another but one does not affect the other. It just shows that how one exchange may differ from society to society or cultural differences. I also enjoyed you using water as an example of production. Since we, in the United States, believe that we have an “endless supply” of water it crazy to know that there are some countries there are rule and regulations and place on the distribution of water. But I understand that in some countries where the water supply is scarce that are systems in place to regulate the water to ensure that everyone has a fair share. Agriculturalist, as you mentioned, played a huge role in society by growing and harvesting large quantities of food in smart ways, irrigation, that gave power and technology to communities and individuals to grow their own food supply.

  6. I really did love everything you said about the lecture and how you explained it all perfectly. I really loves that you explained the importance of strategies to the society as well. As you said Agriculturalists are rather important as they obtain large numbers of crops and achieve this by using various things of technology. They use this to help supply a large number of people and also as they want to care for more than just themselves. In fact i want to add to it and illustrate how the United States is rather big on agriculture and agriculturalists are vital to the thriving nature of this country. And of course, there is also the industrialist nature of these things. The idea of a market where you buy and sell things was rather revolutionary in itself. It was also important as it has been implemented in countries today around the world and allows the establishment of a systems of exchange.

  7. I would like to start by saying that I appreciate the amount of detail in your post. I also thought that you describing the agriculturalist system was intriguing because I did not read to many other piece that also include it. I would like to point out that while this system was one of the first to be able to be self-sufficient and produce and grow its food on its own. It also is one of the slowest to further develop. I think that with the immense amount of technology that has affected and altered each of the different types of systems of exchange, but agriculturalist systems have almost been made extinct due to technology. A lot of things that people used to do for themselves that we used as a source of income and a means for providing as been replaced by machinery. While I think there is still value in this system of exchange, I can not help but wonder how applicable and sustainable it may be as technology continues to advance.

  8. Your introduction to the post was very formal which made it more universal for readers even those who haven’t seen the content from the class if this post were to be posted to the public. You explained some impacts of the exchange system very well and how they are each related to each other and how the interact. You were very persistent and clear about the examples that you used as well you also talks about the transition from each from one type subsistence strategy to the next, as well their effect of each strategy on its society. Although I felt you could have did a bit more with this post I think that you did a good job over all showing that you understood the content and were seemingly able to present it to someone who again has not seen the content at all great expansions on the information.

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