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Paper Topic:

consumption and exchange





Consumption and exchange

While the changes that take place in the contemporary societies are evident , for instance the change from hunting and gathering to the cash economy , production , exchange and consumption are inextricably integral elements that define the society . Native Americans of the Northwest have been a subject for scholarly inquiry in relation to where they fall . The economic anthropology of these people has attracted interest given that though the whole of humanity has at one time practiced foraging as a dominant economic activity

, the Native Americans in the Northwest Coast were still able to go a mile further and engage in other lavish practices like gift-giving (Wood et al 2006

In the concept of consumption , the society uses the up the goods or money . Production on the other hand involves the society accumulating goods or money . Lastly , exchange is where the goods or money accumulated are transferred amongst individuals or institutions . Foraging was predominant amongst the Native Americans of Northwest as a method of production . Nevertheless , the main focus of these people was to collect food for consumption and hence when the collected food was sufficient to meet their consumption needs , they had all the time devoted to leisure and merry-making like the potlatch ceremonies (Wendy et al 1998 . Some scholars have felt that this is a reason enough to label the Kwakwaka 'wakw , for instance , as consumers rather than classifying them as belonging to either production or exchange continuums

The issue of pure gift...

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