B. Malinovsky and M. Moss as founders of economic anthropology
Marginalism ignored the problem of the typology of societies and the corresponding types of economic relations, since the main subject of its analysis is the search for universal laws of economic behavior of man. This approach was refuted in the process of studying the organization of economic life in archaic societies and its comparison with the economy of industrial countries. The publication in 1922 of B. Malinowski's book "The Argonauts of the Western Pacific" and in 1925 the books of M. Moss Essay on the Gift significantly changed the views of contemporaries about economic life in archaic societies and laid the foundation for the constitution of economic anthropology proper.
The book "Argonauts of the Western Pacific" B. Malinowski
is devoted to the description of the life of the natives on the Trobriand Islands. It is B. Malinovsky who has the honor of opening this type of socio-economic relations of the pre-class society, which later became known as the prestigious economy. Collected and systematized material testified unequivocally: in pre-class society, there were unusual connections that did not fit into framework of the ideas that have developed in classical economic science about what economic relations should be.
The main content of the book is devoted to the study of the ceremony of ceremonial exchange - kula. The islanders are excellent traders and producers. They have an ordinary barter exchange of those things that they themselves produce, "hymned." This exchange is carried out thanks to sea voyages on small canoes. Parallel to this, there is a ceremonial exchange, which is an independent sphere of relations. Where is a large inter-tribal exchange, practiced by the communities inhabiting the Trabrian Islands, which form a kind of circle by their geographical location. Two types of objects are constantly circulating along this trajectory:
necklaces, made of red shells - sulava, move clockwise;
- the bracelets made of white shells are circling counter-clockwise - they were blown away.
Moving in its direction, one object meets another and exchanges for it. At the same time, each movement of items of the kul and details of the deal is clearly fixed by traditional rules. Some actions of the kul are accompanied by magical rituals and public ceremonies. Malinowski stresses that the shells themselves did not represent value - they are of little use for wearing: either too large or too small. But the exchange of this kind did not bear a direct economic character, but around such an exchange a huge social institution grew up with its own magic, myths and traditions.
Not only objects of material culture, but also customs, songs, objects of art, common cultural influences are involved in the circle of the kul. Thus, the kula is a total social phenomenon. Only a limited number of people from time to time, although irregularly, enter into the relationship of the kul: they receive certain items, temporarily own them, and then exchange them for other items corresponding to the direction of movement. The rule reads: "Once in a cool - forever in a cool", i.e. the partnership between the two people lasts a lifetime. To own the sacred objects circulating in the kula, it is possible only temporarily. The length of time for which a sacred object makes a full circle is between two and ten years.
B. Malinovsky notes that the "aboriginal" who participates in the kulak also likes to have something <...>, but the social code of rules governing the receipt and giving away restrains the natural propensity to acquire. This social code & lt; ... & gt; At the same time, it does not at all weaken the natural desire for possession; on the contrary, it says that possession is a source of greatness and that wealth is a necessary attribute of social rank and a sign of personal dignity. However, what is important for a native is to give - and in this the natives are significantly different from us . Thus, the main sign of power in the Trurrians is wealth, and the main sign of wealth is generosity. For them, generosity is the very essence of good, and avarice is the most despised vice.
The prestige of a Trabrian directly depends on the amount of work that he can perform, and on the size of the garden he can cultivate. With pride the name "toquaybugula" is worn. ("a good farmer"), which is not given to everyone: "The Trabrians obtains the result of their activities for her own sake and by a roundabout way in many ways she is extraordinarily concerned about the aesthetic appearance of the garden. First of all, it is not led by the desire to satisfy one's needs, but a complex combination of the requirements of tradition, duty and obligations, faith in the power of magic, as well as social aspirations and ambitious aspirations " .
Such an image of the "native" contradicted the economic myths that were spread among many Western scholars, in particular, the myth of the carefree dick re-lute: "Truth, on the contrary, is that a native can and work hard ...", working systematically, staunchly and purposefully, without expecting that urgent needs will force him to work. " .
B. Malinowski also debunk other misconceptions about the way of life of the natives: "The opinion that the natives can live in the state of individual search for food or obtain it only for their own farm, apart from any exchange of goods, implies prudence, cold selfishness and the opportunity to experience pleasure from the very fact of owning objects of consumption. The ego opinion is & lt; ... & gt; does not take into account the basic human motivation to show their things, share them with others and give. Ignored deep-rooted propensity to create social bonds by exchanging gifts .
B. Malinovsky shows that through the chain of exchanges, the connection between different parts of society is maintained and communication between different tribes is carried out: "it can be said that giving for the sake of giving is one of the most important traits of the Trobrian sociology, and if we take into account the very general and fundamental nature of this phenomenon, tends to argue that this is a universal trait of all primitive societies . Thus, the most important goal of the phenomenon of the kula is to hold together the bonds of community and to communicate between people.
What is the novelty of B. Malinovsky's ideas?
1. It shows a complex system of interactions that form an integral organism - a culture and defends the thesis about the inclusion of economic processes in the socio-cultural structure.
2. The position on the expressive nature of labor (work itself is the goal) is justified, along with the instrumental aspect of its functioning (labor is a means of life-support of the community).
3. B. Malinovsky singles out the emotional-psychological and aesthetic aspects of labor and exchange.
4. He highlights the prestigious status of labor and economic activity in general.
5. The dominance of generosity is emphasized as a principle of economic behavior and norms for traditional society, while avarice is a pathology for the Troyrians.
6. Priority of cooperation, social ties among aborigines is noted, but compared with selfish individualism.
7. On the basis of the analysis of the way of life of the Trosbrians, the identity of the benefit of selfish computability, the rational calculus of the "marginalist" is denied, since in this society it is reasonable and profitable to be generous.
8. In the life of the Trobrians the priority is personal communication with each other within the community, with children and neighbors. The main task of intercommunity exchange is to establish communication.
9. The main content of economic consciousness is connected with the cultural interpretation of the meaning of labor and exchange.
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