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Ch 21: Economic Systems

About This Chapter

Watch online anthropology video lessons to learn about the origins of industry, the geography of manufacturing, the distribution of services and more. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Economic Systems - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Anthropology and economics might seem like two disparate fields, but in fact there's a whole subfield of anthropologists interested in studying the relationship between a society's culture and the way it goes about producing and exchanging the goods and services it needs to survive. You too can take a look at roles and characteristics of these economic systems with lessons exploring the earliest examples of currency, the origins of manufacturing, methods of distribution and more. Topics of study include:

  • Approaches to studying economic systems
  • The development of the modern economy
  • Factors influencing the location of industry
  • Considerations for determining manufacturing sites
  • Characteristics of services in urban and rural settlements

Videos Objectives
How Anthropologists Study Resource Management Within Groups Learn about the models anthropologists use to study a society's resource management.
Economic Systems: Formal and Substantive Approaches Differentiate between substantive and formal approaches to studying economic systems.
The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies Trace the evolution of gift and commodity economies. Learn how metal ingots and coins came to be used as currency.
The Modern Economy: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sectors Explore functions of these three economic sectors, and explain how they interact.
Manufacturing: Origin and Regions Pinpoint industry's origins. Compare and contrast industrial regions in North America, Europe and East Asia.
The Locations of Cities: Considerations, Location & Transportation Identify factors influencing the location of industries, including proximity to transportation and inputs.
Site Factors: Land, Labor, and Capital Take a closer look at the influences of labor, land and capital on site location.
The Geography of Manufacturing: Considerations & Relocation Investigate factors determining whether industries relocate or stay in the same place.
Services: Origin and Types Trace the origins of consumer, public and business services.
Distribution of Services: Local Distribution Companies & Material Distribution Centers Recognize the part local distribution companies and material distribution centers play in delivering services.
Services in Early and Contemporary Rural Settlements: Characteristics & Examples Explore the types of services provided by individuals in early and contemporary rural settlements.
Services in Early and Contemporary Urban Settlements: Characteristics & Examples Examine the characteristics of services provided in contemporary urban settlements.
Distribution of Consumer Services in a Regular Pattern: Central Place Theory & Market-Area Analysis Learn how market-area analysis and central place theory are used to explain the distribution patterns of consumer services.
Forms of Economic Distribution and Exchange Within Society Consider principles explaining the distribution and exchange of goods and services in a society.

12 Lessons in Chapter 21: Economic Systems
How Anthropologists Study Resource Management within Groups

1. How Anthropologists Study Resource Management within Groups

This lesson will seek to explain how resource management occurs around the globe. In doing so, it will highlight the term 'technology,' as well as the concept of usufruct.

Economic Systems: Formal & Substantive Approaches

2. Economic Systems: Formal & Substantive Approaches

Today's lesson on the substantive versus formal approaches to economics is rather simple to grasp despite the way these names may sound. Learn about these terms and their origin and see some tangible examples of each.

The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

3. The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

This lecture covers the development of money in response to the needs of complex economies. It begins with a discussion of gift economies. It then examines the factors that led to the growth of commodity economies. Find out how we came to use money, rather than goods, for commerce.

The Modern Economy: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sectors

4. The Modern Economy: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sectors

The modern economy can be divided into three sectors that reflect the economic development of that society. This lesson will discuss and explore the interaction between the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the modern economy.

Manufacturing Industry: Origin and Regions

5. Manufacturing Industry: Origin and Regions

This lesson will seek to explain the origins of industry, specifically the Industrial Revolution. In doing this, it will focus on Great Britain and inventions, like the Spinning Jenny and the steam engine. It will also highlight the exports of today.

Industrial Sites: Land, Labor & Capital

6. Industrial Sites: Land, Labor & Capital

This lesson will seek to explain the factors that go into industrial site consideration. It will focus on land, labor, and capital. It will also highlight proximity of inputs and infrastructure.

Service Industries: Origin and Types

7. Service Industries: Origin and Types

This lesson will seek to define the concept of the service industry. In doing so, it will focus on consumer, business, and public services while also defining division of labor, automation, and urbanization.

Local Distribution Companies & Material Distribution Centers

8. Local Distribution Companies & Material Distribution Centers

This lesson will seek to explain local distribution companies and material distribution centers. In doing this, it will highlight tangible goods and legalized distribution of utilities.

Services in Early and Contemporary Rural Settlements

9. Services in Early and Contemporary Rural Settlements

This lesson will seek to explain services and products in early and contemporary rural areas. In doing this, it will highlight the Industrial Revolution, commercialization, cash crops, and urbanization.

Services in Early and Contemporary Urban Settlements

10. Services in Early and Contemporary Urban Settlements

This lesson will explain services available in early and contemporary cities. It will highlight the terms urban, rural, urbanization, division of labor, and welfare systems.

Service Distribution: Central Place Theory & Market-Area Analysis

11. Service Distribution: Central Place Theory & Market-Area Analysis

This lesson seeks to explain the central place theory and market area analysis. In doing this, we will highlight range, threshold, competition, and transportation.

Forms of Economic Distribution & Exchange within Society

12. Forms of Economic Distribution & Exchange within Society

This lesson will seek to explain the different forms of economic distribution found across the globe. It will highlight generalized and balanced reciprocity as well as redistribution and market exchange.

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