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Gift and Exchange in the Reciprocal Regime of the Miskito on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, 20th Century

Kindblad, Christopher LU (2001)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen är en historisk-komparativ analys av en konflikt som har uppstått i Miskito's ekonomiska system under 1900-talet avseende exploateringen av kommunalt ägda resurser. Studien är baserad på empiriskt material insamlat i en Miskito/Creole by på Atlantkusten i Nicaragua på 1990-talet. Under den s k enklavperioden (1860-1960) tjänade Miskito män pengar som lönearbetare vid utländska bolag (bananplantage, skog- och gruvindustri), och sände hem pengar och köpta varor till kvinnor, som arbetade i jordbruk. Vid denna tid var de kommunala resurserna i huvudsak reserverade för självhushållning och matgåvor. Detta tillät en symbolisk omvandling av pengar och köpta varor, som distribuerades i ett... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen är en historisk-komparativ analys av en konflikt som har uppstått i Miskito's ekonomiska system under 1900-talet avseende exploateringen av kommunalt ägda resurser. Studien är baserad på empiriskt material insamlat i en Miskito/Creole by på Atlantkusten i Nicaragua på 1990-talet. Under den s k enklavperioden (1860-1960) tjänade Miskito män pengar som lönearbetare vid utländska bolag (bananplantage, skog- och gruvindustri), och sände hem pengar och köpta varor till kvinnor, som arbetade i jordbruk. Vid denna tid var de kommunala resurserna i huvudsak reserverade för självhushållning och matgåvor. Detta tillät en symbolisk omvandling av pengar och köpta varor, som distribuerades i ett bredare nätverk av släktskapsrelaterade kvinnor. Perioden kännetecknas av en relativt stabil samexistens av kortsiktigt utbyte och långsiktig gåva, som fortlöpande hänvisas till som en reciprok regim. Men övergången till den s k kommersiella perioden (1960-) resulterade i en kommersiell exploatering av kommunala resurser, som på allvar började att konkurrera med självhushållning och traditionen med matgåvor på 1970-talet. En motsättning uppstod mellan kortsiktigt utbyte och långsiktig gåva, som hänger samman med en dubbel och motsägelsefull kodning av kommunala resurser. Denna utveckling avbröts på 1980-talet - årtiondet för den Sandinistiska revolutionen - men fortsatte på 1990-talet, då även nya aspekter tillkom pga ökat befolkningstryck, extern exploatering och begränsade möjligheter till lönearbete. Även om den reciproka regimen är hotad av instabiliteter, finns det en marginal för en konfliktuell samexistens av gåva och utbyte, som är potentiellt kreativ för framtiden. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation is a historical-comparative analysis of a conflict that has developed in the economic system of the Miskito in the 20th century, concerning the use of common property resources. The study is based on empirical material collected in a Miskito/Creole village on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua in the 1990s. During the enclave period (1860-1960) Miskito men earned money as wage labourers at foreign companies (lumber, mining and banana plantations), and sent home money and purchased goods to women, who worked in subsistence agriculture. At this time the communal resources were reserved mainly for subsistence and food gifts. This permitted a symbolic transformation of money and purchased goods, which were distributed in a wider... (More)
This dissertation is a historical-comparative analysis of a conflict that has developed in the economic system of the Miskito in the 20th century, concerning the use of common property resources. The study is based on empirical material collected in a Miskito/Creole village on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua in the 1990s. During the enclave period (1860-1960) Miskito men earned money as wage labourers at foreign companies (lumber, mining and banana plantations), and sent home money and purchased goods to women, who worked in subsistence agriculture. At this time the communal resources were reserved mainly for subsistence and food gifts. This permitted a symbolic transformation of money and purchased goods, which were distributed in a wider network of kin-related women. There was a relatively stable coexistence of short-term exchange and long-term gift, which is referred to as a reciprocal regime. However, the transition to the commercial period (1960-) resulted in a commercial exploitation of communal resources, which seriously started to compete with subsistence and the custom of food gifts in the 1970s. A contradiction developed between short-term exchange and long-term gift, which stems from a double and contradictory coding of communal resources. This development was interrupted during the 1980s - the decade of the Sandinist revolution - but continued in the 1990s, although new aspects were added due to increasing population pressure, external exploitation and few opportunities for wage labour. In spite of instabilities in the reciprocal regime, the analysis suggests that there could be a conflictual coexistence of gift and exchange, which is potentially creative for the future. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Jamieson, Mark
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
analogic code, digital code, tragedy of the commons, egalitarian norms, entrepreneurship, symbolic transformations, long-term gift, short-term exchange, reciprocal regime, Tasbapauni, Nicaragua, Miskito, paradox, Sociology, Sociologi, Social and economic history, Ekonomisk och social historia
pages
279 pages
publisher
Department of Sociology, Lund University
defense location
Samarkand, Akademiska Föreningen, Lund
defense date
2001-11-16 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUSADG/SASO-01/1145/SE
ISSN
1102-4712
ISBN
91-7267-113-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f4d9130f-c6bc-4dd7-aef5-1ce0948af8d3 (old id 20298)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 10:41:16
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:54
@phdthesis{f4d9130f-c6bc-4dd7-aef5-1ce0948af8d3,
  abstract     = {This dissertation is a historical-comparative analysis of a conflict that has developed in the economic system of the Miskito in the 20th century, concerning the use of common property resources. The study is based on empirical material collected in a Miskito/Creole village on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua in the 1990s. During the enclave period (1860-1960) Miskito men earned money as wage labourers at foreign companies (lumber, mining and banana plantations), and sent home money and purchased goods to women, who worked in subsistence agriculture. At this time the communal resources were reserved mainly for subsistence and food gifts. This permitted a symbolic transformation of money and purchased goods, which were distributed in a wider network of kin-related women. There was a relatively stable coexistence of short-term exchange and long-term gift, which is referred to as a reciprocal regime. However, the transition to the commercial period (1960-) resulted in a commercial exploitation of communal resources, which seriously started to compete with subsistence and the custom of food gifts in the 1970s. A contradiction developed between short-term exchange and long-term gift, which stems from a double and contradictory coding of communal resources. This development was interrupted during the 1980s - the decade of the Sandinist revolution - but continued in the 1990s, although new aspects were added due to increasing population pressure, external exploitation and few opportunities for wage labour. In spite of instabilities in the reciprocal regime, the analysis suggests that there could be a conflictual coexistence of gift and exchange, which is potentially creative for the future.},
  author       = {Kindblad, Christopher},
  isbn         = {91-7267-113-0},
  issn         = {1102-4712},
  keyword      = {analogic code,digital code,tragedy of the commons,egalitarian norms,entrepreneurship,symbolic transformations,long-term gift,short-term exchange,reciprocal regime,Tasbapauni,Nicaragua,Miskito,paradox,Sociology,Sociologi,Social and economic history,Ekonomisk och social historia},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {279},
  publisher    = {Department of Sociology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Gift and Exchange in the Reciprocal Regime of the Miskito on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, 20th Century},
  year         = {2001},
}