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Are Mixed Economies Persistent or Transitional? Evidence Using Social Networks from Arctic Alaska.

Author: Shauna BurnSilver; James Magdanz; Rhian Stotts; Matthew Berman; Gary Kofinas
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
Edition/Format:   Downloadable article : Document   Computer File : English
Publication:American anthropologist
Summary:
ABSTRACT: Two opposing narratives describe future prospects for mixed economic livelihoods in Alaska and the broader Arctic. On the one hand, Arctic anthropologists have written about the emergence of persistent mixed economies in Native communities. A second narrative echoes modernization assumptions and assumes that "subsistence is dying, " mixed economies are transitional, and Native communities are headed  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Article, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Shauna BurnSilver; James Magdanz; Rhian Stotts; Matthew Berman; Gary Kofinas
ISSN:0002-7294
OCLC Number: 1051870834
Notes: In: American anthropologist, Vol. 118, no. 1 (2016), p.121-129.
Description: 1 online resource

Abstract:

ABSTRACT: Two opposing narratives describe future prospects for mixed economic livelihoods in Alaska and the broader Arctic. On the one hand, Arctic anthropologists have written about the emergence of persistent mixed economies in Native communities. A second narrative echoes modernization assumptions and assumes that "subsistence is dying, " mixed economies are transitional, and Native communities are headed inevitably toward full market dependence. We provide evidence that mixed economies are not transitional. Mixed economies have three components: households engage in (1) market exchange, (2) subsistence activities, and (3) culturally embedded social relationships sustained by flows of wild food and other resources. Using household-level social network and economic data from two Iñupiat communities spanning 30 years, we explore hypotheses designed to test an assumed transition to market dependence. If transition assumptions hold, households with high engagement in the cash economy will have low engagement in subsistence production and diminished social relationships. Results do not support this narrative of change. Although there is considerable variability in household harvest, income, and social relationships, those highly engaged in market activities are also disproportionately involved in subsistence activities, sharing, and cooperation. Beyond broad narratives, an assessment of underlying processes and conditions supporting persistent mixed economies is warranted. [Arctic, mixed economies, subsistence hunting, cash economy, social networks].

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