Market Society

1582 Words7 Pages
The world we live in today is very complex in regards to the different types of jobs and services available. In general, there are endless options for people looking to get into the workplace, consisting of various job titles from health care, transportation to real-estate. However, this array of options was not always the case. The world we know of today has transitioned into a market economy. Polayni’s definition of market economy is “a self-regulating system of markets. It is an economy directed by market prices” (Polayni, 43). To elaborate, this means every product is controlled by supply and demand, and the price is not determined by the government. Differing from today, in the past the world was based on reciprocity and…show more content…
Polayni uses a village to describe this type of society. For instance, if all products are gathered up by headsmen of the village and kept in storage by the tribe chief, then the storage system becomes the important aspect of the economy. If something happens to this storage system, then everyone in the tribe will suffer, as it contained all product. This process is strictly reciprocal. If one grows a substantial amount of crops and provides them to the headsmen, then later the crops are stolen, or the storage system is compromised in another way, the person who provided the crops receives no reward. This part of society can be described as unfair, and unrewarding for the labor provided by the crop grower. However, the market economy would provide a reward for this crop grower. Taking a market society perspective, if the person who grew the crops sold them instead of reciprocated them, then the storage system would be irrelevant to their daily survival. They would then take the money and use it as they wish. Looking at the most historic type of survival called “house holding”, or what the Greeks called oeconomia (meaning economy), it can be defined as providing for only himself or his/her family (Polayni, 53). House holding differs from market society, as there are no other families or people to share the goal of survival with. It is strictly a family having to provide clothing, food or other
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