Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples

Type of paper: Term Paper

Topic: Economics, Karl Polanyi, Sociology, Economy, Market, System, Society, Organization

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/08

Culture has played a very significant role in the establishment of the current capitalistic economy and globalization. Globalization may have emerged due to specialization and division of labor where an individual or a certain community would more efficiently produce certain goods than others, hence need for inter-community barter trade. A society’s economy helped in the production, redistribution and consumption of the goods needed in the community. Polanyi (45) states that no society could naturally exist for a long time unless it had a well-established economy. However, he continued to explain that the economies that existed previously were never controlled by market forces, which implies that a barter trade economy was not controlled by market forces. It is an analysis of Karl Polanyi’s book, the great Transformation, focusing on chapter four of the book. The scope covered in this paper includes societies and economic systems.
Karl Polanyi begins by explaining the term market economy as a self-controlling system of markets regulated by market prices and without interference of any other factor. He dismisses Adam Smith’s hypothesis that viewed the primitive man as having a capitalistic approach to the economy, but had a communistic economy. In his theory, Adam Smith suggests that division of labor within a community depended upon the existence of markets. This concept, also known as the economic man, later leads to the belief that the early economy was based on market psychology and market systems. The theories and concepts suggested by economists such as Adam Smith can no longer be relied upon since they were biased and inaccurate. In order to better understand the economic problems of this age, it is, for this reason, important to disregard the classical economic.
Polanyi (47) argues that the differences between the enlightened and unenlightened people have been greatly overstated, especially in the economic scope. The statement made by historians that the methods of industrialized life in agricultural Europe have not significantly changed from what they had been several thousand years ago is for this reason not correct.
In regards to culture and economics, this chapter outlines that man’s economy is submerged in his social relationship (Polanyi, 45). For this reason, man does not behave the way he does to protect or serve his personal interest, but behaves the way he does to protect his social standings, social claims, and social assets. Since the economy is somewhat a social system and not a capitalistic system, the economic system will be run on noneconomic motives. It is because every individual in the society was mainly concerned with survival and not accumulation of wealth. Contrary to Adam Smith, Max Weber supported the early society economics suggesting its relevance to the addressing of the motives and mechanisms of civilized society. His statement was later proofed to be true of the subsequent work of social anthropology.
Polanyi (48) suggests that in the primitive economy, the individual economic interest was rarely paramount of the community since it was the role of the community to ensure each member survived. From the communal associations, it can, for this reason, be established that there was the lack of economic motives such as working for remuneration. The primitive society was for this reason not guided by economic motives but reciprocity and redistribution principles. Redistribution involved organization of tasks according to gender, family, and kinship. Redistribution worked best when different individuals were under a joint chief, making this type of economic organization a territorial-based system. Economically, Polanyi (50) states that redistribution is a crucial concept of the existing system of division of labor, taxation for public service, foreign trading, and provision of defense. The above functions of an economic system are, however, economically motivated, unlike in the primitive society.
Reciprocity is to a large extent enabled by an institutional pattern of symmetry, which Polanyi (51) explains as a common feature of social organization among unlearned people. The Centricity institutional pattern found in the native societies also offered a track for the collection, storage, and redistribution of goods and services.
Reciprocity and redistribution can guarantee a working economic system in the absence of written records and elaborate administration. The reason for this is the organization of the societies in consideration adheres to the desires of such a solution with the help of patterns such as symmetry and Centricity. The principle of redistribution helped in the governance of all large-scale economies (Polanyi, 52). For example, the Kingdom of Hammurabi in Babylonia and the New Kingdom of Egypt had a centralized, and bureaucratic type of the economic system founded on redistribution principles.
The needs of reciprocity and redistribution would be partly met by symmetry and Centricity since instructional forms and values of conduct were jointly adjusted. Such a social organization ensured that no individual economic motive arose, thus ensuring automatic division of labor.
Polanyi (55) explains the principle of house-holding as other significant policy that was expected to play a huge role in social-economic history. House-holding involves production of goods for one’s consumption. Polanyi states that the individualistic savage collecting food and hunting for one’s use has never existed in the primitive society (Polanyi 55).
Most of the famous economic systems that existed up until the end of feudalism in Western Europe were organized either on the principle of reciprocity, redistribution or house-holding. Some of the economic system that existed used a combination of either two or all of the principles. The institutionalization of these principles was facilitated by a social organization that made use of patterns of symmetry, autarchy, and Centricity. This framework ensured orderly production and distribution of goods through different individual motives, but controlled by general principles of behavior.
The sixteenth century was marked by the emergence of a number of significant markets. This century was also marked by government regulation and strict regimentation. It made the concept of self-regulating markets an idea that was never to materialize. In this chapter, Karl Polanyi implies that there is no purely self-regulating economy where prices on the market are purely controlled by market forces. Government intervention and other effects are always present in any economic system influencing the markets.
Conclusively, culture, capitalism, and globalization are concepts that describe what happens in any society, and helps people understand what is expected of them. A society’s economy helps in the production, redistribution and consumption of the goods needed in the community. It is important to note that man does not behave the way he does to protect or serve his personal interest, but behaves the way he does to protect his social standings, social claims, and social assets. The principle of redistribution helped in the governance of all large-scale economies.

Works Cited

Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. New York: Beacon Press, 2001. Print.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, November, 08) Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from
"Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples." WePapers, 08 Nov. 2020, Accessed 25 May 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples., viewed May 25 2022, <>
WePapers. Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed May 25, 2022]. Available from:
"Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples." WePapers, Nov 08, 2020. Accessed May 25, 2022.
WePapers. 2020. "Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved May 25, 2022. (
"Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 08-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 25-May-2022].
Culture, Capitalism, And Globalization Term Papers Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 08, 2020. Accessed May 25, 2022.

Share with friends using:

Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.

If you need an original paper created exclusively for you, hire one of our brilliant writers!

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now