All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community - Chapter 3: Swapping Summary & Analysis

Carol B. Stack
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Stack quickly discovered an intricate network of exchange, which the residents of the Flats called "swapping." Despite the fact that no one really had very much in the way of possessions in the Flats, people would often freely give their time, money, and possessions to others in the community. These swaps were never direct trades and would generally not involve immediate reciprocation. Instead, it was understood that the receiving party would help the giver out in some way in the future. This obligation to help others out was taken very seriously, and a person who failed to reciprocate would be sanctioned socially by the community.

The benefit of this system of swapping is not immediately obvious, nor is it obvious why a person who was barely surviving on what they have would be willing to part with some of their possessions. Upon analysis...

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This section contains 321 words
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Buy the All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community Study Guide
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