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Title chapter: The Political Dimension of Everyday Life: The Practice of Barter
Author: Giulia Airaghi
Keywords: barter, exchange, consumption, political
Abstract: Monetary exchange is not the only possible exchange system people have at their disposal in order to acquire objects. A very ancient system that has never completely disappeared from our societies is the practice of barter. Barter is the exchange of goods for goods, without the use of a standardised instrument with an economic value. In order to better understand and explain why contemporary societies still use a type of exchange system considered to be pre-modern and anachronistic, but, above all, in order to understand how much the struggle for power is an intrinsic dimension of every sphere in human societies, I will argue in this chapter that (beyond those theories of consumption which define only certain types of consumer behaviour as political) the consumption field is a political field where forms of conflict take place not only between the goods exchanged but also between the very ways of exchanging goods themselves.
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