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Incentives to work in Primitive Communities

Francis L. K. Hsu
American Sociological Review
Vol. 8, No. 6 (Dec., 1943), pp. 638-642
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2085223
Page Count: 5
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Incentives to work in Primitive Communities
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Abstract

"Self-interest" in the broadest sense, including the interests of one's family, friends or other group, is the motivation of labor in all societies. In Euro-American urban societies this self-interest operates largely through money acquisition and exchange. In pre-literate societies and also in rural, non-industrialized communities on all cultural levels, self-interest operates largely through conforming to community values, following prescribed rituals or magical beliefs, and maintaining valued personal relationships and esteem. Self-interest is differently defined by different cultures, in terms of goals; and by different castes and classes, in partly quantitative terms--"ceilings" and "floors" of aspiration. [Ed.]

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