Barn raising

From GiftEconomy
Jump to: navigation, search

US Usage[edit]

caption= Amish Barn Raising

The term "barn raising" was historically applied to raising a barn, which especially in the newly settled parts of USA up to the 19th century used to require a community effort involving all adults of a community, generally laboring unpaid. The dimensions of the lifting required meant that this would have been impossible even for an entire family to achieve, and often the need to erect a barn in time for the harvest meant that the job had to be done quickly. More broadly, the term can be applied to any job in which many people work together without pay for a common purpose, often with intense effort for short time, especially to construct something.

Other Cultures[edit]

All cultures and societies have traditions of working together for the common good, whether routinely or on special occasions. Here are some of them, courtesy of Wikipedia, which is itself something of a barn raising, albeit a long term, ongoing one:

Barn raising depiction.jpg

Relationship to Monetization[edit]

In most areas of the world the process of monetization has, by fostering market mentality and promoting scarcity, undermined the age old tradition of barn-raising. However, even in countries such as USA, the tradition still survives in subcultures whose alternative value sets have helped them to resist such encroachment. The Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities, for example, still build barns in this fashion.[1]