A concept first elucidate
d by anthropologist
Eric T. Wolf. Wolf contends that one of the defining
characteristics of peasant
societies is their use of resources. The ceremonial fund is defined as those resources allocate
d for the maintenance
of the social structure of a peasant society
. For example, these funds might be used to uphold traditional celebration
s, support the religious
practices of the community
, or to pay for the costs of marriage.
One of the problems presented by globalization is the conversion from a commodity-based local economy to a capital-based export economy. As peasants lose their ceremonial fund, their ability to maintain their social structure weakens, then collapses. This weakness is often characterized by abandonment of old customs, and the collapse is frequently punctuated by violent uprising.