Thinking Critically about Change and Progress
Textbook Reading Notes:
Bands small nomadic groups. Today world is divided between wealthy nations and poor nations
Clan – 200 – 2000 people used slash and burn
States – thousands of people use irrigation agriculture
As technology complexity increased, so did skills and specializations
Domestic plants and animals is that sedentary agriculture was easier, less dangerous and more
productive way to get food. People learned that they could plant and harvest crops instead of
searching for food “progressed”
Biological organisms, societies grow, expand and increase in complexity over time and that the
more complex and advanced a society was the more evolved it was.
Accumulation of material things wold became a measure and marker of one’s success or social
Technology was more efficient to allow human societies to use energy to fulfill needs produce
more food and support a population (green revolution)
Recap of Yesterday’s Lecture:
Hospital earth as a ritual and a superiority of technology over nature.
: Film They are located in central Africa. We saw how medicine could fix the problem but
he still wanted to know what caused the problem. He consolidated the oracle (device) such as
poison or the stick in the termite hill. One of his wives were sending witchcraft. There was a
ritual of purification. The effect of this is to recreate harmony between the two wives. The
reason the man consulted the oracle is different from if the wife committed adultery. Oracle is
used to figure out the truth that is uncertain. These are both instances of social conflict and
someone dies and there was acquisitions of sorcery. The person who died has had a
fight with his wife and he had a history of violence and killed people in the past. While he was in
prison his wife took up with another lover. There was tension between kinship. Gebusi
wondered if he killed himself or if its sorcery that made him go crazy. They consulted spirit
medium that are neutral however, the outcome they provide will benefit them at the end. The
spirit medium ended up marrying the wife. Worldview: spirits matter and world is animated by
things that is not see by the naked eye. Relationships produce power relations.
Interpersonal Theory of Disease
(RCM, 85): A view of disease in which it is assumed that illness
is caused by tensions or conflicts in social relations. The cure must be social, and so there is
rituals to bring resolution between the parties.
Does sorcery or magic work? Cant be answer through anthropologic means
What makes the beliefs appear rational in that culture?
What are the social, economic and political effects or consequences of the beliefs?