Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 What Shapes Human Behaviour...

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Chapter 3 - What Shapes Human Behaviour Anthropological Answer: Genetics and Environment To an anthropologist, both genetics and environment need to be considered in determining how individuals develop. Genetic Factors Genetics : Individual development is determined genetically (programmed at birth). Anthropologists have studied the evolution of the human species and have noted changes in genetic composition and environment. These scientists specify that individual development is clearly determined genetically if you examine the process from conception to birth to adolescence to adulthood. All humans go through the genetic cycles of cell development and division. Environmental Factors Environmental Factors : Behaviour changes based on the environment. Anthropologists also acknowledge that there are environmental factors that can contribute to slight variations in the genetic program. Since humans’ earliest ancestors evolved in a variety of climates, they faces new environmental factors that caused “adjustments” to be made. These adjustments were not genetic but were products of evolution. They include behavioural adjustments and acclimation adjustments . Behavioural Adjustments : Cultural adjustments to environmental stresses and changing environments that could influence food sources. People are forced to adjust to their environment in a number of ways. The Aboriginal Peoples of the North have had to adjust to the severe weather conditions of their regions. They have responded by building shelters and wearing clothes that can counter the effects of the climate. An igloo is a good example of such an outcome. Acclimation Adjustments : Reversible physiological changes to environmental stress, or the ability to adapt to severe environmental situations such as dressing properly in cold climates. In the Arctic, humans are very susceptible to the cold, which could result in hypothermia since they lack fur or large amounts of body fat to protect them. Yet, through appropriate clothing and shelters, people are able to survive in such hostile climates. In desert areas, humans have adapted to an increase in body heath. Their bodies produce more sweat resulting in evaporation and cooling. They also cope by living in shelters that protect them from the rays of the sun. Sociological Answer: Structures and Agents
There are theories that explain the focus of society and how individuals are modelled to fit the structure. Structures of Society : Perspectives (Functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionist). Structural Functionalism Auguste Comte (1798-1857), Emile Durkheim (1853-1917), Talcott Parsons (1902-1979). The functionist perspective states that society is stable because it serves the needs of its citizens. Each part of society serves to benefit the whole. Society is composed of societal institutions such as the family, religion, politics, and schools. These institutions contribute to society with all individuals playing their roles, such as parents raising their children. All the structures are interdependent and must work together if society is to survive. A change in one

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