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anthro 186p 2-8 - 2 Describe Sonya Salamons study of...

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2. Describe Sonya Salamon’s study of comparing German and Yankee farmers in Illinois, and explain why this study indicates that the differences between these groups are due to cultural, not environmental differences. • Sonya Salamon studied farming communities in Illinois settled in mid 1800’s by immigrants from different regions f Germans (2 communities, Westfalian Catholics, Friesian Protestants) Yankees (2 communities, mainly from Ohio an mid-Atlantic states) Carefully matched for soil type and other factors that effect farming practices • Collected data on farming behavior, land tenure, inheritance practices • Did in depth interviews in subset of each community Here I focus on German-Yankee contrast farming Yankees express “entrepreneurial” values • Farming is a business • Goal: make money • Place a high value on education • Don’t pressure children to go into farming Germans express “yeoman” values • Farming is a valuable way of life • Goal: keep farm in the family • Don’t place a high value on education • Urge children to go into farming The towns in Saloman’s study are in strictly similar environments. Everything down to the type of soil is the same. Differences, then, must be derived from human decisions concerning land management, which falls under the tenet of cultural variants. Germans rent less land a maintain smaller farms. They also maintain more costly operations like dairy farming where yankees tend to go for cash crops. Because the Germans value farming as a way of life rather than a money making enterprise they are less likely to sell their land (even if the price is right) and future generations are more likely to take up farming. Yankees are more likely to sell their land and their children are less encouraged to go into farming. This means that Germans are beginning to replace yankees as land owners.
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