cultural anthropology_chapter7notes

cultural anthropology_chapter7notes - C hapter 7 M a k ing...

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Chapter 7: Making a Living Adaptive Strategies Adaptive strategy – a society's system of economic production (Yehudi Cohen) Cohen argued that the most important reason for similarities between two or more unrelated societies is their possession of a similar adaptive strategy. Cohen developed a typology of societies based on correlations between their economies and their social forms; this typology includes five adaptive strategies: foraging, horticulture, agriculture, pastoralism, and industrialism. Foraging Until 10,000 years ago all humans were foragers. Most foragers eventually turned to food production, and those foragers who still exist have at least some dependence on food production or on food producers. o Throughout the world, foraging survived mainly in environments that posed major obstacles to food production. A few groups living in environments suitable for food production nevertheless remained foragers because they could support themselves adequately by hunting and gathering. All modern foragers live in nation-states, depend to some extent on government assistance, and are influenced by national and international policies and political and economic events in the world system. o Each year more and more foragers come under the control of nation states and are influenced by forces of globalization Foragers rely on available natural resources for their subsistence, rather than controlling the reproduction of plants and animals o Animal domestication and plant cultivation began 10,000 to 12,000 years ago in the Middle East Correlates of Foraging Page | 1
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Typologies, such as Cohen's adaptive strategies, are useful because they suggest correlations Correlations – association or covariation between two or more variables People who subsisted by hunting and gathering often, but not always, lived in band -organized societies. o Bands – small groups of fewer than a hundred people, all related by kinship or marriage. o Among some foragers, band size stayed roughly constant throughout the year; in other foraging societies, bands split up during part of the year. o Members of foraging societies typically were socially mobile, having the ability to join any band to which they had kin or marital links. All human societies have some kind of division of labor based on gender. o Among foragers, men typically hunt and fish while women gather and collect. Among foragers in tropical and semitropical areas, gathering tends to contribute more to the diet than hunting and fishing do. All foraging societies have social distinctions based on age. o Old people frequently are respected for their special knowledge of ritual and practical matters. o Most foraging societies are egalitarian (contrasts in prestige are minor and based on age and gender).
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