anthro101lec20.mar07.y08

anthro101lec20.mar07.y08 - Anthropology 101 Winter 2008...

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Anthropology 101 Tom Fricke Winter 2008 03.07.08 Lecture 20: Some Notes to Go with the Powerpoints on North Dakota Farming Here are some more notes for the lecture on farming in North Dakota. My intent in that lecture -- which was meant to be the slide show equivalent of a movie -- was to get you thinking about how economy doesn't exist as a separate realm, that what we do is bound up in who we are. The example here was of North Dakota farmers, but I wanted to suggest that some of the concepts that Gary Snyder, for example, uses to talk about foraging people -- or "inhabitory people" as he calls them -- are valuable tools for thinking about all kinds of people. Some central examples of those concepts are in his notion of place, but also in his explicit contrast between "wild" and other modes of living. One thing that's interesting is that rural people settling areas of the United States come from original migrations that tried to institute a new sense of place that included their own cultural histories and categories from Europe. Agriculture was seen as a way to tie people to place, to create loyalties that grew out of a place (as experience), and crucially to instill a certain kind of ethic, or notions of the good and virtue. A shock to these hopes is found in the same sorts of processes that Snyder says were transformative of foraging peoples throughout the world: the inclusion of all ways of life within a broader world economy -- which happens to be a capitalist economy with a limited range of criteria for "success." (Note: I'm not trying to browbeat capitalism -- that's been done quite well by others -- but I am trying to suggest that economy, family, relations with place, and the like (let's just say "culture") will be affected by that world system. It's useful to look at examples to think about how these things are tied together. I leave it to each person to decide if the outcomes are desirable or not.) These are just some top of the head notes for people who want to look through their own from lecture. 1. Opening slides are to put the discussion of North Dakota farming (see "Next Year Country") into perspective of other readings. Slide 1-2: GS quotes. He's talking about the importance of "place" -- but not just place as a physical location. Place as experience, as a part of what we're enculturated into -- a part of the experience that goes into culture. In this lecture, I take the idea of place and talk about it in a context that is not just about foraging peoples (people GS uses as his baseline). One thing I like about GS is that he brings a discussion of culture into the realm of "the ethical" -- that is, when we talk about economy, we need to go beyond just behavior and economic calculation -- we need
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anthro101lec20.mar07.y08 - Anthropology 101 Winter 2008...

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