With regard to - 4 NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Relevant features...

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With regard to "multiple cultures in same environment," CE argues that because ecological adaptation depends just as much on features of culture as on those of environment, we cannot predict outcome from environment alone (for example, a population with stone tools and relying on wild foods will adapt to the Great Basin desert in a very different way that one with metal, agriculture, and fossil fuels) But exactly how does this process of cultural adaptation occur? CE conceptualizes this process using a "layer cake" model reminiscent of historical materialism (Marx & Engels) Careful reading of Steward reveals that layer cake has 4 levels, not 3 usually assumed (e.g., by Vayda & Rappaport): 1. SECONDARY FEATURES Free to vary historically 2. CULTURE CORE Empirically related to technoeconomic factors 3. TECHNOECONOMIC FACTORS Subsistence, technology, economic arrangements
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Unformatted text preview: 4. NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Relevant features only At the bottom of the cake is the environment, specifically those aspects of the natural environment that are relevant to a given culture's way of life Interacting directly w/ environment are "subsistence, technology, economic arrangements" -- what Marvin Harris has termed technoeconomic factors Culture core = "such social, political, and religious patterns as are empirically determined to be . .. most closely related to subsistence activities and economic arrangements" (Steward 1955: 37) Finally, there are "innumerable other cultural features" that Steward says have "great potential variability because they are less strongly tied to the core" and "are determined to a greater extent by purely cultural-historical factors -- by random innovations or diffusion" (ibid.)...
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