Culture, adaptation, & meaning

Culture, adaptation, & meaning - 1/15/12 Culture,...

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Unformatted text preview: 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning CULTURE, ADAPTATION, & MEANING A Philosophical Prolog e Acco ding o Rappapo (1971:246), Nature is seen b m en through a screen com posed of beliefs, knowledge, and purposes, and it is in term s of their cultural im ages of nature, rather than in term s of the actual structure of nature, that m en act. Therefore...if we are to understand the environm ental relations of m en [it is necessar ] to take into account their knowledge and beliefs concerning the world around them , and their culturall defined m otives for acting as the do. But...although it is in term s of their conceptions and wishes that m en act in nature it is upon nature herself that the do act, and it is nature herself that acts upon m en, nurturing or destro ing them . Rappapo (p 247) goe on o a ha in o de o deal i h di c epanc be een c l al belief abo he en i onmen and he en i onmen a i eall i , he an h opologi m con c2 model of eali : one = he "cogni ed model," he o he = he "ope a ional model" He a g e ha he cogni ed model i pa of a h man pop la ion' "distinctive m eans of m aintaining itself in its environm ent" (p 247) Th , a cogni ed model ho ld be j dged no on ho accurate i i (i.e., in compa i on i h he ope a ional model) b on i "f nc ional and adap i e effec i ene " -- he e en o hich i mo i a e beha io hich fa o he biological ell-being of he pop la ion and i eco em (ibid) Wha Rappapo i e ling i h he e i an e ample of ec anal e in he h man cience : en en ion be een em ic & etic emic (af e phonem ic, and h ming i h i ) = de c ip ion o anal i in e m meaningf l o membe of a gi en c l e (Rappapo ' "cogni ed model") e ic (af e phonetic, and di o) = de c ip ion o anal i in e m mee ing logical & empi ical c i e ia of na al cience (Rappapo ' "ope a ional model) Some ela i i a g e ha an o-called e ic ie i j ano he emic one; hile hi ma be e, cience i a pecial kind of emic ha follo ce ain epi emological le , and a emp o be con in all elf-co ec ing b conf on ing belief i h ca ef ll -mea ed and anal ed empi ical fac Al ho gh he e i no a mp ion-f ee a o ho ha hi " cien ific me hod" lead o h in ome ab ol e en e, he e i al o no a o ho ha i can' : a claim ha he e can be no ab ol e h i af e all a h claim of a a he ab ol e o , and hence elf-nega ing In ecol. an h, he en ion be een emic . e ic i manife a a con o e o e ho o e plain ecologicall - ignifican p ac ice of diffe en c l e : a phenomena confo ming o cien ific p inciple (e.g., la of ph ic , adap a ion ia na al elec ion) ha appl e e he e; o a courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm 1/10 1/15/12 c Culture, adaptation, & meaning a The fi ecific a f e cei i g, a i g, a d a eg i e i c & ge e a i i g; ec i ge i e d i e ic & a ic a i ic M h ec . a h a e a i dd e g d i hi deba e, h di g ha i de de a d h & e ed ha he d i a he e f hei ife (i c di g ec gica ), e i c de a e a ic de a di g f he be ief a d a e hich ead he ac i he a he d (e ic ), b ha hi ca be d e i g e i e gica ced e f a da d cie ce (e ic ) The bdi i i f ec . a h a ethnoecolog ( e h bi g ) ac e hi i e di ec ; i deed, e h ec g ca be de c ibed a he cie ific (e ic) d f ec gica - e a ed e ic E hnoecological Re ea ch A a ea fc be ee hi c di a i g he UW c ic e a d he c e Eh i ec . a h , I f bi g (ANTH 458) A g he hi g , hi ea ha e h ec 458; e e he e , f i e a c ee e e h ec g he e g ge h i ' e ce a O a i g ed eadi g di c e e e c ce e e e ai e die , b he e i a a ge i e a e A f da e a a he ba i f c a ce ai di i i h if i ANTH 457 hi e i i ce a ea e i f e h ec g , hi (he ce, ANTH 458) i f e h ec g i ha h a -de i ed be ief a d g a a f ab a ai i g e cei e a d ac hei e i e e F ea e, Gadgi e a . (1993) a g e ha "M de fh he df ci a ea e ci i h a i a e i a e i e i ab i ed a ci e ' d ie . H e e , i e- cie ific cie ie ch de a d e c i i ae ch e c e i eg a ed i h e i gi ad a be i ef e, ha edge, ac ice a d be ief c -e e." ( 151) Thi i ie i ia Ra a ' i e , h gh e h ec gi de a d e h d f c g i i e & e i ic ( b ic c Va da & Ra a (a g 1. E h ec g ea e c ce a i ed b ac he ) ha e ai ed ei ea E h ec gi ha e e c e f e h ec g i courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm e c i i ci ce e feh ha a e ef ec gica a de a ach: d . 2. S d i g e e' c g i i e de d e ada a i a d he igi f hei be ief . 3. Ve ba acc ge e a ii e ica i ) he a be -h c a i a ai a i e ei (dece i ab c a e f-dece i ). ded he e c i ici i a a ie f a , i c di g b ade i g he a ha a id e f he e i i a i 2/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning M , ( ) , , ( . (1993) D G (2005) T , D (I Cl ) e & Adap a ion T " " " ," I : Culture consists of sociall acquired inform ation I B" "I , , ( , , , " " " , , N .; , , , T , .); , , ," I not , , , : 1) inform ation (" (" "); 2) ", .) - ( , ) -- i , "( , , 3) , ) F ( , " , .); , , ) , ' .) :C ? C D O , ( , O : ) not , , ( , .) courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm , , ; 3/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning f ndamen al p inciple of biological e ol ion impl ha he e c e ( he "capaci fo c l e") o ld onl ha e e ol ed and be main ained b na al elec ion if he a e ed in a ha on average enhanced he fi ne of hei bea e So hile pecific c l al variation i no ca gene icall e ol ed b na al elec ion; h e e fi ne -enhancing end on a e age ed b gene ic variation, he capacit fo c l e i e ha e g o nd o p edic ha c l al a ia ion (If hi o nd a he like di c ion in he p e io lec e of pheno pic adap a ion a being l ima el a p od c of gene ic e ol ion, ha ' e ac l ha I in end) While he logic of na al elec ion and he e idence of h man e ol ion ( ela i el apid and ead elec ion fo la ge b ain and mechani m fo mbolic comm nica ion, e c.) ongl gge ha c l al a ia ion i adap i e, e need ome addi ional heo o ell how hi migh o k-- o fill in he m e io p oce e of "ecological adap a ion" all ded o b S e a d, Rappapo , and o he ecol. an h o Recen o k gge o pa h a b hich c l al a ia ion ma lead o adap i e beha io (hence, offe o complemen a f ame o k fo in eg a ing Da inian and c l al ie of h man beha io ): 1) ia gene icall e ol ed p efe ence and lea ning bia e 2) ia na al elec ion ac ing on cultural ( a he han gene ic) a ia ion The emainde of hi lec e e plo e he e o mechani m of c l aking be ond ecological an h opolog pe e) al adap a ion (in he p oce Lea ning Bia e Fi f ame o k p opo e ha c l al a ia ion i channeled b gene icall -e ol ed cogni i e mechani m ha g ide lea ning -- b ain c e ha make lea ning a non- andom p oce and p od ce (on a e age) fi ne -enhancing beha io All animal pecie a e capable of lea ning o one deg ee o ano he , b elabo a ed hi a ib e he mo h man ha e ob io l One e ol iona e plana ion fo hi i ha he h man lineage ha e ol ed nde a ecological ci c m ance in hich lea ning man hing a apidl a po ible ha been adaptive (fi ne enhancing), hence fa o ing gene ha b il b ain be de igned fo hi a k Specificall , h man a e e ol iona p od c of b len Plei ocene epoch cha ac e i ed b ma i e en i onmen al change on a cale ha d a f e en global a ming, defo e a ion, o one deple ion, and pecie e inc ion of con empo a ind ial ci ili a ion; ecen e ea ch (e.g., ing G eenland ice co e ) ho ha hi Plei ocene change a of en e emel apid (e.g., majo clima e hif ea b ea ) F he mo e, m ch of he courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm cce of o pecie i d e o o being ecological generalists ho 4/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning , , T , , : , I ( - , , ) - , . , -- , ! I , : , " " B ( ), " , , " " " ( ) ( T - ) : ( e al a e P , " " , , , .) & , .T , e al a ed ( - con eq ence " ) "( ) I , , , , -A , : W & & T & - , S H om o api en , & " O & " " ", no , , , & - - & ; S courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm D ? 5/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning L ( - ) I , & : T , , & . change, -- . ., & [S , ; , diagram - N " ," ( ) , F , , ( / ) B ( ); I " ," " " -- " "( , , -- .) , ; " I , " , & -- ( ' -- " " ) C l ral E ol ion R ( 249) . . : Although cultures m a be im posed upon ecological s stem s there are lim its to such im positions, for cultures and com ponents of culture are them selves subject to selective processes. In response to environm ental changes cultures m ust transform them selves (in m anners analogous to genetic transform ation in response to changed environm ental conditions) or the organism s bearing them will either perish courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm 6/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning or abandon them . Unfortunatel , Rappaport does not provide even a sketch or outline of how such a process of cultural evolution might work -- What mechanisms actuall produce cultural adaptation? Above, I have outlined one such mechanism: geneticall -evolved learning biases that provide humans ever where with adaptive criteria for judging the consequences of culturall -prescribed actions But there is an alternative mechanism that can generate cultural adaptations (and maladaptations as well), and it is consistent with ethnoecolog in taking cultural beliefs & values ("cogni ed model") directl into account This involves looking at cultural change as an evolutionar process rather than simpl a learning process [see diagram] Remember (from the previous lecture notes) that all that is required for Darwinian evolution is 1) individual variation that is 2) heritable and 3) affects fitness All three are present in s stems of cultural inheritance: 1. Individual variation arises through learning errors, inventions, etc. 2. Heritabilit involves cultural transmission of beliefs & preferences (units of cultural inheritance for which Dawkins has coined the term "memes") 3. Differential fitness occurs through effects of memes on survival and reproduction, which can allow natural selection to act on culture Table summari es parallels as well as differences between genetic evolution vs. cultural evolution While the parallels are important, the differences are equall so: 1. Unlike mutations, cultural innovations not necessaril random; instead, often chosen to solve problems ("directed variation") 2. Culture involves man different transm ission structures besides parent-to-offspring: a. Vertical (across generation) can be just one parent (e.g., matrilineal), or adoptive parent, or unrelated elder b. Hori ontal (members of same generation, like siblings or friends) c. One-to-man (teacher/elder/priest/etc.) d. Man -to-one (peer groups, conformism) 3. Memes rate of replication ma var because of differences in their attractiveness (due to geneticall -evolved learning biases, as well as culturall -evolved preferences) 4. Memes ma also increase in frequenc if the lead one to achieve influential position in social hierarch (discussed below) courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm 7/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning T ; , : 1) C 2) C . . rapid . ( ) T 1. A oidance of disease: A ( O T ( ) ) , ( . ., ); ; , A ( ) S ( . ., (" ) "), , - F , , A wh " W ?" , "H ?" O ( ) ( ), , ( , ) T (cultural ) , & , 2. Maladapti e : B : , courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm , , . 8/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning D : 1) ), ( not / 2) trade-off ' ' O ( . ., A - " " , H : J - , ) M I (C E ) : , , . T I -- ( , , - ), S / , (I' -!) A , , , , I' ( ) not - , ; , , B " likel ; " (" ") A - , , , ( , , , I , .) ( & ) ?W ' ... D e , Jo h a (2005) U e of adi ional ecological kno ledge in ma ine con e a ion. Conserv at ion Biolog courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm 9/10 1/15/12 Culture, adaptation, & meaning 19(4):1286- 1293. Gadgil, Madha , Fik e Be ke , and Ca l Folke (1993) Indigeno Ambio 22:151- 156. kno ledge fo biodi e i con e a ion. Rappapo , Ro A. (1971) Na e, c l e, and ecological an h opolog . In Man, Cult ure and Societ , econd edi ion., ed. H.L. Shapi o, pp. 237- 67. O fo d: O fo d Uni e i P e . courses. ashington.edu/anth457/cultadap.htm 10/10 ...
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