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ANTHRO STUDY GUIDE EHS Part II: The Local Group Intro -The development of the local group is often linked to the Neolithic revolution, associated with the domestication of plants and animals, but perhaps equally revolutionary was the development of formal social institutions that channeled human interactions in new ways. -Each local group is fashioned by embedding from as few as two to as many as twenty subgroups. -Leadership and extensive ceremonialism allow families to live together and coordinate their activities despite countervailing pressures to split up and go their separate ways. -Pastoralists tend toward small egalitarian groups unless forced, usually by aggression, to form larger groups. -One’s survival in the Local Group is based on membership. The individuals within the group are the “best” in the world. -Most decisions about the use of resources, the organization of production, the distribution of food, and specifics of association and cooperation take place within the family and between close relatives and friends. THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOCAL GROUP 1.) Highly variable environments but they tend to be more productive than family level groups and more marginal than chiefdoms and states. . 2.) Population ranges from 1-20/30 persons per square mile. The ENGA are exceptional (85-250 people per sq. mile). 3.) Technology consists primarily of personal tools. 4.) Two levels of social organization: a.) The Family Level-daily subsistence, child rearing, frequent socializing, and informal aid. B.) the local group which involves large scale work tasks, risk management, war and ceremony. 5.) Warfare and territoriality are common among most local groups. 6.) Political integration is strong and is defined by a combination of ceremonial activities and leadership. Marriage, exchange, and alliance link groups together. 7.) Some leaders control more resources than others, but their main job is to work harder and lead by example. 8.) Sanctity especially takes place through invoking, honoring, and placating ancestral spirits who stand for the local group and its subgroups. NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION -10,000 years ago -Major technological changes including: origins of plant cultivation, domestication of animals, ax-trade and forest clearance, new transport with boats and carts, crafts (pottery and weaving), villages, houses, tombs.
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-Relationships are not fluid (there exists great differentiation between what is public and what is private) -Role of ancestors is huge -Male Supremacy…nuff said…HUZZAH CHAPTER 6: THE FAMILY AND THE VILLAGE -The growth of agriculture revolutionizes the subsistence economy, eventuating in a worldwide increase in population densities that create problems whose solution lies in larger communities and a more settled existence….whatever the fuck this means. -Two benefits that arise from larger groups involved in farming are sharing of food and
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2012 for the course ANTHRO 225 taught by Professor Earle during the Spring '09 term at Northwestern.

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