EHS 1-120 - EHS 1-120 Summary Population growth is...

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EHS 1-120 Summary Population growth is undeniably central to the process of sociocultural evolution Evolutionary processes o Subsistence intensification o Political integration o Social stratification Notion of the culture-bound concept of progress Ethnocentric belief that progress was in the general direction of intellectual elites of Europe and EuroAmerica Each culture is unique and equally to be valued; if it changes, it does so in ways unique to itself, and no general trajectory can be discerned LIBERAL BULLSHIT Each society had to adapt not only to local geography but also to the political and economic realities of neighboring societies Culture has enabled people to keep raising the Earth’s carrying capacity Pattern of changes from small-scale to industrial societies o Daily work time increases dramatically o Time spent manufacturing and repairing family possessions decreases o Time spent housekeeping increases o Humans everywhere and at all times have the potential to resort to violence to achieve their goals Economic motivations vary from communities Economic behavior structured by social rules, substantivism Economic behavior is the result of rational decision-making, formalism Formalist economics does not care where the motivation comes from Primary source of motivation, the urge to reproduce o Men and women have different goals in mating and marriage o Humans are jealous of their mates o Both strongly attached to territories o People know who their close kin are o Social knowledge stored in large brain o Some individuals seek dominance o Deception and cheating undermine efforts to cooperate for mutual advantage o Come into the world with predispositions o Acquire much behavior by imitation Economy: the way people meet their basic needs Subsistent-households Strategies increase as foragers inhabit an area longer Population growth causes the subsistence economy to turn to less desirable and more costly alternatives Improve productivity by developing new technology and modifying the environment
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Goal is not to maximize production but to minimize the effort expended in meeting household needs “tragedy of the commons” Only practical solutions is for group’s members to observe a code of behavior that regulates all of them and protects the common resources The political economy is geared to maximizing production destined for use by the ruling elite---it is growth-oriented in a highly competitive political domain, and thus inherently unstable. The household will participate in the political economy to the degree that the
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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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EHS 1-120 - EHS 1-120 Summary Population growth is...

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