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Simple Quiz 1 Final

Simple Quiz 1 Final - Joshua Singer Anthropology 101 TA...

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Joshua Singer Anthropology 101 TA: Rosemary Lieske Due: Wednesday, February 15 Word Count: Simple Quiz 1 In Elizabeth Thomas’ book, The Harmless People , the Bushmen are a South African hunter gatherer society that depend on Hunting to maintain their lifestyle. Hunting is the keystone in the Bushmen community which is used to promote solidarity. Solidarity is defined as social cohesion based on how a society functions together. Societies are held together by organic solidarity or bound together through mechanical solidarity (Crandall 11). Organic solidarity is maintained in societies that are dependent on the specialties of others and those that share different components for living while mechanical solidarity functions in a society that is based on their connection with each other because they use similar practices to survive. Although the Bushmen show both aspects of organic and mechanical solidarity they operate in a more traditional lifestyle that easily exhibits mechanical solidarity much more than organic. The Bushmen are extremely dependent on hunting and are connected by that shared lifestyle which influences key aspects in their life including economics, marriage, and religion . In order to maintain social solidarity the Bushmen must have a stable economy. The economy is based on the amount of meat provided. If a man is a good hunter he is wealthy, if not, he is poor. The economy is an aspect that promotes mechanical solidarity because each band has their own economy that is based on their specific amount of meat. There is a small amount of dependence between bands in order to have a successful economy. Each man provides their
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family with the meat they obtain aside from a few exceptions “no person eats more than any other.” (Thomas 48). By establishing this rule it prevents them from branching off and declaring superiority over another man. A good hunter is considered a more successful man and therefore receives a larger portion. Although this is goes against the definition of the rule this exception is understood by all Bushmen, therefore maintaining the common ideology. The exception to the rule of equal rations only applies to those who killed the animal. “…no one of course, contested Gai’s large share, because he had been the hunter and by their law and that much belonged to him” (Thomas 49) the norms are enforced by society as a whole and those who disobey these norms are punished. (Crandall 11). If a poor hunter attempts at getting a large portion then it would be breaking society’s rules which would lead to conflict. The Bushmen agree to the unwritten terms and conditions of hunting within the economy which shows how mechanical solidarity works in their band. A band’s economy is constructed around their personal success in hunting which promotes mechanical solidarity because they do not depend on any other band for their meat.
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