DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Economic organization huntinggathering hg or foraging

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Economic Organization Hunting/Gathering (H&G) or foraging is the earliest human subsistence form and most stable. In this form, a unit of production is the same as a unit of consumption. Of 150 billion people who have lived, 60% were H&G, 99% of our time as a species has been as H&G. Foragers have limited material culture, and heavy dependence on social structure. They also maintain a low population. People who survive on the collection of naturally occurring plants and animals are called hunter - gatherers.
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Until approximately 8,000 years ago, all humans foraged for wild food. Many cultures practiced hunting or gathering in some combination with animal husbandry (the practice of breeding and raising livestock) or agriculture. Horticulture is the domestication of plants or gardening by using tools that require human power. It is characterized by increased labor intensity, surpluses and social stratification . The selective breeding of animals and plants by humans is called artificial selection . In agriculture, superior strains of soybeans, wheat, and corn have resulted from careful breeding. Animal breeders often are able to change the characteristics of domestic animals by selecting for breeding individuals with the most desirable traits, obedience in dogs, speed or strength in horses, milk production in dairy cows etc. Agriculture is essentially hypertrophic horticulture among large populations. Hypertrophic means abnormally large. A shift of population from food production to specialization leads to Industrialism or mechanization/mass production. Food gathering based primarily on raising domesticated animals is called pastoralism. A small number of societies depend principally on domesticated herds of animals for their livelihood. Typically pastoralists subsist by taking protein from live animals in the form of milk and trading animal products with other groups for agricultural products and other necessities. Pastoralists may trade meat, hides, wool, dairy products, etc . Formal economics is the economics of Western culture, markets, and scarcity hypothesis/law of supply and demand. It is characterized by maximization of personal gain, supply-demand relationships, "rational" decision-making, and individual self interest. Substantive economics is the economics of most anthropologists. It refers to interaction of humans to environment and methods of want satisfaction. This is a more holistic approach and easier to apply to nonwestern groups. According to formalism , economy can be analyzed independent of other social structures and institutions. It is the approach of the economic man who economizes on resources and maximizes return; emphasis on individual actors exercising choice. Substantivism is the school of thought that maintains that economy is embedded within other social institutions and cannot be studied separately from social structures, like kinship, politics and religion.
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