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ANTH 114, Week of Feb 11th

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ANTH 114, Week of Feb 11th ANTH 114

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These Notes cover the Subsistence economic strategies, with in-depth explanations as well as some quirky references. It is conveniently organized into sections.
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Cortney Rinker
Class Notes
Anthropology, ANTH 114, Rinker, notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by omg7797 on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 114 at George Mason University taught by Cortney Rinker in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at George Mason University.

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Date Created: 02/15/16
th Anthropology 114: Week of Feb 11 Reviewing Thursday's Lecture 1Studying people who are in your own or above your social class: a Studying Up (studying the colonizer as opposed to the colonized) 2Research where you follow the thing, idea, or people. a Ethnography 2Where does Esperanza (from Ruth Behar's article) live? a Mexico 2This can be verbal or in written form according to the AAA. a Informed Consent People to Know Thomas Hobbes Hobbes was an English philosopher during the Civil War who founded the idea of Psychological egoism, which is the claim that every action has an underlying factor that matters about benefiting oneself more than anything else. Social Contract Theory: Leviathan (1651) The Social Contract Theory claims that lives would be nasty, brutal, and short without the existence of a central government. (Basically, anything that is deemed uncivilized will not last long in today’s world.) And that Man has desire for security and order that causes it to submit to the idea of government or authority in order to control its impulsive tendencies. Adam Smith Smith was a Scottish philosopher and economist who was around during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. He wrote Wealth of Nations in 1776 and created the Foundation of Economics: Smith opposed mercantilism, which is defined as the economic theory that trade generates wealth and is stimulated by the accumulation of profitable balances, which a government should encourage by means of protectionism. Mercantilism, to sum up, comprised of a market economy that used trade surpluses to increase wealth. The advantage of trading is that it would open up new markets that provided some commodities at cheaper prices, making them more desirable to consumers. The main cause of prosperity is the division of labor in this system. Ruthless Individualism Smith also founded this theory of economics, and it goes against his earlier works that were written on charity. It talks about the self-interest in a market economy leading to economic well-being. However, economic well-being can only be achieved through rational means, meaning that which gives the highest possible return. In the RI scheme, it is said that the human urge of greed is controlled through the use of a market economy. Subsistence/Adaptive Strategies Subsistence doesn’t mean just surviving or getting by, it is an economic pattern or strategy that is developed due to economic circumstances. There is a correlation between economy and social life in subsistence or adaptive strategies that people often overlook. “the association or covariation between two or more variables…” (Guest 2016, p. 102) The above quote basically says that correlated variables are factors that are linked and interrelated. Meaning that EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED somehow. Five Strategies Foraging Otherwise known as hunter-gatherers, foraging is the oldest economic practice. All humans are said to be foragers until about 10,000 years ago. This is because environmental differences created contrasting societies, but it all traced back to people needing to rely on nature to make a living. Foraging societies were thought to be a struggling concept, when really they didn’t need much help until they were relocated and had their territories shifted or taken away. Often, these societies were organized into bands with no centralized government. (Refer to the handout, p.101, talking about the Basarwa San Bushmen). The number of foraging societies is depleting as we speak. Even modern day foragers aren’t really foragers. They reside in nation-states and depend on some sort of external government assistance in order to live. Marshall Sahlin Sahlin is an American anthropologist who is most known for his ethnographic work with foragers. His findings were remarkable and went against everything that was said by Sir Thomas Hobbes, who is mentioned later. The findings of Marshall Sahlin were that the Foragers are not starving. (In fact, they consume more than enough calories off which to live.) They had a 20-hour work week that easily satisfied their needs. They were not greedy and gave high importance to sharing with others. They had a system to help divide up the labor so that way everyone is doing an equal share of the work. And finally, hunters were required to criticize their kill before they were allowed to do anything with it to promote humility. The !Kung People A once-nomadic society of foragers who lived in the Kalahari Desert. They had loosely interpreted gender roles and were comprised of small bands (like tribes) that were all interrelated. Much like to Sahlin’s findings, The !Kung people are, loosely defined as, egalitarian, meaning that all people are seen as equal-level individuals. The lives of the !Kung people are no longer allowed to be nomadic due to the government resettlement policies. They are no longer completely foragers, now practicing a form of mixed economy and working on commercial farms and ranches. They are part of a government resettlement scheme. Horticulture The horticulture adaptive strategy often calls for shifting cultivation. There is only enough crops grown for personal use and this culture has little surplus. Horticulturalists don’t use factors of production like capital, machinery, or even recognize the use of the terms “land” and “labor”. Some horticulturalist societies practice swidden or slash-and-burn cultivation. This method is where a plot of land is picked out and burned to the ground. The ashes are then used are fertilizer and crops are grown where the old foliage once lied. The only downside is that often, these societies don’t allow the burned land to lay for 12 years in order to regain its full nutrients and nourishment. This is often due to overpopulation or a baby boom in the culture. The Trobriand Islands & Annette Weiner The Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea holds a matrilineal, horticulturist society that organized itself into chiefdoms. Not only were they studied by Annette Weiner, but by her male counterpart and teacher. Each of them discovered two different systems amongst the Trobriand society. The gardens of the women are used for everyday food needs, while the gardens of men grow yams, which are given away as appreciation to gather status; these are grown with a surplus, but are not available for market. Much like the yams, there is a trading system known as the Kula amongst the chiefs that involves two sets of travelling groups collecting and giving little shell trinkets in order to help the chiefs gain status and recognition. The roles and wealth of women were invisible to the male ethnographers because, simply, they were male. The transfer of wealth and such between the women of the Trobriand Islands were easily overlooked because they did not have cultural access to that information. The Yanomamo The Yanomamo people are a patrilineal society of horticulturists located in the Amazon Rainforest area along the border of Venezuela and Brazil. These people are organized into tribes, practice the slash-and-burn method of horticulture, have a 30- hour work week, and do not partake in raising animals. Pastoralism This method involves raising herd animals (like cattle, but others are included as well). These societies often have a patrilineal design, and have to trade or farm in order to meet their needs. They also practice transhumance, which is where some of the members move with the herd, while others stay behind for whatever reason. The pastoralist societies commonly operate in “symbiosis with the herds” (Gazon 2016, p. 106). This method in particular has been found in different regions around the globe, like Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The Masai People The Masai are a Pastoralist society that raise cattle. This society is known to be patrilineal and patriarchal polygynists (having multiple wives. This is not to be confused with polygamy, which is many spouses, or polygandy, which is multiple husbands.) Their worth is determined by the number of wives and children the men have, as well as the health of their herd. Intensive Agriculture The first agricultural societies known were in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Pakistan, Northern China, Masoamerica, and South America. This economic strategy involves intensive use of the land, often involving more labor than the horticultural societies, and the creation of a surplus. In this type of economy arose the market economy, which called for specialization and causing social stratification. This led to social inequalities and class differences amongst the people. However, agricultural societies are not required to move as much, because they can produce crops for many years. Though, they work more hours per week than Foragers and pastoralists. And many of these economies came with challenges, like access to water or others of the such. With this evolution in market economy, the social structure of the culture also began to change. The settlements became more permanent, with population increases around market centers, leading to increased likeliness of the occurrence of conflict. Industrialization Industrialization emerged in the 1800’s. During this period, most people were peasant farmers and renters of land from the wealthier people of the society. What would happen a lot was that the wealthy decided to turn their land into enclosures, forcing the renters into factory jobs (much like the idea of plantations in the history of the U.S.) In Europe, the gender relations were altered, meaning the women stayed home while the husbands went out and were the “breadwinners”. Another important component of industrialization is comprised of those who opposed it. One of the groups in opposition were the Luddites (formed in Great Britain, also during the 1800’s). Luddites The Luddites were people who disliked technology under the influence that it took pride away from working hard and experiencing the challenge. Working in factories and industries were time-disciplined and task-oriented, typically treating people like cogs in an assembly line. To put things short: factories are said to be monotonous and boring, and very psychologically demanding. Also, during this period, many religious reforms were not sympathetic to poor in 1800s Europe (Max Weber) Bohemian Revolution This “revolution” came into play during the turn of 20th century. The main topic of the BR is to forget about work; instead to focus on Life, art, and freedom. They eventually made Unions in order to make work conditions better. (So something good came out of it.) Karl Marx Karl Marx is often associated with being against industrialization, when the truth was he only wanted to change its course. He is the author of the Communist Manifesto, which discusses how industrialization had tried to replace human relations with economic ones. All Marx believed was that the control of the factories should be given to the workers. (Sounds fairly democratic, huh?)


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