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ANTH 021, Week 7

by: Katherine Reid

ANTH 021, Week 7 Anthro

Katherine Reid

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Health Systems within Cultures, Economic Anthropology + Subsistence Strategies
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Teresa Mares
Class Notes
Cultural Anthropology, Anthro, Anthropology, Health Systems, Economic Anthropology, Subsistence Strategies, Subsistence, Strategies, UVM, University of Vermont, Mares, Teresa Mares, ANTH 021
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katherine Reid on Tuesday April 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anthro at University of Vermont taught by Dr. Teresa Mares in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Vermont.

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Date Created: 04/12/16
Anthropology, Class 13 Components of Health Systems - Perceptions of Body • Cultures differ in how they define people’s bodies - Attitude toward death - Separation of mind and heart - Perception of what a “body”actually is - Attitude toward surgery • Perception of external and internal parts Defining and Classifying Health Problems - No universal set of labels that applies in all cultures - Disease- the actual virus or biophysical effect that sickness has an affect on the body vs. Illness- how people understand their own suffering and relate to their own stress - Some bases for defining and classifying health problems • Source/place of origin • The vector, means of transmission • Affected body part • Symptoms • Combination of above Culture-Bound Syndromes - Culture-specific syndrome: • A health problem with a set of symptoms associated with a particular culture • Social factors are often the underlying cause • Biophysical symptoms, through somatization, often involved • Can be fatal, not “just in the mind” • Examples: - Susto, Anorexia nervosa/ bulimia Structural Suffering and Violence - Structural suffering refers to health problems caused by war, famine, terrorism, - forced migration, and poverty. “The outcome of the way that political and economic processes structure risk differently for different groups - Many examples include: sufriendo del agua in Mexico, PTSD linked to war, force migration, disaster, Kwashiorkor (extreme protein deficiency) linked to malnutrition Anthropology, Class 14 Economic Anthropology - Guiding Questions • How do cultural anthropologists study economic systems? • What are the different subsistence strategies still in existence? • How are these strategies changing? What is an Economic System? - Three components: • Livelihood (or subsistence strategies) - providing for basic needs and other needs by procuring goods or making money • Consumption - Using up goods or money • Exchange - The transfer of goods or money between people or institutions The Arts (or strategies) of Subsistence - Scholars working within unilineal evolutionary approaches (Lewis Henry Morgan) and those who challenged it (Boaz and Malinowski, through Cultural Relativism and Functionalism) have worked to understand how people around the world make a living - Ethnocentric terms like savage, and barbarian were linked to these strategies, and these terms were later challenged What is a Subsistence Strategy? - Anthropologists organize ethnographic research into economic systems into categories, called subsistence strategies - AKA Livelihood, a subsistence strategy is the dominant way of making a living in a culture (often capitalism) - A particular strategy may be dominant but other modes may exist in a culture, often strategies overlap. Different Types of Subsistence Strategies - Foraging • Based on using food available in nature - gathering, fishing, hunting - the main economic strategy for most of human history - Requires huge bank of environmental knowledge • Maintains balance between resources and lifestyle • Today only 250,000 people support themselves using foraging primarily. Their cultural survival is at risk • Their use of areas that have valuable resources that others want inhibits their ability to forage • Two Major Types: - Temperate Region Foraging - Circumpolar Region Foraging • Division of labor is fairly egalitarian in general - Pastoralism (Herding) • Reliance on products of domesticated animal herds • Animals and their products provide over half of group’s diet - Trade with other groups for food and goods • Requires movement of animals to fresh pastureland for sustainability • Level of wealth and political organization varies from group to group • property and wealth is measured in the number and quality of animals (wealth=animals) • Organization of Labor: - Families are the basic unit of production - Little overlap between male and female tasks - Typical division of labor: • men do most of herding especially over on distances • women process the herd’s products • children help in herding - Extensive Agriculture (Horticulture) • Growing crops in gardens using hand tools, and sometimes swidden (slash and burn) techniques • Variety of foods grown: yams, bananas, manioc, etc. • crop yields support denser populations that foraging and allow for permanent settlements • Shifting Cultivation - Clearing - Planting - Weeding - Harvesting - Fallowing • Organization of Labor: - A family forms the core work group - children work more in horticultural group than any other type of economy - Caring for siblings - fetching fuel - Hauling water - Gender roles clearly defined and often linked to social status - Intensive Agriculture • Intensive strategy of production - More labor, use of fertilizers, control of water supply, use of animals - involves indigenous knowledge, but this knowledge is being quickly lost and displaced • Permanent settlements • higher population density • family farming tends to be make dominant • Post WWII shift to Industrial Agriculture - Sustainability or Agricultures? • Not sustainable as typical practiced • Heavy capital inputs and need for non-renewable resources (especially tru of industrial agriculture Industrialism/ Informatics*** - The production of goods through mass employment in the business and commercial operations, including industrialized - the creation, manipulation, management, and transfer of information through electronic media - Goods produced to satisfy consumer demand - employment increases in manufacturing and service sectors - Two sectors: • Informal vs. Formal Transformations Due to the Spread of Capitalism Western capitalism has marked effects on other livelihood patterns it meets. - Dispossession of loca people and their land; millions (if not billions) of people have been displaced - Recruitment of former foragers, horticulturalists, pastoralists, and family farmers (the peasantry) to work in low levels of the industrial/information age sector - Increases in export commodity production and decreases in food production for family use; reduces people’s independent ability to feed themselves What is Consumption? - In a dominant way, in a culture, of using up goods and services - According to Marxist theory, consumption is linked to your relationship to the means of production, and if you are part of the proletariat you use wages to purchase goods to consume. (Depends on the class to which you belong) - Differences between economies based primarily upon cash and non cash exchange Food Taboos - Food taboos: Cultural rules about what foods should and should not be consumed - Views of cultural materialists vs. symbolic anthropologists - Examples: • Pork- VERY controversial around the world • Horse Meat • Human flesh? Modes of Consumption - Related to means of subsistence - Based on the relationship between supply and demand - Two Major Modes: • Minimalism- needs and demands are fairly limited/bound, but adequate means of achieving those needs, most commonly found in foraging societies • Consumerism- infinite set of needs, never completely satisfy needs overall, most commonly found in industrial societies


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