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Week 10: (March 7-11) Environment and Food Gathering - Cultural Anthropology

by: Ricardo Rauseo

Week 10: (March 7-11) Environment and Food Gathering - Cultural Anthropology ANT2410

Marketplace > University of Florida > ANT2410 > Week 10 March 7 11 Environment and Food Gathering Cultural Anthropology
Ricardo Rauseo
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes cover what we saw on Week 10: Environment and Food Gathering (Week 9: Spring Break)
Cultural Anthropology
Crystal Felima
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ricardo Rauseo on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2410 at University of Florida taught by Crystal Felima in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views.


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Date Created: 03/12/16
Monday, March 7, 2016 Subsistence Foraging (Food collection)  Defined as a food-collection strategy that obtains wild plants and animal resources through gathering, hunting, scavenging, or fishing.  Foragers in the world today: hunter gatherers. Five Major Food Gathering Strategies 1. Food foraging/collection: collecting vegetation, hunting animals, and fishing 2. Horticulture: plant cultivation with simple tools and small plots of land, relying solely on human power 3. Pastoralism: keeping domesticated animals and using their products as a major food source. 4. (Intensive) Agriculture: horticulture using animal or mechanical power and some form of irrigation 5. Industrialization (Agriculture): production of food through complex machinery. Human Adaptation Adaptation occurs when humans change the natural environment and when the natural environment changes human biology. Humans adapt to climates in two ways: 1. Culturally: dietary patterns, levels of activities 2. Biologically: changes in the body. Inuit To survive in the harsh environment, the Inuit from Nunavut, Canada, have had to develop a number of creative hunting strategies, including the recent adoption of snowmobiles. Example of Human Adaptation Video Tuareg farmers in Mali. Proud traditions as nomads, but environmental conditions forced them to take up farming. Characteristics OF Food Collecting Societies  Low Population densities  Usually nomadic or semi-nomadic rather than sedentary  Basic social unit is the family of band  Carry Capacity  Contemporary food-collecting peoples occupy the remote and marginally useful areas of the earth Neolithic Revolution Food Producing Societies  Transition from food collection to food production began 10,000 years ago  Humans began to cultivate crops and keep herds of animals  Humans were able to produce food rather than rely only on what nature produced. Changes Resulting from Food Production  Increased population  Population became more sedentary  Stimulated a greater division of labor  Decline in overall health reduced the life expectancy from 26 to 19 years Why Food Production Led to Declining Health  Foragers had a more balanced diet (plant and animal proteins).  Farmers ran the risk of malnutrition or starvation if the crops failed  Increased population brought people into greater contact and made everyone more susceptible to parasitic and infectious diseases. Horticulture  The simplest type of farming, which involves the use of basic hand tools rather than plows or machinery driven by animals or engines.  Slash and Burn Pastoralism  Involves keeping domesticated herd animals and is found in areas of the world that cannot support agriculture because of inadequate terrain, soils or rainfall.  Associated with geographic mobility  Movement patterns: Transhumance and Nomadism  Cattle is important to society. Agriculture  Uses technology such as irrigation, fertilizers and mechanized equipment  Produces high yields and supports large populations  Associated with permanent settlements, cities, and high levels of labor specialization. Industrialized Food Production  Uses more powerful sources of energy  Requires: o High levels of technology (such as tractors and combines) o Mobile labor force o Complex system of markets Applied anthropology  Community Gardens  Farmer’s Markets Foragers Horticulture Population Size Small Small/Moderate Permanency of Nomadic (or semi) Generally sedentary settlement Surpluses Minimal Minimal Trade Minimal Minimal Labor specialization None Minimal Class differences None Minimal Pastoralist Intensive agriculture Population Size Small Large Permanency of Nomadic (or semi) Permanent settlement Surpluses Moderate Usual Trade Moderate Very important Labor specialization Minimal Highest degree Class differences Moderate Highest degree Friday, March 11, 2016 Economics Focus on Economics  Production  Distribution  Consumption Economic Anthropology …studies production, distribution and consumption comparatively in all societies of the world. …differs in formal science of economics.  Look cross-culturally at a society’s way of producing food and goods  Gather data and categorize society according to their mode of production o These categories blend and overlap  Examine how a society’s economic system affects that societies perceptions of “culture” and “nature” Cross-cultural Examination of Economic Systems  Regulation of resources  Production  Exchange Allocation of Resources Example: Individual property rights are strongly valued and protected in the US, but in some parts of the world they are more loosely defined. Pastoralists and Resources Because this group of East African pastoralists treats land as belonging to everyone in the society, you are not likely to find any “No trespassing” signs here. Production  A process whereby good are obtained from the natural environment and altered to become consumable good for society Division of Labor  Deciding which types of people will perform which categories of work  Every society, whether large or small, distinguishes between the work appropriate for men and women and for adults and children. Labor Specialization According to French Sociologist Emile Durkheim, outlined two theories to explain how social order and solidarity are established and maintained. Solidarity describes connections between individuals that allows them to form a cohesive social unity.  Mechanical Solidarity (Subsistence Societies)Collective consciousness  Organic Solidarity (Industrialized societies) Inter-dependence Modes of Distribution  Reciprocity – The exchange of goods and services (of roughly equal value) between parties WITHOUT the use of money o Generalized: Giving a gift without expecting one in return (Parents and child) o Balanced: Expectations that the values will be returned o Negative  Redistribution o Goods and services are given to a central authority and reallocated to the people according to a new pattern. o Redistribution involves two distinct stages: inward flow/ outward dispersal.  Market exchange – Involves the use of standardized currencies to buy and sell goods and services. o A form of distribution in which goods and services are bought and sold and their value is determined by supply and demand o Exchange is based on standardized currency (money) or barter. Globalization  Since the 1980s the economies of the world have become globalized  Tariffs are lowered and trading Informal Economy  James Ferguson: Surplus population/people—left out of the rural agricultural production systems and not incorporated into urban industrial working class — excluded from any significant role in the system of production — now engaged as “engineers” of distribution of goods.  Improvisation under conditions of adversity— at times can be seen as survivalist enterprises rather than micro-enterprises.


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