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benjamin-buck

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Making a Living
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  1. Making a Living • Adaptive Strategies • Foraging • Cultivation • Pastoralism • Modes of Production • Economizing and Maximization • Distribution, Exchange • Potlatching

  2. Adaptive Strategies • Advent of food production fueled major changes in human life • Formation of larger social and political systems - eventually states • Yehudi Cohen used term adaptive strategy to describe a group's system of economic production • Developed typology of societies based on correlation between economies and social features.

  3. Adaptive Strategies • Foraging • Horticulture • Agriculture • Pastoralism • Industrialism • Yehudi Cohen included 5 adaptive strategies

  4. Table 16.1 Yehudi Cohen’s Adaptive Strategies (Economic Typology) Summarized

  5. Foraging • All foragers rely on natural resources for subsistence, rather than controlling plant and animal reproduction. • Foraging survived mainly in environments that posed major obstacles to food production • Foraging economies have relied on nature to make their living

  6. Foraging • Correlations – association or covariation between two or more variables • People who subsist by hunting, gathering, and fishing often live in band-organized societies • Band – small group of fewer than 100 people • Correlates of Foraging

  7. Foraging • Fictive Kinship – personal relationships modeled on kinship • All human societies have some kind of division of labor based on gender • Men typically hunt and fish • Women gather and collect • All foragers make social distinctions based on age • Typical characteristic of foraging societies is mobility

  8. Horticulture • Field not permanently cultivated • Slash-and-burn cultivation • Shifting cultivation • Cultivation that makes intensive use of none of factors of production: land, labor, capital, and machinery • Use simple tools

  9. Agriculture • Domesticated animals • Many agriculturalists use animals as means of production • Irrigation • Can cultivate a plot year after year • Capital investment that increases in value • Cultivation that requires more labor than horticulture does, because it uses land intensively and continuously

  10. Cultivation • Labor necessary to build and maintain a system of terraces is great • Costs and Benefits of Agriculture • Long-term yield per area is far greater and more dependable • Terracing

  11. Cultivation • Long-term yield per area is far greater and more dependable • Agriculture societies tend to be more densely populated than are horticultural ones • Costs and Benefits of Agriculture

  12. The Cultivation Continuum • Horticulture always uses a fallow period whereas agriculture does not • Until recently, horticulture was main form of cultivation in Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific islands, Mexico, Central America, and South American tropical forest • Intermediate economies, combining horticulture and agricultural features, exist

  13. Intensification: People and the Environment • Agricultural economies grow increasingly specialized – focusing on: • One or a few caloric staples, such as rice • Animals that are raised • Agricultural economies also pose a series of regulatory problems – which central governments often have arisen to solve • Intensive cultivators are sedentary people

  14. Pastoralism • Pastoralists – herders whose activities focus on such domesticated animals as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and yak • Herders attempt to protect their animals and to ensure their reproduction in return for food and other products • Herders typically make direct use of their herds for food

  15. Pastoralists • Pastoral Nomadism – members of pastoral society follow herd throughout the year • Transhumance – part of group moves with herd, but most stay in the home village • Before the Industrial Revolution, pastoralism almost totally confined to the Old World

  16. Modes of Production • Economy – system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources • Mode of production – way of organizing production; “set of social relations through which labor is deployed to wrest energy from nature using tools, skills, organization, and knowledge” (Wolf, 1982)

  17. Production in Nonindustrial Populations • Division of economic labor related to age and gender a cultural universal, but specific tasks assigned to each sex and age varies • Betsilio of Madagascar have 2 stages of teamwork in rice cultivation

  18. Means of Production • Land • Land less permanent among foragers than it is for food producers • Among food producers, rights to means of production also come through kinship and marriage • Means, or Factors, of Production – include land, labor, technology, and capital

  19. Modes of Production • In nonindustrial societies, access to land and labor comes through social links • Alienation in Industrial Economies • When factory workers produce for sale and for their employer's profit, rather than for their own use, they may be alienated from the items they make • Labor, tools, and specialization

  20. Economizing and Maximization • What motivates people in different cultures to produce, distribute or exchange, and consume? • Anthropologists view both economic systems and motivations in a cross-cultural perspective • How are production, distribution, and consumption organized in different societies?

  21. Economizing and Maximization • Economizing – rational allocation of scarce means (or resources) to alternative ends • Idea that individuals choose to maximize profits basic assumption of classical economist of 19th century

  22. Economizing and Maximization • Maximize profit • Wealth • Prestige • Pleasure • Comfort • Social Harmony • Some economists recognize individuals may be motivated by other goals

  23. Economizing and Maximization • People devote some of their time and energy to building up subsistence fund • Citizens of nonindustrial states also allocate scarce resources to a rent fund, resources that people render to an individual or agency that is superior politically or economically • Alternative Ends

  24. Economizing and Maximization • Live in state – organized societies • Produce food without elaborate technology • Pay rent to landlords • Alternative Ends • Peasants – small-scale agriculturalists who live in nonindustrial states and have rent fund obligations

  25. Distribution, Exchange • “Organizational process of purchase and sale at money price” (Dalton 1967) • Value set by supply and demand • Redistribution • Operates when goods, services, or their equivalent, move from local level to a center • The Market Principle

  26. Distribution, Exchange • Exchange between social equals, normally related by kinship, marriage, or close personal tie • Dominant in more egalitarian societies • Reciprocity

  27. Distribution, Exchange • Generalized reciprocity – giving with no specific expectation of exchange • Balanced reciprocity – exchanges between people who are more distantly related than are members of the same band or household • Negative reciprocity – dealing with people outside or on the fringes of their social systems • Three types of reciprocity

  28. Coexistence of Exchange Principles • Also support redistribution and generalized reciprocity • Balanced reciprocity would be out of place in foraging band • In North America, market principle governs most exchanges

  29. Potlatching • Some tribes still practice the potlatch • Potlatches traditionally gave away food, blankets, pieces of copper, or other items • Festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the north Pacific Coast of North America

  30. Potlatching • Potlaching also served to prevent the development of socioeconomic stratification, a system of social classes • If profit motive universal, how does one explain the potlach, in which wealth is given away?

  31. Figure 16.5 Location of Potlaching Groups