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Simulating social, economic and political decisions in a hunter-gatherer group. The case of “Prehistoric” Patagonia . Juan A. Barceló , Florencia del Castillo , J.A.Cuesta, J.M.Galán, L. Mameli, F.Miguel, J.I. Santos, X.Vila.

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slide1

Simulating social, economic

and political decisions

in a hunter-gatherer group.

The case of “Prehistoric” Patagonia.

Juan A. Barceló, Florencia del Castillo,

J.A.Cuesta, J.M.Galán, L. Mameli, F.Miguel, J.I. Santos, X.Vila

UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA UNIVERSIDAD DE BURGOS UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III - Madrid

slide2

THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM

  • Ethnicity as Cultural Differentiation
  • An ethnic group is a group of people whose members explicitly regard themselves and are regarded by others as truly distinctive, through a common heritage that is real or assumed- sharing “cultural” characteristics.
    • Processes that result in the emergence of such identification are called ETHNOGENESIS
slide3

OBSERVING ETHNICITY IN THE PRESENT: Nations / Language

  • OBSERVING ETHNICITY IN THE PAST:Cultures / Artefacts

Casamiquela R.

Los pueblos indígenas.Ciencia Hoy, vol. 2 N° 7. 1990.

  • ETHNOGENESIS:ETHNICITY IS PERPETUALLY IN NEGOTIATION AND RENEGOTIATING BY BOTH EXTERNAL ASCRIPTION AND INTERNAL SELF-IDENTIFICATION
our research goal
Our research goal

Why groups of people are the way they are?

in terms of how agents acted when they became integrated into a single group.

The concept of Productivity

The complex interplay of social actions, agents and their products explains ethnicity by showing how social aggregation fit into a causal structure, that is to say, a vast network of interacting actions and entities, where a change in a property of an entity dialectically produces a change in a property of another entity.

observing ethnicity
Observing Ethnicity

PRESENTPAST

Social /Political Science History

EthnographyArchaeology

SocioLinguisticsPhysical Anthropology

beyond cultural similarity
BEYOND CULTURAL SIMILARITY

Simulating requires to execute

a mechanism,which, given the properties

of the constituent components and of the environment, gives rise to the phenomena

of interest.

slide11

Netlogo Implementation

http://ingor.ubu.es/models/patagonia/simple1.0/

slide14

Probability

for survival

INITIAL_PHUNTING

INITIAL_

PGATHERING.

POSTERIOR_PHUNTING

/

POSTERIOR_PGATHERING.

PSHARING

/

PEXCHANGE.

AN ENHANCED MODEL

Model: bayesian network

Labor:

Hunting

Gathering

Child care

Socializing

Environmental

Resources

slide16

RESULTS (i)

ETHNICITY IS AN EMERGENT PROPERTY OF SOCIAL GROUP DYNAMICS

ETHNICITY is not the direct consequence of territorial mobility, because agent mobility is not a pure random walk, but it is mediated by.

1) the history of previous interactions,

2) the degree of cultural similarity,

3) the payoffs derived from cooperation (collective hunting, material exchange, social reproduction) and

4) the costs generated by internal social conflict.

slide17

RESULTS (ii)

Historically, aggregated social groups have been less frequent than small bands of individuals, basically by the cost due to inequalities arising in all social conglomerates.

Only if some individuals within the group increase their own productivity and the absolute volume of their production above a critical threshold, they can invest such a plus-value to increase coercion, and hence maintain ever increasing levels of social inequality.

Without a dramatic change in technology (i.e. agriculture, pastoralism) we think that this social change is mostly infrequent.

slide18

RESULTS (iii)

Contrary to traditional Fisher / Cavalli-Sforza “wave of advance” model, population dispersal not only depends on demography, but it is socially mediated. This is a complex social mechanism characterized by the dialectical relationship between.

A) the higher payoffs of cooperation,

B) the local carrying capacity,

C) the level of technological development and

D) the risk of increasing social stress when surplus accumulates and wealth became unequally distributed.

slide20

CONFRONTING THE MODEL WITH

ETHNO-ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA

slide22

Confronting the model with Patagonian data

3A. 3B WÜNÜN A KENA 4-5. AONIKENK 10. CHONO

2. PEHUENCHE 1. MAPUCHE

6. SELKNAM 7 HAUSH 8. YAMANA 9. ALAKALUF

slide24

CONCLUSIONS

Bounded rationality in ethnicity formation

The similarity between two interacting individuals is increased

as a consequence of repeated interactions, and that the probability of positive interactions increase as a result of the increase of cultural similarity seems a good starting point for simulating the emergence of ethnic and cultural differentiation in the prehistoric past.

slide25

CONCLUSIONS:

Increasing

Segregation

Increasing Mobility

Increasing

cultural drift

Increasing

conflict

  • A group of X people, culturally homogenous moves across a territory conditioned by the existing resources (wanaco, fish/seafood, water, vegetable fuel, raw material) and establishing:
  • positive relationships (exogamy, interaction, exchange, collective labor, reciprocity)
  • or negative relationships (conflicts) with other families .

THE PRODUCTION OF SUBSISTENCE AND INSTRUMENTS + REPRODUCTION OF PEOPLE AND SOCIAL NORMS

SOCIAL, CULTURAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC DECISIONS BASED IN CRITERIA OF BOUNDED RATIONALITY

Model

Assumptions

slide26

Social Homogeneity

Territorial

mobility

Segregation

Agregation

Social

Heterogeneity

¿WHAT EMERGES?

Social

mobility

slide27

HUNTER-GATHERERS IN PREHISTORY:

The Complexities of Apparent Simplicity

Thanks!