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Using these slides
Using These Slides

These PowerPoint slides have been designed for use by students and instructors using the Anthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity textbook by Conrad Kottak. These files contain short outlines of the content of the chapters, as well as selected photographs, maps, and tables. Students may find these outlines useful as a study guide or a tool for review. Instructors may find these files useful as a basis for building their own lecture slides or as handouts. Both audiences will notice that many of the slides contain more text than one would use in a typical oral presentation, but it was felt that it would be better to err on the side of a more complete outline in order to accomplish the goals above. Both audiences should feel free to edit, delete, rearrange, and rework these files to build the best personalized outline, review, lecture, or handout for their needs.

Contents of student cd rom
Contents of Student CD-ROM

  • Chapter-by-Chapter Electronic Study Guide:

  • Video clip from a University of Michigan lecture on the text chapter

  • Interactive map exercise

  • Chapter objectives and outline

  • Key terms with an audio pronunciation guide

  • Self-quizzes (multiple choice, true/false, and short-answer questions with feedback indicating why your answer is correct or incorrect)

  • Critical thinking essay questions

  • Internet exercises

  • Vocabulary flashcards

  • Chapter-related web links

  • Cool Stuff:

  • Interactive globe

  • Study break links

  • Student CD-ROM—this fully interactive student CD-ROM is packaged free of charge with every new textbook and features the following unique

  • tools:

  • How To Ace This Course:

  • Animated book walk-through

  • Expert advice on how to succeed in the course (provided on video by the University of Michigan)

  • Learning styles assessment program

  • Study skills primer

  • Internet primer

  • Guide to electronic research

Contents of online learning center
Contents of Online Learning Center

  • Student’s Online Learning Center—this free web-based student supplement features many of the same tools as the Student CD-ROM (so students can access these materials either online or on CD, whichever is convenient), but also includes:

  • An entirely new self-quiz for each chapter (with feedback, so students can take two pre-tests prior to exams)

  • Career opportunities

  • Additional chapter-related readings

  • Anthropology FAQs

  • PowerPoint lecture notes

  • Monthly updates

Making a living
Making a Living

This chapter introduces students to the variety of economic systems that are present in human societies. It especially focuses on the distinctions between foraging, horticulture, agriculture, and pastoralism, and on models of distribution and exchange.

C h a p





Adaptive strategies
Adaptive Strategies

  • Yehudi Cohen used the term adaptive strategy to describe a group’s system of economic production.

  • Cohen has developed a typology of cultures using this distinction, referring to a relationship between economies and social features, arguing that the most important reason for similarities between unrelated cultures is their possession of a similar adaptive strategy.

Adaptive strategies1

Adaptive Strategy

Also Known As

Key Features/Varieties



Mobility, use of nature's resources


Slash-and-burn, shifting cultivation, swiddening, dry farming

Fallow period


Intensive farming

Continuous use of land, intensive use of labor



Nomadism and transhumance


Industrial production

Factory production, capitalism, socialist production

Adaptive Strategies

Yehudi Cohen’s Adaptive Strategies:


  • Human groups with foraging economies are not ecologically dominant.

  • The primary reason for the continuing survival of foraging economies is the inapplicability of their environmental settings to food production.

A contemporary forager from Australia’s Cape York peninsula collects eggs from the nest of a magpie goose.

Photo Credit: Thand Samuels Abell II/ National Geographic Society


Worldwide distribution of recent hunter-gatherers.

Source: Gäran Burenhult, ed., People of the Stone Age: Hunters and Gatherers and Early Farmers (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993).

Correlates of foraging
Correlates of Foraging

  • Band-organization is typical of foraging societies, because its flexibility allows for seasonal adjustments.

  • Members of foraging societies typically are socially mobile, having the ability to affiliate with more than one group during their lifetimes (e.g., through fictive kinship).

  • The typical foraging society gender-based division of labor has women gathering and men hunting and fishing, with gathering contributing more to the group diet.

  • All foraging societies distinguish among their members according to age and gender, but are relatively egalitarian (making only minor distinctions in status) compared to other societal types.


  • Horticulture is non-intensive plant cultivation, based on the use of simple tools and cyclical, non-continuous use crop lands.

  • Slash-and-burn cultivation and shifting cultivation are alternative labels for horticulture.

This man in Ranomafana, Madagascar, is practicing slash-and-burn horticulture.

Photo Credit: Paul Harrison/Still Pictures/ Peter Arnold, Inc.


  • Agriculture is cultivation involving continuous use of crop land, and is more labor-intensive (due to the ancillary needs generated by farm animals and crop land formation) than horticulture.

  • Domesticated animals are commonly used in agriculture, mainly to ease labor and provide manure.

  • Irrigation is one of the agricultural techniques that frees cultivation from seasonal domination.

  • Terracing is an agricultural technique which renders land otherwise too steep for most forms of cultivation (particularly irrigated cultivation) susceptible to agriculture (e.g., the Ifugao of Central Luzon, in the Philippines.


Irrigated and terraced rice fields used by the rice farmers of Luzon in the Philippines.

Photo Credit: Paul Chesley/Tony Stone Images

Agriculture costs and benefits
Agriculture: Costs and Benefits

  • Agriculture is far more labor-intensive and capital-intensive than horticulture, but does not necessarily yield more than horticulture does (under ideal conditions).

  • Agriculture’s long-term production (per area) is far more stable than horticulture’s.

The cultivation continuum
The Cultivation Continuum

  • In reality, non-industrial economies do not always fit cleanly into the distinct categories given above, thus it is useful to think in terms of a cultivation continuum.

  • Sectorial fallowing: a plot of land may be planted two-to-three years before shifting (as with the Kuikuru, South American manioc horticulturalists) then allowed to lie fallow for a period of years.

  • A baseline distinction between agriculture and horticulture is that horticulture requires regular fallowing (the length of which varies), whereas agriculture does not.


  • Agriculture, by turning humans into ecological dominants, allows human populations to move into (and transform) a much wider range of environments than was possible prior to the development of cultivation.

  • Intensified food production is associated with sedentism and rapid population increase.

  • Most agriculturalists live in states because agricultural economies require regulatory mechanisms.


  • Pastoral economies are based upon domesticated herd animals, but members of such economies may get agricultural produce through trade or their own subsidiary cultivation.

  • Patterns of Pastoralism:

    • Pastoral Nomadism: all members of the pastoral society follow the herd throughout the year.

    • Transhumance or Agro-pastoralism: part of the society follows the herd, while the other part maintains a home village (this is usually associated with some cultivation by the pastoralists).


A female pastoralist who is a member of the Kirgiz ethnic group in Xinjiang Province, China.

Photo Credit: Image Bank

Economic anthropology
Economic Anthropology

  • Economic Anthropology studies economics in a comparative perspective.

  • An economy is a study of production, distribution, and consumption of resources.

  • Mode of production is defined as a way of organizing production—a set of social relations through which labor is deployed to wrest energy from nature using tools, skills, organization, and knowledge.

  • Similarity of adaptive strategies between societies tends to correspond with similarity of mode of production: variations occur according to environmental particularities.

Nonindustrial production
Nonindustrial Production

  • All societies divide labor according to gender and age, but the nature of these divisions varies greatly from society to society.

  • Valuation of the kinds of work ascribed to different groups varies, as well.

  • Examples are taken from the Betsileo, of Madagascar.

Means of production
Means of Production

  • Means of production include land, labor, technology, and capital.

  • Land: the importance of land varies according to method of production — land is less important to a foraging economy than it is to a cultivating economy.

  • Labor, tools, and specialization: nonindustrial economies are usually, but not always, characterized by more cooperation and less specialized labor than is found in industrial societies.

Alienation in industrial economies
Alienation in Industrial Economies

  • By definition, a worker is alienated from the product of her or his work when the product is sold, with the profit going to an employer, while the worker is paid a wage.

  • A consequence of alienation is that a worker has less personal investment in the product, in contrast to the more intimate relationship existing between worker and product in nonindustrial societies.

  • Alienation may generalize to encompass not only worker-product relations, but coworker relations, as well.

Economizing and maximization
Economizing and Maximization

  • Classical economic theory assumed that individuals universally acted rationally, by economizing to maximize profits, but comparative data shows that people frequently respond to other motivations than profit.

Alternative ends
Alternative Ends

  • People devote their time, resources, and energy to five broad categories of ends: subsistence, replacement, social, ceremonial, and rent.

  • Subsistence fund: work is done to replace calories lost through life activities.

  • Replacement fund: work is expended maintaining the technology necessary for life (broadly defined).

Alternative ends1
Alternative Ends

  • Social fund: work is expended to establish and maintain social ties.

  • Ceremonial fund: work is expended to fulfill ritual obligations.

  • Rent fund: work is expended to satisfy the obligations owed (or inflicted by) political or economic superiors.

  • Peasants have rent fund obligations.

The market principle
The Market Principle

  • The market principle obtains when exchange rates and organization are governed by an arbitrary money standard.

  • Price is set by the law of supply and demand.

  • The market principle is common to industrial societies.


  • Redistribution is the typical mode of exchange in chiefdoms and some non-industrial states.

  • In a redistributive system, product moves from the local level to the hierarchical center, where it is reorganized, and a proportion is sent back down to the local level.

These workers in Yunnan Province, China, strive for an equal distribution of meat.

Photo Credit: John Eastcott/Yva Momatiuk/ Woodfin Camp & Assoc.


  • Reciprocity is exchange between social equals and occurs in three degrees: generalized, balanced, and negative.

  • Generalized reciprocity is most common to closely related exchange partners and involves giving with no specific expectation of exchange, but with a reliance upon similar opportunities being available to the giver (prevalent among foragers).

  • Balanced reciprocity involves more distantly related partners, and involves giving with the expectation of equivalent (but not necessarily immediate) exchange (common in tribal societies, and has serious ramifications for the relationship of trading partners).

  • Negative reciprocity involves very distant trading partners and is characterized by each partner attempting to maximize profit and an expectation of immediate exchange (e.g., market economies, silent barter between Mbuti foragers and horticulturalist neighbors).

Coexistence of exchange principles
Coexistence of Exchange Principles

  • Most economies are not exclusively characterized by a single mode of reciprocity.

  • The United States economy has all three types of reciprocity.


  • Potlatches, as once practiced by Northwest Coast Native American groups, are a widely studied ritual in which sponsors (helped by their entourages) gave away resources and manufactured wealth while generating prestige for themselves.

  • Potlatching tribes (such as Kwakiutl and Salish peoples) were foragers but lived in sedentary villages and had chiefs—this political complexity is attributed to the overall richness of their environment.

  • Dramatic depopulation resulting from post-contact diseases and the influx of new trade goods dramatically affected the nature of potlatches, which began to extended to the entire population.


  • The result of the new surplus, cultural trauma, and the competition caused by wider inclusion was that prestige was created by the destruction of wealth, rather than the redistribution of it.

  • Potlatches were once interpreted as wasteful displays generated by culturally induced mania for prestige, but Kottak argues that customs like the potlatch are adaptive, allowing adjustment for alternating periods of local abundance and shortage.

  • The Northwest Coast tribes were unusual in that they were foraging populations living in a rich, non-marginal environmental setting.


Map of Native American Tribes of the Northwest Coast.