Presentation on theme: "Subsistence, Economy, and Distribution: How Humans Do It"— Presentation transcript:
1Subsistence, Economy, and Distribution: How Humans Do It Making A LivingSubsistence, Economy, and Distribution: How Humans Do It
2Economic Production as an Adaptive Strategy Food is necessary for survival; the means of subsistence of a given group has been called their adaptive strategy.Cohen describes five adaptive strategies: foraging, horticultural, agriculture, pastoralism, and industrialism.
3Foraging (a.k.a. Hunting and Gathering) Foraging was the only means of subsistence for the first 5 million years of human history.Hunting and gatherer continued to exist after the multiple inventions of agriculture in those areas ill suited to growing crops.
4What is Foraging?Foraging relies on the collection of nutritionally significant plant resources and the capture of important animal protein sources for food.
5The Importance of Gathering For much of the 20th Century, anthropologists assumed hunting was more important than gathering.Subsequent ethnographic work showed plant resources usually make up 80% of the diet.
6Foragers live off the land, usually in small groups called “bands” Because foragers are highly mobile and frequently live in marginal environments, they tend to live in groups of 100 or less.This mobile lifestyle leads to temporary housing structures.
7Other Forager Characteristics or Correlates Most members of bands related.Practice band exogamy.Membership of band may change during the course of a year.Practice seasonal transhumance.Egalitarian.Sexual division of labor.
8Examples of Foragers California Indians (balanophagy). Great Basin Indians (Paiute, Shoshone, Ute).Inuit (a.k.a. Eskimos).Australian Aborigines.!Kung San of South Africa.Baka.
10Cultivation Cultivation is food production rather food gathering. According to Cohen’s scheme, the three forms of food production are horticulture, agriculture, and pastoralism.Horticulture and agriculture focus on plant resource production; pastoralism focuses on herding and “harvesting” their animals.
11What is horticulture?Horticulture is the small-scale planting and harvesting of food plants using simple tools and small garden plots.Horticulturalists frequently use swidden or “slash-and-burn” techniques for fertilization of the soil.Shifting cultivation common.
14Advantages and Disadvantages of Horticulture Can sustain large groups (example: Kuikuru of South America).Allows for flexible sedentism (staying in one place).Disadvantages:Limited carrying capacity.Leads to rapid soil exhaustion.
15Horticultural Groups Yanomami. The tribes of Papua New Guinea. The Maya of Mexico.Hawaiian IslandersVarious Bantu-speaking tribes of Africa.
16AgricultureDiffers from horticulture in that it is more labor intensive, uses more sophisticated tools (such as plows), engages the use of draft animals, may use terracing, and employs irrigation.More land is used, and greater quantities of crops are produced.
17Domesticated Animals and Farming Domesticated animals, especially cattle and horses, have played an important role in raising crops, providing both labor (plowing) and fertilizer.
18Irrigation and Terracing Irrigation provides nutrients and a continual source of water to crops, allowing for continual use of fields (rather than shifting).Terracing allows for cultivation of crops in mountainous areas.
19Costs and Benefits of Agriculture Human labor input greater for agriculture, since time and energy are required to build and maintain canals and terraces, as well as to feed and care for animals.Yields are much greater with agriculture over horticulture; provides long-term, dependable crops that translates to lower labor costs per unit.
20The “cultivation continuum” Horticulture = low-labor, shifting-plotAgriculture = labor-intensive, permanent plot.Some world economies are intermediate between horticulture and agriculture, using sectorial fallowing, which is a form of horticulture that is employed by larger populations.
21Intensive Agriculture Intensive agriculture allows for large populations.However, large populations combined with intensive agricultural practices result in extreme environmental degradation.Intensive agriculture often leads to specialization in certain crops (i.e., rice, maize, potatoes), thereby sacrificing dietary diversity.
22Intensive Agriculture Gone Wrong The ancient Maya civilization collapsed about A.D. 800, following a combination of agricultural intensification and population growth that led to deforestation and soil erosion.
23PastoralismPastoralists are herders who focus on animals such as goats, sheep, cattle, camels, and yaks.Traditional pastoralists are found in parts of north and eastern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
24Pastoralism as a living Pastoralists use their herds for food (milk, blood, meat).Pastoralists frequently trade with farmers for grains and vegetables, or may engage in limited horticulture or foraging.Pastoralists practice pastoral nomadism (the whole group moves) or transhumance (only certain members of the group follow the herd animals).
25Modes of ProductionEconomy = a system of production, distribution and consumption of resources.A mode of production is a way of organizing production:“A set of social relations through which labor is deployed to wrest energy from nature by means of tools, skills, organization, and knowledge.”(Wolf 1982).
26Capitalism vs. Non-Industrial modes of production In non-industrial societies, labor is given as a social obligation, and is frequently kin-based.In capitalist industrial societies, money buys labor power, and their exists a social gap between the purchasers of labor and their laborers (bosses and workers).
27IndustrialismLarge scale, industrial production, involving factories and mechanization.Industrial production can be either capitalist or socialist.Industrialism relies on corporate agriculture.
28Means of ProductionThe means, or factors of production, involve territory, labor, and technology.In non-industrial societies, there is a closer relationship between laborers and the means of production.In industrial societies, there is frequent alienation of the workers from the means of production.
29Economic Anthropological Questions How are production, distribution, and consumption organized in different societies? The focus of this question is on systems.What motivates people in different cultures to produce, distribute or exchange, and consume? The focus of this question is on individuals.
30Distribution and Exchange The Market Principle: operates in a capitalist economy by governing the distribution of land, labor, natural resources, technology, and capital. Items are bought and sold, and rely on the law of supply and demand.Redistribution: goods and services move towards the center, then redistributed (example: Cherokee chiefs).
31ReciprocityReciprocity is an exchange between social equals; common in egalitarian societies. There are three types:Generalized: someone gives with no explicit expectation for a like gift.Balanced: giving with expecting something in return.Negative: giving with the expectation of immediate return.