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Environment Determines Culture.pdf

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ANTH 206
Peter Rudiak- Gould

Ancient Ideas Romans and Greeks Thought hot and colder climates hosted barbarians Pliny "The manner of the people are gentle, the intellect clear, the genius fertile and capable of comprehending every part of nature. They have formed empires which has never been done by the remote nations" Contemporary Informal Ideas The culture is predictable from the environment e.g. Island people Forest people Desert people Tropical people Julian Steward Cultural ecology The environment determines what sorts of subsistence activities will a society in order to survive Determine the culture core Social/political/religious DETERMINISM Environment --> Subsistence activities --> culture It is this connection to the environment that explains most of why cultures are the way they are Not the history of the society 1. Describe the environment 2. Describe the technology available 3. Describe the subsistence strategies 4. Analyze the core social/cultural features 5. Explain the core social/cultural features as being a result of the subsistence strategies The Shoshone Great Basin 1. Environment Arid with few resource Variable rainfall Erratic and unpredictable sources of food 2. Technology Some Hunting and mostly gathering No agriculture or domesticated animals for herding 3. Subsistence activities Spring and summer 1-2 families traveling around Seeds, roots, small mammals, insects, larvae, rabbits, antelopes
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