WHAT IS PROGRESS?
"the idea that human history is the story of a steady advance from a life dependent
on the whims of nature to a life of control and domination over natural forces"
(Robbins & Larkin 2007:43).
The death of a way of life – nomadic “hunters and gatherers” died out? In the 20th /21st
- Lived 2 million to 4 million years ago
Homo sapiens sapiens
- 100,000 years
- Began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago and in Meso-America a bit later,
but in the same general timeframe. Wheat and barley in middle east; corn, potatoes in
AGE OF EXPLORATION
Began in the 15th century with the Portuguese
1488: southern Atlantic coast of Africa and went around the Cape of Good Hope.
1490s: established trade with India
1492: Columbus landed in the Americas.
1494: Treaty of Tordesillas
West = Spain
East: = Portugal
Then along came the Dutch, English, and French
Dutch: Cape of Good Hope
French & North America
Fur Trade in North America began with the dutch, but French and English soon joined in.
THE EFFECTS OF WESTERN EXPANSION
Social – because of the influx social changes happened immediately
Economic – indigenous people focused on hunting beaver
Disease – none of the indigenous people had any kind of immunity to the diseases
that the Europeans brought with them. The diseases wiped out entire villages. Killed
children and elders mostly, with other members of family also being infected.
Atlantic Slave Trade
Slaves were part of the great trade triangle. Ships would leave England with
manufacturing goods. Then they would land in Africa and trade these materials for
slaves. Then they would pack as many of the slaves as they could fit into the ship and
take them in deplorable conditions to the Caribbean. The slaves would be unloaded to
work and then the goods such as rum and sugar etc. to take back and trade. This left
Africa depopulated. It left the Americas with a population of people who did not want to
Two Kinds of Typologies:
1) Those based on Evolution – cultural evolution
2) Those based on Political and Social Structure
Unilineal Cultural Evolution
1) Savages – everyone started out this way
2) Barbarians – once the savages had started agriculture they were barbarians
3) Civilization – once the barbarians had started to read and write
Stages of civilization
1818 (?) Henry Morgan: Ethnic Periods
Europeans looked at the world with themselves as the epitome
British Structural Typologies:
Egalitarian Systems: - neither of these have a formal system, head individual
who can speak to the others, no permanent position of career, etc.
- Band smaller, hunters and gatherers (50 or fewer)
- Tribe larger than a band; farm or herd animals. Social relations – may be
some temporary leaders, but nothing permanent (i.e. king)
Centralized Political Systems: - position remains constantly
- Chiefdom – chiefs relatives are set apart from the rest of society. They are
entitled to special privileges (ex. prestige)
- State – territory is marked out, defended against outside enemies with an
army, inside conflicts with police. Many positions of authority. Has a separate set of gov
institutions to collect taxes, laws.
There were states present in the ancient world, that broke up and fell to bands, and
sometimes bands jumped to chiefdom. This order is not definite and evolutionary of each
Then came World War II
- Break up of colonial world
Anthropologists are never looking at "living fossils" of an ancient way of life, untouched
We are always involved with people who are trying to reconstruct their lives in the
aftermath of colonialism.
Robbins & Larkin:
Why are some societies more industrially advanced than others?
Why don't poor countries modernize and develop in the same way as wealthier
KAYAPO (Anthropologist Terence Turner)
1) Those who live on the Gorotire Reserve
2) Kopote, who live on the Xingu River
WHAT IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?
The term used to identify an increase in level of technology, and by some, standard of
living of a population.
Others view it as an ideology based on three key assumptions:
1. that economic growth and development is the solution to national as well as
2. that global economic integration will contribute to solving global ecological and
social problems; and
3. that foreign assistance to underdeveloped countries will make things better.
Model – first world and third world countries. Idea that problems in 3rd world can be
solved by help from the 1st world countries.
Modern World – “rich” world – working for progress, maximize their possessions