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Lecture 9

AN101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Postpartum Period, Cultural Ecology, Body Modification

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Amali Philips

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Anthropology Lecture 9 November 12,14,16 2012
Internal Malinowski
Why we need what we need - basic physical needs (Malnowski)
External - Cultural ecology
: we are limited by our environment or resources, consume whats available to us,
doesnt fully show why we consume. Will always make more available to us
Cultural - Mary Douglas: wrote a paper called dirt, showed what we created dirty
or clean. Displacement of things shows whats dirty/clean to us (fingernails) we are
culturally informed in the way we consume*** (class, prestige, gender, age - reasons
we consume differently) , cultural influence - why would you eat a pig and not a
dog? Body modification is a form of cultural consumption.
What definition fits the internal or external approach?
Whats another name for external consumption?
- Way humans acquire their livelihoods in different ecological environments
- Are constrained but not limited by ecology and available resources
- Adaptations to our environment (ecology, people and non-humans)
- Accompanied by particular social organizations and institutions
- Culture directs and shapes survival strategies (production, exchange and
- Long term growth which serves all people, protects environment
- Resources are not finite but needs are infinite
- Carrying Capacity: the number of people a given environment can sustain
based on a level of technology
Strategies used for Maintaining Carrying Capacity:
- Environmental sustainability via environmentally friendly agriculture or
cattle herding
- Multi crops, mixed farming and/or subsistence strategies (don’t put all your
eggs in one basket)
- Reducing population (female infanticide, abandonment of elderly, post-
partum sexual taboos etc.)
- Expanding via warfare
- Technology, food production
- Marriage alliances (expanding access)
- Economy: culturally specific ways in which people go about provisioning
themselves using land, labour, other resources
- Economic system: patterns, processes, institutions involved in the
production, exchange, and consumption of goods & services
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