Class Notes (809,430)
Canada (493,708)
Anthropology (292)
AN101 (143)
Lecture 5

Week 5 Notes.docx

11 Pages
Unlock Document

Wilfrid Laurier University
Tristan Long

WEEK 5 Cultural Anthropology: Chapter 6: Economic Systems Summary: WHAT IS ECONOMIC ANTRHOPOLOGY? Economic Anthropology: a sub-field of cultural anthropology that studies econ practices of past/present societies -anthropologists examine intricate relationships b/w econ structures and social structures in societies -past econ logic was different from today and by comparing non-western areas, you can reveal current econ logic of Western capitalism - reveals how economy is connected w/ human kinship, marriage and residential systems -also examines many indigenous econ systems HOW DO ANTRHOPOLOGISTS STUDY ECONOMIC SYSTEMS? -study how good are produced, distributed and consumed in context of total culture -though they’ve borrowed theories from economists, anthropologists mainly feel that the principles derived from western market economies are limited when applied to economic systems where people do not produce and exchanged goods for profit. HOW DO ECONOMICS WORK? -every human culture has a division of labour by age and sex -land and other resources usually controlled by groups or relatives aka, BANDS OR LINEAGES or by partner ownership -most good consumed by the group that produces it -leveling mechanisms ensure no one gets more than equal share of goods HOW AND WHY ARE GOOD EXCHANGED? -Ppl exchange goods through reciprocity, redistribution and market exchange Reciprocity: involves exchange of goods and services of roughly equivalent value and often undertaken for ritual purposes or to gain prestige Redistribution: requires centralized authority or religious elite to collect and then reallocate resources in form of goods or services Market Exchange: in a non-industrial sector, this means going to a specific place for direct exchange of goods Consumption: the resources we use up - Third component of any econ system Economic System: regulates the production, distribution, and consumption of goods - includes resources, redistribution and finally consumption - operate to ensure human survival ECONOMIC ANTRHOPOLOGY -study economics of non-literate people is hard b/c we can misinterpret data in terms of our own tech, own conceptions of work/property and own determinations of what is rational -different cultures = different values and beliefs on production and consumption French Anthropologist: Maurice Bloch: commented about the Balinese “time isn’t money everywhere” - Some cultures work fewer hours than others to produce fewer items then other - Sometimes westerners see this as being lazy - Maurice says westerns say “instead of disciplined workers, they’re reluctant and untrained - western cultures think hunting is a sport, but forager societies are perceived as spending all their time doing recreational work while women do the most -ex: when Europeans saw First Nations gathering – thought they were lazy -didn’t realize they’re societies based on survival, they hunt based on CURRENT needs -John Gowdy: used the abundant evidence from forager ppl studies to urge his econ friends that it’s a reappraisal of fundamental assumptions of scarcity + limited means on which modern economics is based -Mi’maq ppl didn’t store things unless it was dried fish for short periods - BUT First Nations near Canada’s Pacific Coast stored large quantities of berries, shellfish and fish using sun /wind drying and smoking -foods were packed in carved red cedar bentwood boxes so they can then use it during winter seasons -to understand how supply or goods available compares to needs/wants, you must introduce the ANTRHOPOLOGICAL variable into economics - must culturally define the demands and needs Yam Production of Trobriand Islanders: Trobriand men spend lots of time/energy raising yams not for only selves/households but also their sisters and married daughters - They give it to show support to their daughter’s husbands -once they get them, they’re kept into husbands yam house symbolizes that he’s a man of power and influence in his community - sometimes yams sold for arm shells, shell necklace/earrings, pigs, chickens and locally produced bowls, floor mats, lime pots and magic spells - Or given to discharge obligations: when daughter’s husband’s family member died in his lineage - a man who wants high-status shows his worth by org. a yam competition and he gives away LOTS of yams to invited guests - Annette Weiner: “A yam house is like a bank account; full means man wealthy - Until yams cooked or rot, they are limited currency so once harvested they limit daily usage of yam as food - By giving yams to his sis or daughter, a man expressed support for her husband but also make the latter indebted to him -recipient rewards gardener and helps by throwing feast of cooked yams and pork but it doesn’t pay off the debt nor does gift of stone axe blade - Debt is paid off by women’s wealth, which are bundles of banana leaves and skirts made of same material but coloured red - like everywhere, Trobriand ppl assign give value to certain objects: yams – establish long term relationships that leads to potential access to land, protection, assistance and other kinds of wealth -yam exchanges are social and political transactions ALSO econ - Banana skirts are symbolic of political state of lineages and immortality - All econ systems are connected to larger econ system: MARKET SYSTEM THE ECONOMICS OF ANCIENT MONUMENTS - Econ Anthropologists look at past and present economics -Medicine wheels of Canadian prairies, pyramids of Egyptians are architectural projects based on econ surplus, ritual and emergence of social complexity -megalithic monuments: Stonehenge, new grange and astonishing stone rows of Carnac in France Types of Monuments: more than 100K megalithic monuments along Atlantic façade - Two rows of orthostats (upright stones) covered by capstones, form a corridor and inside are tombs - Many passage graces associated with circle of standing stones ex: Calanais - Stonehenge has remains of thousands of ppl Economic Interpretation? Foragers left ancient lifestyles and adopted agriculture and horticulture so monuments were their defining characteristic - Monuments were so impressive because Atlantic façade ppl has short lifespans (mid thirties) - Economic changes brought on by agriculture led to changes in mobility, kinship, religion, etc. - Change is monumental because before ppl spent SO many labour hours to construct these Technology and labour: estimated than 30 million work hours went into making the Stonehenge with min. tech - Many kinds of reasons for these monuments: burial, astronomic significance, others had no burials or significant alignments, some hint territorial marking - B/c these were built when agriculture times introduced, encouraged ppl. To work in big groups RESOURCES - Customs and rules govern how works done, who does it and who controls resources and tools and how it’s accomplished Includes raw materials, labour and technology PATTERNS OF LABOUR -dividing labour by sex means you only have to learn half the skills and dividing labour by age gives you time to learn the skills SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOUR - Women’s work usually at home - Men’s work usually requires strength and power, energy and travel away from home and levels of danger -however, exceptions apply as women spend many hours in some cultures doing field work - and in Canadian farms, Canadian women help with trucks, and help out with men aside from regular household duties – preserving, seasonal gardening and cooking, taking care of kids - In 19 century kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa, women served as warriors and some better fighters then men -Mbuti people – are foragers and both sexes do about 35% of the work equally Sexually segregated cultures: define work as masculine or feminine Task differentiation highly developed by Inuit’s - found in most pastoral, agricultural and industrial societies Dual or third Sex Configuration: men + women do work separately but relationship between two is balance as appose to inequality Sexually integrated cultures: neither sex dominates over one Dual Sex Orientation: popular with the First Nations people AGE DIVISION OF LABOUR - Ju/’Hoansi, children not expected to contribute to subsistence until late teens - Ju/’Hoansi retirement = 60 years -Elderly ppl not expected to make lots of food, however big in spirituality; handle spiritual stuff that are still too dangerous to be handled by people involved in hunting or having kids - In foraging societies, elderly = NOT unproductive - In some foraging cultures, women still need to contribute to foraging in old years - Hadzabe of Tanzania, contribution is critical to daughters whose foraging abilities significantly impaired when they have new infants to nurse -lactation is expensive and holding, carrying, nursing infant gets in way of foraging efficiency - Role of grandmothers became important once AID epidemic started - IN Maya communities in South Mexico and Guatemala, young children look after younger siblings and help with housework - This isn’t uncommon in industrialized places.  In Naples, Italy young girls begin to do housework, and allow moms and older sis to start Making more $ Age 14- work in factories, wages given to moms - Use of child labour becoming huge concern to large corporations who manufacture in poor countries - Around 15 million child labourers in just south Asia - But it’s not as easy as simply removing a child from factory work because they could be the only source of income for their families COOPERATION - Cooperative work groups found in industrial and non-industrial societies Jomo Kenyatta: “If a stranger happens to pass by, he’ll have no idea that the ppl singing/dancing have completed their days work” - Africans don’t work based on time but by spirit and enthusiasm - Ju/’Hoansi women’s work = very social, they gather food in groups, talking loud - In most societies, basic cooperative unit is the household Household: Basic cooperative unit and you consume and produce in it - Cooperative work sometimes done outside households ex: for in-laws or done for governments or priests such as neighbourhood barn raising (done in Can in 20 cent) CRAFT SPECIALIZATIONS - In modern industrial areas, specialization beginning to form and no individual can learn them all - Often minimal in foraging societies, but sometimes one man may be in demand due to his particular skill - Ex: First nations that specialize in beading or quillwork - provide extra income for specialists and an opportunity to pass the skill to next generation - Contemporary Inuit people have organization devoted to preservation, teaching and passing on of artistic skills - Among people who make their own food, specialization likely to happen -Trobriand Island: am wanted stone to make axe blade but had to travel far to get the stones -ex: successful mining requires specialization because of tough and hot work conditions CONTROL OF LAND - Foragers determine who hunt game and gather plants and where the activities take place - Cree elders determine trap lines for band members - Horticulturalists determine how farmland is acquired and worked on - Pastoralists have a system that determines rights to watering places and grazing lands - Intensive Agriculture has ways of determining title to land and access to water for irrigation - In industrialized western areas, a system of private ownership of land and rights to natural resources usually done - In non-industrial societies, land controlled by kinship groups like lineage or bands - Jug/’Hoansi have 10-30 ppl living on 650 square of km land and that’s their territory which is defined by eh water holes located within them - Land owned by those who lived longest usually a group of brothers and sisters or cousins - Ownership is spiritual= can’t sell it or buy it, but outsiders must ask permission to enter - But to refuse permission is unthinkable TECHNOLOGY Technology: tools and other material equipment, together with the knowledge of how to make And use them - Foragers and pastorals = less tools then sedentary farmers - Codes of generosity: can’t refuse to give or loan what’s asked - Ju/’Hoan who gives an arrow to another has right to share in any animals the hunter kills with it - Horticulturalists: axe, machete, and digging stick or hoe - In a more capitalist area, ownership is limited to individual RESOURCE DEPLETION -ecological crisis facing fisheries around the world is threatening the econ future of those who make living from fishing - Historically, Grand Banks off of Newfoundland was among richest fishing grounds – cod common - However in the 30 year period after World War 2, the cod stocks declined by 99% - Newfoundland’s main economic activity disappeared - Many ppl. , especially younger ppl left to find jobs - Fishing a part of Canada for many years, even the Kwakwaka’wakw, people on West Coast relied on salmon for food and trade, and ceremonial purposes Migratory Fishing or Migratory Transhumance: gave way to small boat family operation in 1800s Seasonal migration of ppl from one marine resource to the next - Large commercial fishing companies with hi-tech came in mid-20 century and took over small fishers - fish stock down, competition up - Aboriginal Fishers like the Mi’maq who had treaties to fish had issues with non-aboriginals who had to apply to government to fish - Problems even requiring police, with damaged and sunken boats -experts couldn’t predict if fish stocks would ever recover -Environmental issues like ocean pollution and ozone depletion added pressure on fish stocks - By early 1990s, fish was barely there and cod stocks very low - The 1995 cod moratorium in Newfoundl
More Less

Related notes for AN101

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.