ANTH 2303 Lecture 4: 8-31-2016 Levels of Sociocultural Integration-Bands

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ANTH 2303
8/31/16
Levels of Sociocultural Integration - Bands
Cultural evolution is adaptive
Culture change is not adaptive
Agriculture cultural modification of the environment to improve growing conditions for
plants and animals
Domestication genetic modification of plants and animals to create desirable species
Levels of Sociocultural Integration: Types of Cultures
o 1) Bands 2) Big Man Society (Tribe) 3) Chiefdom 4) State
o This system of classification is not evolutionary, these groups do not necessarily
“advance” from one to another, a band can become a state or part of a state
overnight and vice versa
o Societies grow and become denser as they move nearer to the state side of the
spectrum and as they do so they become more complex
1) BANDS
o Small groups of people
o Maximal band is 500 people, this is fixed
o Local band consists of 25 people
o These people are foragers
They utilize wild food resources
They do not have agriculture for food
They did have domesticates (domesticated plants and animals) but did not
use them for food
They didn’t domesticate organisms because they didn’t know how to but
because it simply wasn’t adaptive for their society in their environment
o Bands are nomadic, they move from place to place on the landscape
They have highly curate tool kit a limited number of light-weight
portable tools
o Social composition of a band:
A local band of 25 would consist of 5 local families
A family would typically be three generations, for ex. Two parents, two
children, one grandparent
Typically, as more children are born in the band, the elderly die, so there
is zero population growth, there is only population replacement
Why 25?: Sexual Division of Labor
Males hunt
Females collect and gather
o Pregnancy and child-rearing prevent them from hunting
A group of five is optimal for hunting
Total group size in bands is dependent on hunting
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