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Chapter 5

Week 4 - Harris Chapter 5, Kane Chapter 8, 9, Course Reader Bourgois.doc

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTH 1150
Professor
Satsuki Kawano
Semester
Winter

Description
Harris - CHAPTER 5: Production • Energy-capturing technology- refers to how people apply human labour and technology to natural resources. • Features of the Environment- consist of sunlight, rainfall, soil quality, forests and mineral deposits. • Fossil fuels- consist of materials such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas derived from decomposed remains of prehistoric organisms over a period of hundreds of millions of years. • Ecological Anthropology- is concerned with cultural and biological responses that affect or are affected by the survival, reproduction, and health and spatial distribution of human population. • Carrying Capacity- is the upper limit on production and population in a given environment under a given technology, without degrading the resource base. • Point of Diminishing Returns- is the point at which the amount of food produced per unit of effort begins to fall. • Intensification- refers to an increase in labour output (using more people, working longer hours, or working faster) to produce greater yields without expanding the amount of land used. • Liebig's law of the minimum- a pop. will be limited by critical resources that are in the shortest supply. • Maximum sustainable yield- defined as the level of production immediately prior to the point of diminishing returns. • Optimal foraging theory- predicts that hunters or collectors will pursue or harvest only those species that give them the max energy return for the time spent foraging • Slash-and-burn farming- requires large stretches of fallow land because long periods are necessary for the soil to be replenished • Pastorialists- peoples who raise domesticated animals and who do not depend on hunting, gathering, or planting their own crops for a significant portion of their diets. Typically occupy arid grasslands and steppes where precipitation is too sparse or irregular to support rainfall agriculture and where water for irrigation is not available. • Transhumance- form of pastoralism organized around the seasonal migration of livestock between mountain pastures in warm seasons and lower altitudes the rest of the year • Nomadic pastoralism- is often associated with migrations that follow established routes over vast distances. Notes: • early hominids gained all energy from food, first great step in evolution of production was the use of fire 40,000 years ago fire was being used for cooking, warmth, protection against carnivores, driving game over cliffs/into ambushes, and possibly favouring growth of plant species. • 10,000 years ago (approx), animals provided energy in the form of muscle power, first harnessed to sleds, then to plows. • Roughly same time humans used high temp. charcoal fires. • Fossil fuels= within last 200/300 years supply nearly 90% of all the energy consumed by industrially developed nations. • Throughout history technological advances have steadily increased the average amount of energy available per person. • As a pop. Grows, it increases its need for production. To produces more food, a society must increase per capita use of energy. • Increased energy use ≠ higher standard of living, nor energy is produced/used more efficiently. Less advanced cultures may be better adapted to their environments than high-energy cultures • Groups and individuals adapt to their environment by making adjustments for survival. Therefore it is expected to see individual acts and beliefs to respond in a broad range of characteristics, such as: Fluctuations over time in availability of resources Activities of other groups in competition for these resources introduction of new tech. that changes the way food is produced. • Ecological anthropology sees the human pop. as integral part of ecosystem and focuses on human adaptation, incl. physiological, cultural and behavioural relationships. • Ecosystems tend towards homeostasis- they tend to resist change and remain in equilibrium. • Some predictable patterns do take place such as: -climatic: drought, flooding, causes migration or internal conflict -technological: replacing old tech. with new more effective tools, or by diffusion of food crop -social organization: features new patterns of domestic organization or political institutions • For humans, carrying capacity is relative to infrastructural and sociocultural conditions- if the conditions change ( as a result of deforestation, or new tech.) carrying capacity changes as well. • Although carrying capacity sets the upper limit to production and reproduction, most societies maintain their production and reproduction below that limit. • Slash-and-burn farmers bring on diminishing returns as they increase the number of years they consecutively plant in the same garden Have to work harder to produce same amount of food to maintain the same-size population. Most food production systems maintain below carrying capacity because diminishing returns set in before carrying capacity is reached and no one wants to work more for less. • Unless population growth is maintained as well, the temptation to maintain or increase production will be great- can be done by intensification (increasing the time and energy devoted to production) • intensification, a mode of production can be pushed far beyond point on diminishing returns to or beyond carrying capacity, irreversibly damaging the resource base. • It is inevitable that intensification will lead to the depletion of non renewable resources. - Example, Ocean fisheries; rate of return per unit of fishing effort has declined by almost half. • To avoid depletions the maximum sustainable yield must be found. • The basic principle of ecological analysis states that communities of organisms adapt to the minimum life sustainable conditions of their habitats rather than average – Liebig's law of the minimum • Meaning growth is limited by the availability of any one necessary resource. • In the past environmental depletions have sometimes stimulated the adoptions of new modes of production. - Example, When hunters and gathers deplete their animals and plants they begin to adopt a mode of production based on the domestication of animals and plants • the shift from preindustrial to industrial and petrochemical forms of agriculture can also be seen as a response of depletions. - Example, Aquaculture is the raising of fish in nets and ponds to compensate for the depletion. Hunting and Horticulture Pastoralism Agriculture Agriculture Industrial Gathering with Plow with Irrigation Agriculture Example !Kung Matsigenka Turkana Northern China United India States Environment Desert with Tropical Arid Arid region Fertile plain Fertile land sparce forest; grasslands with irregular with with resources, gardens unsuitable monsoon perpetual intensified including relocated for rains growing mechanized water every 3 to 5 agriculture season production years and water holes Settlement Migratory Semi- Highly Sedentary Large Rural regions and live in sedentary mobile in villages with villages with exclusively temporary hamlets search of permanent access to devoted to camps food for gardens river farming livestock Population Low Low Low Increased High Only 3% of population population population population population workforce density density density density density are farmers Production Adequate Cultivation of Nomadic Intensive Intensive rice Mechanized wild root crops herding with rainfall cultivation; equipment vegetable supplemente trade cultivation of double powered by food and d by hunting agriculturalist grains; cropping; fossil fuel; meat for fishing, and s livestock domesticated used fertilizer small wild foods provides animals; and population traction and communal pesticide; milk water indirect resources labour and ditches exceeds direct labour. Land Use Communal Communal of Grazing land Half farmland Land owned Private and territory and land claimed owner of owned by by corporate water holes; through corporate kin wealthy households ownership of access individual group with farmers who with some land; used willingly use exchange hire other tenant for profit granted networks farmers to farmers throughout work land region • Hunting and gathering was the
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