Stephanie Oliveira 1
Chapter 5: Making a living
Yehudi Cohen coined the term, adaptive strategy to describe a society’s
system of economic production.
He developed a typology of societies based on correlations between their
economies and their social features.
5 adaptive strategies:
The foraging way of life survived into modern times in certain forests,
deserts, islands, and cold areas.
All modern foragers live in nation-states and depend to some extent
on government assistance.
They are in contact with food producing neighbours as well as with
missionaries and other outsiders.
Some of the best-known foragers are the aborigines of Australia. They
lived on their island continent for more than 60,000 years without
developing food production.
Costal foragers lived near the southern tip of South America, in
The band- small group of fewer than a hundred people, all related by
kinship and marriage.
People could join a band to which they had kin or marital status links.
Men typically hunt and fish while women gather and collect.
Horticulture- cultivation that makes intensive use of none of the
factors of production. They use simple tools to grow their crops.
Slash and burn techniques- clear land by cutting down (slashing)
and burning forest or bush.
Because the relationship between people and land is not permanent,
horticulture is also called shifting cultivation.
Agriculture uses land and intensively and continuously.
Many agriculturists use animals as means of production.
They attach animals to plow’s and harrows for field preparation
before planting or transplanting.
Also manure from their animals.
Agriculturists can schedule their planting in advance because they
The Ifugao mastered terracing. Their homeland has small valleys
separated by steep hillsides. The Ifugao’s cut into the hillside and
build stage after stage of terraced fields rising about the valley floor to
prevent water to wash everything away during the rainy seasons.
Agriculture requires human labour to build and maintain irrigation
systems, terraces and other workers. An agricultural field does not necessarily produce a higher single year
yield than a horticultural plot.
The range of environments available for food production has widened
as people have increased their control over nature.
Because of their permanent fields, agriculturalists are sedentary.
Agriculturists attempt to reduce risk in production by favouring
stability in the form of a reliable annual harvest and long term
Pastoralism- people whose activities focus on domestication of
They consume their meat, blood and milk, from which they make
yogurt, butter and cheese. They rely on their herds.
Pastoralism was confined almost totally to the Old World. Two
patterns of movement occur with pastorialism:
o Pastoral nomadism- the entire group moves with the animals
throughout the year.
o Pastoral transhumance- part of the group moves with the
herds, but most people stay in the home village.
5. Industrial societies.
In nonindustrial societies, the relationship between the worker and
the means of production is more intimate than it is in industrial
Means, or factors of production include land, labour and technology.
Right to the means of production come through kinship and marriage.
Descent groups (groups whose members claim common ancestry)
are common among nonindustrial food producers.
In nonindustrial societies, access to both land and labor comes
through social links such as kinship, marriange and descent.
Nonindustrial societies contrast with industrial societies regarding
another means of production—technology.
In nonindustrial societies, peoplelive with the same people they work
for. In industrial societies, workers sell their labours to bosses.
Industrial societies usuall don’t work with family and friends.
They have impersonal relations with their employees coworkers, and
Aihwa Ong- studied electronics assembly workers in an area where
85% of the workers were young unmarried femailes from nearby
villages. Ong found that female factory workers had to