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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - Society.docx

15 Pages

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Chapter 4 Society (def) Society refers to people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture 4 important sociologists and their approaches to society: 1. Gerhard and Jean Lenski Describes how societies have changed over 10,000 Importance of technology in shaping society 2. Karl Marx Historical view probing the roots of social conflict Social conflict with respect to owners / workers in production of material goods 3. Max Weber Showing that the POWER of IDEAS shapes society Contrasted traditional thinking of simple societies with rational thought that dominates complex societies 4. Emile Durkheim Different ways that traditional and modern societies hang together 1. Gerhard and Jean Lenski: Society and Technology (def) socio-cultural evolution changes that occur as society gains new technology societies with SIMPLEST TECHNOLOGY - supports small # of people - live the life similar to their ancestors societies with COMPLEX TECHNOLOGY - supports hundreds of millions of people - society changes rapidly - people experience many social changes during their lives inventing / adopting new technology sends ripples of change throughout society - when ancestors used sale boats it expanded their economy and increased military power the more technology the faster society changes 5 types of societies: 1. Hunter / Gatherer Societies Simplest of all societies (def) the use of simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegetation a few societies remain: - Aka and Baka of Central Africa - Basarwa (or San) of Botswana - Batek and Semai of Malaysia - Many Aboriginals in Canada & Austrailia (but no longer solely rely on it for food) Page 1 Chapter 4 Have little ability to control their environment so spend most time looking for game and collecting plans to eat Takes a lot of land to support few people so h/g stay together in groups of only a few dozen members They are nomadic follow migrating animals Rarely form permanent settlements h/g families must: - distribute food - protect members - teach children h/g spend most of their time getting their next meal Age / Gender: - Healthy adults do most of the work - Very young / very old help as they can - Women gather vegetation, fish, mammals, birds - Men hunt large game - h/g see both sexes as having the same socio-economic importance has a shaman / spiritual leader high prestige but still has to work for food h/g groups everyone is socially equal Tools: - Spear - Bow and arrow - Bone or stone knife - Rarely used as weapons of war H/G Enemies: - Forces of nature: Storms / droughts kill off food supply Little they can do if someone is ill or has accident Everyone co-operates and shares to raise everyones chance of survival Many die in childhood No more than reach age 20 Societies with powerful technology used h/g lands for other purposes and reduced the h/g food supply Study of H/G give us valuable info about human history & ties to the natural world Religion: believe that many spirits inhabit the world 2. Horticultural and Pastoral Societies (def) Horticulture the use of hand tools to raise crops Tools caused societal change: - using tools to plant allowed people to give up gathering in favor of growing their own good not all gave up gathering for horticulture: Page 2 Chapter 4 - h/g living where food was plentiful saw no need - people living in dry regions couldnt grow much so didnt change their ways Religion: one God as creator Women provide most of the food, which gives them socio-economic importance - (def) Pastoralism the domestication of animals - those in dry regions more likely to adopt pastoralism - pastoralists remained nomadic leading heards to fresh lands - Religion: God is directly involved in the well-being of the entire world Christianity, islam and Judaism all began as pastorial societies of the middle east horticulture and pastoralism - found in south America, Africa, asia - growing plants / animals increased food production populations increased in one location - more socially diverse than h/g - does not necessarily make society better: families that produce more get richer & more powerful greater inequality elites use government power and military force to serve their own interests - leaders do not have the ability to communicate / travel over large distances so they control only a small number of people as oppose to vast empires horticulturists formed settlements moved only when soil gave out - these settlements formed societies with populations into the thousands material surplus: - more resources than a society needs - not everyone has to work to provide food - creates specialization people: do crafts engage in trade cut hair apply tattoos serve as priests Does not necessarily make society better: - Families that produce more get richer & more powerful Page 3
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