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Introduction to Anthropology

ANT 2000, Fall 2007

M, W, & F, 10:00 – 10:50am, Bldg 15, Room 1304

Unit 3 Glossary
Subsistence Strategies
• Incipient Development - There are numerous location around the world
where agriculture/domesticates initially developed
• Adoption - Additionally, there are regions which adopted
domesticates/agricultural practices from other regions
• Cultivation: Is the propagation or assistance of desirable plants. This
often includes weeding, tending, watering, seed dispersal, etc. Cultivation
can be performed with/on non-domesticates
• Domesticate: A plant (or animal) that has undergone significant genetic
changes which often include (but are not limited to):
• An inability to reproduce without assistance
• Increasing edible proportion
• Increasing fragility to skeleton or seed
• Change in coats (seeds or animals)
• Agriculture: The cultivation of domesticates at some degree of intensity

• Prehistorically the most common strategy
• Low population densities & community sizes
• Generally nomadic
• Minimal trade & exchange with other groups
• Informal (achieved) leadership roles
• e.g. Eskimo, Kalahari !Kung San

• A form of Cultivation
• “Propagation of desirable plants…”
• May be growing domesticates or not
• Generally an un-intensive form of cultivation
• No complicated tools or machinery
• No pesticides/fertilizer, limited irrigation
• Small, infrequently planted fields
• Use fallow periods and slash-and-burn
• Greater residential stability than Hunter-Gatherers
• e.g. Yanomamö
• A More intensive form of cultivation
• Most often the cultivation of domesticates
• Use of pesticides/fertilizer, machinery
• Irrigation & terra-forming
• High labor demands
• Supports large, dense, sedentary communities
• Associated with considerable social complexity (hierarchy)
• Trade & exchange are very important
• Divisions of labor and craft specialist
• e.g. Illinois

• Herders who raise domesticated animals
• Nomadic to semi-nomadic lifestyle
• Some social hierarchy…Part- to Full-time leadership roles
• Low density, small communities
• Limited division of labor…trade is very important
• e.g. Lapps, Navajo
Social Complexity

• Inequality & Heterogeneity

• Status distinctions (vertical social inequality)
• Access to material goods
• Access to knowledge
• Access to decision making
• Divisions of Labor (horizontal diversity)

• Commonly cited characteristics of States include:

• Well defined territorial
• Higher population sizes & densities
• Concentration of power & authority in a small number of people
• Authority is often established through coercion, not consensus
• Separation of secular and religious authority/structure
• Expanded social hierarchy & stratification
• Discrete and extensive division of labor
• Monumental building & public works
• Food surpluses
• Urbanization
• Formal government & bureaucracy
• Record keeping or written language
Economic Systems

Economy: system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources or

Economics: the study of economies
• Economists study the economies of developed or developing nations
• Economic Anthropologists study the economic systems of non-industrial
societies in a comparative way

Means of Production
• The materials and energy necessary for production
• Includes:
• Raw materials
• Labor
• Technology
• Knowledge & Information

Modes of Production
• The way production is organized within an economy
• Includes:
• Social relations between laborers and bosses, producers and
• The role of wages, social obligations, etc. in procuring labor

Various Modes of Production

• Household Production: Production of goods (or services) by the household
members for consumption by the household
• Household Industry: Production of goods for exchange or sale to
individuals outside the household. Production is part-time and secondary
to primary subsistence activities
• Individual Workshop: Sporadic production of goods for a market by an
individual for whom the production is the primary economic activity
• Nucleated Workshops: Clusters of Individual workshops associated with
larger markets, more available labor, and longer periods of production
Trade & Exchange

• Exchange involves the transfer of goods or services from one individual or

group of individuals to another
• Redistribution: Movement of goods into a regional center or into the
control of a central authority, and then back to the local or individual level
• Reciprocity: Exchange of goods or services without using money
• Various forms
• Generalized: Giving to closely related people without specific
expectations for return
• Balanced: Exchanges between more distantly related people
with an expectation of an equal return at some future point

Sex & Gender

• Sex is the biologically defined role a person plays in reproduction of the

• Gender is the socially or culturally defined role a person plays in society
• Sexual Orientation is the sexual attraction of and to any one person to
persons of the same or opposite sex.
• Sexual Orientation can be classified as one of the following:
• Heterosexual: attraction to members of the opposite sex/gender
• Homosexual: attraction to members of the same sex/gender
• Bisexual: attraction to members of both sex/gender groups
• Asexual: lack of attraction to or interest in any sex/gender
Marriage & Family

• Some common traditional marriage practices

• Bridewealth: a gift of money or goods from the husband & his kin to
the bride & her kin
• Bride service: work performed by the husband for the bride’s family
• Dowry: a gift of money or goods from the wife & her kin to the
groom & his kin
• Pre-nuptial Agreement
• Whom to marry?
• Incest Taboo: A Cultural prohibition against marriage or sexual
relations between certain categories of people
• e.g., brother-sister
• Mother-son & father-daughter (Oedipus Rex)
• Exogamy: Choosing marriage partners only from outside one’s
• Endogamy: Choosing marriage partners only from within one’s
• What to do with your brother- or sister-in-law?
• Levirate: A man is obliged to marry his brother’s widow
• Sororate: A woman is obliged to marry her sisters widower

• Post-Marital Residence
• Patrilocal: Residence with the husband’s family
• Matrilocal: Residence with the wife’s family
• Bilocal: Spending partial residence time with both families
• Avunculocal: Residence with an uncle’s family
• Neolocal: Establishment of a new residence
Religion & Ritual

Basic Types of Religion

• Polytheistic: Religions that conceptualize multiple divine beings
• Monotheistic: Religions that conceptualize only one divine being
• Animism: A belief that souls or spirits inhabit both living and non-living
• Revitalizationist Movements: New religious forms that develop during
periods of extreme change or traumatic cultural contact

Two Parts of Religion

• Cosmology: A conception of what the Universe (or Life) is and how it is
• Cosmogony: An explanation for how the Cosmos became what it is
• Myths: A chronicle of divine individuals or forbearers
• Sacred & Profane (Space & Action)
• Moral Proscriptions (Taboos)

• Prayer
• Preaching (Exhortation)
• Feasts & Sacraments
• Sacrifice
• Congregation
• Symbolism
• Healing
• Ritual: Relatively unchanging sequences of actions that form a
connection between the sacred & profane

Religious Specialists

• Priests
• Often a learned or inherited, full-time role
• Perform relatively invariant, calendrical rituals
• Follows a liturgy – an proscribed sequence
• Shaman
• A part-time role based upon a special relationship with the
• Performs more variable, personalize life-crisis rites
• Utilizes trance-like states, to connect with supernatural
• Other specialist types exist:
• Diviner or fortune-teller
• Healer
• Witch

Revitalization Movements:
• Social & religious movements (often during periods of cultural change)
that seek to alter or renew or refresh a society
• Such movements may harken back to traditional mores or perceived
“golden” periods
• Sometimes referred to as Cargo Cults, Messianic Movements, Nativistic or
Millenarian Cults
• Syncretism: Combined aspects of one or more culture and religion into a
new fusion
• Examples:
• Seneca (Iroquois) Handsome Lake Religion
• Melanesian Cargo Cults
• Plains Indians Ghost Dance
• Peyote Cult of the American West (NAC)
• Raelian Movement (Alien & Cloning)


• Some common characteristics of rituals:

• Events that are set apart from regular life
• Participants/observers are encouraged to focus upon ritual acts
• Have a formalized or stereotyped routine
• Communicate values, ideas, and beliefs to groups of people
• Often bridge the sacred and profane worlds
• Imbue the profane world with supernatural power

• Rites of Passage: Ceremonies that accompany and facilitate important

• Naming ceremonies
• Funerals
• Marriages
Globalization & Colonialism

• Colonialism: Political, social, economic, or military domination of a territory

and its people by a foreign power
• Acculturation: Exchange of cultural traits between two (or more) cultures in
• Globalization: Increasing economic and political interdependence of
nations and peoples across the globe

• Core-Periphery
• Core (1st World Countries)
• Industrial, dominate banking & military power, high level of
• U.S. & Western Europe, Japan
• Semi-periphery (2nd World Countries)
• Some industry, less power & wealth
• China, Mexico, Brazil, Russia
• Periphery (3rd World Countries)
• Limited industrialization and financial means, dependent on
human labor, agricultural
• Bolivia, Zaire, Bangladesh