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Kottak Chapter 1: What is

Human Diversity
Anthropology: The exploration of human diversity in time and space.
Interested in the diversity that comes from human adaptability.
Humans are among the worlds most adaptable animals.
Anthropology: the study of the human species and its immediate ancestors.
It is a holistic science, referring to the study of the whole of the human
condition; past, present and future; biology, society, language and culture.
A comparative field that examines all societies.
Cultures: traiditoins and customs, transmitted through learning, that form and
guide the beliefs and behavior of the people exposed to them.
Children learn traditions by growing up in a particular society.
A culture produces a degree of consistency in behavior and thought among the
people who live in a particular society.
The most critical element of cultural traditions is their transmission through
learning rather than biological inheritance.
Culture rests on certain features of human biology.

Adaptation, Variation and Change

Adaptation: the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces
and stresses, such as those posed by climate topography or terrains, landforms.
Humans have biological and cultural means of adaptation.
Mountainous terrains, challenging.
Eg. High altitudes. Can adapt through genetic, long-term physiological, and
short-term physiological adaptations.
In Tibet, the Andes, and other places.
Regardless of genes, people who grow up at a high altitude become
physiologically more efficient there than genetically similar people who have
grown up at sea level.
Some athletes use techniques used by indigenous societies.
It only took a few thousand years for food production (the cultivation of plants
and domestication of animals), which originated 12,000 10,000 years ago.
Spread of industrial production has profoundly affected human life.
General Anthropology: Four main subdisciplines sociocultural,
archaeological, biological and linguistic.
Origin of American anthropology can be traced back to the 19th century,
collecting information about the native peoples of North America. Where did
they come from, how many waves of migration brought them to the New
Logical reasons for the unity of American anthropology. Each subfield
considers variation in time and space. The subdisciplines influence each other
as anthropolgocists talk to each other etc.

Cultural forces shape human biology

Biocultural: the inclusion and combination of both biological and cultural
perspectives and approaches to comment on or solve a particular issue or
Culture is a key environmental force in determining how human bodies grow
and develop.
Cultural traditions promote certain activities like sports in American girls but
not Brazilian.
Countries like the Netherlands, Australia, Germany and more promote female

The subdisciplines of anthropology

Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology: the study of human societies and culture, the sbufield
that describes, analysies and explains social and cultural similarities and
Ethnography: provides an account of a particular community, society or
Gathers data on the customs, daily life etc. of a group of people.
Usually anthrpologists studied groups that were relatively poor and powerless.
Cultures are not isolated and can be changed.
There was always contact between neighboring tribes. Villagers increasingly
participate in regional, national and global events.
Ethnology: examines, interprets, analyzes and compares the results of
ethnography, the data gathered in different societies. Ethnologists aim to
explain cultural differences and similarities. The scientific method.

Archaeological anthropology
Archaelogical anthropology: reconstructs, describes and interpets human
behavior and cultural patterns through amterial remains.
Find artifacts, remains, etc. Can answer questions about ancient economies.
Many examine paleo ecology, the study of interrelations among living things
and in an environment.
Interpret cultural transformations.
Learned about contemporary life by studying modern garbage.

Biological, or physical, anthropology

Focus on biological variation unites five special interests within biological
1. Human evolution.
2. Human genetics.
3. Human growth and development
4. Human biological plasticity.
5. The biology, evolution, behavior and social life of monkeys, apes
and other nonhuman primates.
Human genetics.
3. Human growth and development

4. Human biological plasticity.
5. The biology, evolution, behavior and social life of monkeys, apes
and other nonhuman primates.
Palientologist: scientist who studies fossils.
Also investigates the influence of environment on the body as it grows and
Eg. Nutrition, altitude, temperature, disease, as well as cultural factors
like what is considered attractive.
Primates are our closest relatives.

Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology: studies language in its social and cultural context,
across space and over time.
Changes in sound, grammar, and vocabulary between the same language in
different years.
Linguistic variation is also expressed in the bilinguialism of ethnic groups.

Anthropology and other academic fields

Anthropolgoy is a science: a systematic field of study or body of knowledge
that aims, through experiment, observation and deduction, to produce reliable
explanations of phenomena, with reference to the matieral and physical
Humanistic science.
Links to many different other fields.

Cultural anthropology and sociology

Traditional ethnographers studied small and nonliterate populations.
The anthropologist (during ethnography) closely observes, records and
engages in the daily life of another culture (fieldwork).

Anthropology and psychology

Malinowski and his research in the Trobriand islands were he had to stay.
Goes against Oedipus theory.

Applied Anthropology

American Anthropological Association.

Anthropology has two dimensions: 1) academic anthropology and 2) applied
Applied anthropology: application of anthropological data, perspectives,
theory and methods to identify, assess and solve contemporary social
More now work in these areas.
Cultural Resource Management: to decide what needs saving, and to preserve
significant information about the past when sites cannot be saved. Allowing
and managing destruction when places are not significant.

The scientific method

Ethnology: the comparative science that attempts to identify and explain

cultural differences and similarities, test hypotheses and build theory to
enhance our understanding of how social and cultural systems work.

Theories, associations and explanations

Theory: set of ideas forumalted to explain something.
Association: an observed relationship between two or more varibables, like the
length of a giraffes neck and the number of its offspring.
Longer necks have feeding advantage.
Hypotheses: suggested but as yet unverified.
Independent versus dependent variable.
Long postpartum sex taboo in particular societies in Africa, could be to
nourish the first born child better and give it a better chance of survival.
May underdevelop otherwise, and die from protein deficiency Kwashiorkor.

When multiple variables predict

Scientific method applies to any anthropological endeavor that formulates
research quiestions and gathers or uses systematic data to test hypotheses.
How has variable exposure to television affected Brazilians?
Gathered data from more than 1,000 Brazilians.
Age is sometimes an indirect measure of long-term tv effects.
Correlation between tv exposure and liberal views on sex-gender issues.
Correlation doesnt equal causation.

Kottak Chapter 2: Culture
What is culture?
Enculturation: the process by which a child learns his/her culture.

Culture is learned
Human capacity to use symbols.
Humans are social animals, human capacity to learn.
People create, remember and deal with ideas.
Culture is a set of control mechanisms.
Culture is also transmitted through observation. Children pay attention to
things that go on around them.
Al humans have culture.
Difference between individuals and populations, the general public is very similar
but individuals are different.

Culture is symbolic
Symbol: something verbal, or nonverbal, that stands for something else and is
related to a particular culture.
Culture some say originated when our ancestors acquired the ability to use
Our nearest relatives (primates) have rudimentary cultural abilityies.

Culture is shared
An attribute of not individuals but of individuals as members of groups.
Dont we learn our culture by observing, listening, taking and interacting with
many other people?
Values and beliefs transmitted by generations.

Culture and nature

Culture takes the natural biological urges we share with other animals and
teaches us to express them in particular ways.
Eg. We know that we can eat but our culture tells us when and where it is
Affects how we perceive the natural or human nature.

Culture is all-encompassing
Includes much more than refinement, taste, sophistication, education and
appreciation of the fine arts.
Everyone is cultured in some way.
Popular culture also exists, to do with fast food restaurants, house music, rock
music, and more. Involves a lot of different aspects. Eg. A rock star versus a
symphony conductor.

Culture is integrated

They are not haphazard collections of customs and beliefs. Cultures are
integrated, patterned systems.
If one part of the system changes, another part does too.
Attitudes and behavior regarding marriage, family and children have changed,
and this affects much more than just the home.
Cultures are integrated not simply by their dominant economic activities and
related social patterns but also by sets of values, ideas, symbols and judgments.
Core values: (key, basic or central values) which integrate each culture and
help distinguish it from others.

Culture can be adaptive and maladaptive

Humans have both biological and environmental ways of coping sith
environmental stresses.
Whats good for the individual isnt necessarily good for the group.
Sometimes the adaptive behavior that offers short-term benefits to particular
invidiuals may harm the nevoronment and threaten the groups long-term
Economic growth may benefit some people while it also depletes resources
needed for society at large or for future generations.
Cultural traints, patterns and the inventions also can be maladaptive,
threatening the groups continued existence.

Cultures evolutionary basis

Hominids: Chips and gorillas.
Hominins: term used for the group that leads to humans but not chips and
gorillas, and encompasses all the human species that have existed.
Many human traits reflect the fact that primate ancestors lived in trees. Eg.
opposable thumbs.
Depth perception importance.
Advantage for manipulating objects.
Memory and capacity for learning gives a big advantage.
Humans give birth to a single offspring.

What we share with other primates

Substantial gap between primate society and human culture.
Based on symbolic thought.
Studies of nonhuman primates reveal many similarities with humans, like the
ability to learn from experience and change behavior as a result.
Eg. Washing sweet potatoes (Japanese macaques) and getting termites out of
holes with sticks.
Adaptive advantage when the environment changes.
They can modify learned behavior and social patterns instead.
Humans use tools but so do many others.
1960, Jane Goodall observing chips and hunting behavior.
Sticky surface underneath bark of sticks and then attracting termites.
Chimps and orangutangs aim and throw objects.

Hunting was once thought to be only a human thing but soon they realized it
was more than that.
Evidence suggests humans hunted at least 2.6 million years ago.

How we differ from other primates

Chimps tend to share meat from a hunt, but apes and monkeys tend to fee
dthemselves individually.
Until fairly recently (12,000-10,000 years ago) humans were hunter-gatherers
who lived in small social groups called bands.
Men and women bring resources back to the camp and share with them.
Share meat from a large animal, everyone is nourished.
Amount of information stored in human brains is far greater than in any other
primate group.
Humans mate for life, and all year round, but primates do not.
Marriage is a contrast, most cultures have rules requiring marriage outside
ones kin/social group (exogamy).
Humans maintain lifelong ties with sons and daughters.

Universality, generality and particularity

Certain biological, psychological, social and cultural features are universal,
found in every culture.
Others are mere generalities, common to several but not all human groups.
Other traits are particularities, unique to particular cultures.

Universal traits are what more or less distinguish Homo sapiens from other
Biolgoically based universals include a long period of infant dependency, year
round sexuality, and the complex brain that enables us to use symbols,
languages and tools.
Psychological universals involve how humans think, feel and process
Among social universals in groups include some kind of family. Culture
organizes social life and depends on social interactions for its expression and
Family living and food sharing are universals.
You also have incest taboos, but various cultures differ about which family members.
This is punished in different ways depending on the culture.
Exogamy: marriage outside ones social group/kin.
Exogamy has been cucial in human evolution.

Between universals and uniqueness is a middle ground that consists of cultural
Occur in different times and place sbut not in all cultures.
Societies can share the same beliefs and customs because of borrowing or
through inheritance from a common cultural ancestor.

Speaking English is a gernality shared by Australians and North Americans
because both originated from English settlers.
One is the nuclear family a kinship group consisting of aprents and children.
Viewed by many middle-class American families as natural. It is absent
though among the Nayars in India.
Husbands and wives do not live together.
Nuclear family is prominent in many of the technologically simple societies
that live by hunting and gathering.

Particularity: Patterns of culture

Cultural particularity: a trait or feature of culture that is not generalized or
widespread; rather , it is confined to a single place, culture or society.
Yet because of cultural borrowing which has accelerated through modern
transportation and communication systems, traits that wonce were lijmited in
their distribution have become morewidespread.
Traits are useful that have the capacity to please large audiences, and that
dont clash with the cultural values of potential adopters are more likely to be
borrowed than others.
Eg. food dishes, spreading McDonalds food outlets.
Many cultural traits are shared as cultural universals and as a result of
independent invention.
Facing similar problems, people in different regions of the world have often
come up with similar solutions.
At the level of the individual cultural trait or element (eg. MTV) particularities
may be getting rarer.
But at a higher level, particularity is more obvious.
Diffferent cultures emphasise different things.
Cultures are integrated and patterned differently and display tremendous variation and
When cultural traits are borrowed they are changed by the culture that adopts
them, like MTV or McDonalds.
Universal lifecycle events, like birth, puberty, marriage, parenthood, etc.
Similar but celebrated or treated differently (eg. lavish funeral or lavish
Culutlres vary tremendously in their beliefs, practices, integration and

Culture and the individual: Agency and practice

Generations of anthropologists have theorized about the relationship between
the system on the one hand, and the erpson or individual.
The system can refer to various concepts including culture, society, social
relations and social structure.
Individuals are always part of the system.
Humans are also constrained to some extent by the rules of the system.
People use their culture actively and creatively rather than blindly following its
Humans arent passive beings who are doomed to follow their cultural
traiditions like programmed robots.

Instead culture is something fluid that can change.
Culture is contested, different groups in society struggle with one another over
whose ideas, values, goals and beliefs will prevail.
Even common symbols may have very different meanings to individuals and
groups in the same culture.
People dont always do what their culture expects or directs.
Ideal culture: what people say the should do and what they say they do.
Real culture: actual behavior as observed by the anthropologist.
Culture is both public and individual, both in the world and in peoples minds.
Collective and individual thoughts, feelings and actions are of interest.
Culture binds people from a common past.
Practice theory: recognizes that individuals within a society or culture have
diverse motives and intentions and different degrees of peower and influence.
Contrasts associated with gender, age, ethnicity, class and social variables.
Practice theory focuses on how such varied individuals manage to influence,
create and translform the world they live in.
Appropriately recognizes a reciprocal reation between culture and the
Recognizes both constratits on individuals and the flexibility and changeability
of culture and social systems.

Levels of culture
National culture: beliefs, learned behavior patterns, values and insititutions
that are shared by citizens of he same nation.
International culture: cultural traditions that extend beyond and across
national boundaries.
Because culture isttransmitted through learning rather than genetically,
cultural traints can be spread through borrowing or diffusion from one group
to another.
Because of borrowing, colonialism, migration and multinational organizations,
many cultural traits and patterns have international scope.
Cultures can also be smaller than nations, because although people who live in
the same country share a snational cultural tradition, all cultures also cntain
Subcultures! Are the different symbol based patterns and traditions associated
with particular groups in the same complex society.
Nations contain many different culturally defined groups.

Ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, and human rights

Ethnocentrism: The tendency to view ones own culture as superior and to use
ones own standards and values in judging outsiders.
When you think your own cultural beliefs are truer, more proper or more
What is alien to us may be normal, proper or moral elsewhere.
How far is too far? What happens when cultural practices, values and rights
come into conflict with human rights?
Eg. Female circumsision in Ethiopia.

Cultural relativism: says it is inappropriate to use outside standards to judge
behavior in a given society; such behavior should be evalueated in the context
of the culture in which it occurs.
Ask: What motivates them? Why do they do it?
Different people in the same group can have different ideas about what is
necessary and moral. Age groups may differ for instance.
Human rights: rights based on justice and morality beyond and superior to
particular cultures, countries and religions.
Inalienable: nations cannot abridge or terminate them.
Cultural rights: rights vested in religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous
These include a groups ability to raise its children in the way they want to, to
continue its language, and not to e deprived of its economic base by the nation
in which it is located.
Intelectual property rights (IPR): an indigenous groups collective knowledge
and its applications.
But what do you do about cultural rights that interfere with human rights?

Mechanisms of cultural change

Diffusion: Borrowing of traits between cultures.
Cultures are never truly isolated.
Contact between neighboring groups has always existed.
Diffusion is direct when groups or cultures trade or marry together, and forced
when one culture subjugates their own cultural values and imposes its customs
on someone elses (dominating).
Acculturation: the exchange of cultural features that results when groups have
continuous firsthand contact.
The culrtures of either group or both groups may be changed by this contact.
Parts of culture change but each group remains distinct.
Belnds of foods, recipes, music, dances, clothing, tools etc.
Eg. Example is pidgin English used in Papua New Guinea.
Independent invetion: the proves by which humans innovate, creatively
finding solutions to problems. Comparable problems? Similar solutions!
Major inveitions trigger a series of major changes afterwards.

Globalization: encompasses a series of processes, including diffusion and
acculturation, working to promote change in a world in which nations and
people are inceasingly interlinked and mutually dpendent.
Eg. international commerce, travel and tourism, transnational
migration, the media, and various high-tech information flows.
Long distance communication is easier, fast erna dchaper than ever and
extend sto remote areas.
Similar lifestyles, servieces, rights and institutions.
Media plays various social roles and changes behavior and identity.
Local people must increasingly cope with forces genratied by progressively
larger systems region, nation and world.

Tourism is the worlds number one industry.
Indigenous peoples have devised various strategies to deal with threats to their
autonomy, identity and livelihood.

Kottak Chapter 13: Methods in
Cultural Anthropology
Ethnography and anthropologys distinctive strategy
Anthropology developed into a separate field as early scholars worked on
Indian reservations and traveled to distant lands to study small groups of
foragers and cultivators.
Ethnography emerged as a research strategy in societies with greater cultural
uniformity and less social differentiation than are found in large, modern and
industrial nations.
Ethnographers draw on varied techniquest o piece together a picture of
otherwise alien life.

Ethnographic techniques
Characteristics of field techniques of the ethnographer include the following:
1. Direct, firsthand observation of behavior, including participant
2. Conversation with varying degrees of formality, from the daily
chitchat that helps maintain rapport and provides knowledge about what is
going on, to prolonged interviews (structured/unstructured)
3. The genealogical method.
4. Detailed work with key consultants or informants, about particular areas
of community life.
5. In-depth interviewing, often leading to the collection of life histories of
particular people.
6. Dicovery of local (native) beliefs and perceptions, which may be
compared with the ethnographers own observations and conclusions.
7. Problem-oriented research of many sorts.
8. Longitudinal research the continuous long-term study of an area
or site.
9. Team research-coordinated research coordinated by multiple

Observation and participant observation

Must pay attention to hundreds of details of daily life, seasonal events and
unusual happenings.
Record what they see and when they see it.
Appreciate diversity.
Diary of recordings, fieldnotes. Smells, noises or other impressions.
Features of culture are so fundamental the native takes them for granted.
Unaccustomed eye of the fledgling ethnographer will not pick some stuff up.
Ethnographers strive to establish rapport, a good, friendly working relationship
based on personal contact, with their hosts.
But of course we cant be totally impartial!
Arembepe, Brazil example of the writer who became a godfather of one of the
newborn girls.

Conversation, interviewing and interview schedules
Participating in local life means that ethnographers constantly talk to people
and ask questions.
Local language knowledge increases, they understand more.
Naming phase, then learning phrases, then communicating.
Interview schedule, entering many households and interviewing them. Many
of the Brazilians felt it was nice that the ethnographer seemed to show so
much interest in their life.
Interview schedule: ethnographer talks face-to-face with people, asks the
questions, and writes down the answers.
Questionnaire procedures tend to be more indirect and impersonal.
The interview schedule directed but did not confine the researchers.

The genealogical method

The genealogical method: a well-established ethnographic technique.
Early ethnographers developed notation and symbols to deal with kinship,
descent and marriage.
Geneaology is the prominent building block in the social organization of
nonindustrial societies, where people live and work each day with their close
Anthropologists collect genealogical data to understand currenct social
relations and reconstruct history.
Kin links are often the basics to social life.
Marriage is also crucial in organizing nonindustrial societies because strategic
marriages between villages, tribes and clans create political alliances.

Key cultural consultants

key informants!
Key cultural consultants are that one person in a particular culture who is very
open and able to provide you with lots of information.
Every community has people who by accident, experience, talent or training
can provide the most complete or useful information about particular aspects
of life.
Eg. Tuesdays father and the kin line because he survived the outbreak of
influenza and was able to tell him more about the lineage.

Life histories
Often when we find someone unusually interesting, we collect his or her life
history. This recollection of a lifetime of experiences provides a more intimate
and personal cultural portrait than would be possible otherwise.
May be recorded or videotaped etc.
Many ethnographers include a selection of life stories at the end as part of
their research strategy.

Local beliefs and perceptions, and the ethnographers

One goal of ethnogaraphy is to discover local (native) views, beliefs and
perceptions, which may be compared with the ethnographers own obserations
and conclusions.
Ethnographers typically combine two research strategies: emic and etic.
Emic: this approach investigates how local people think. How do they pereive
and categorize the world? What are their rules for ehavior? What has meaning
for them?
Etic: approach shifts the focus from local observations, categories, explanations
and interpretations to those of the anthropologist. Realizeds that members of a
culture often are too involved in what they are doing to interpret their
cultures impartiality.
Cultural consultant: informant, refers to individuals the ethnographer gets to
know in the field, the people who teach him or her about their culture, who
provide the emic perspective.
The ethnographer, operating eticaly, emphasizes what he or she considers
Ethnographers usually combine emic and etic strategies in their field work.
The statements, perceptions, categories and opinions of local people help
ethnographers understand how cultures work.
People often fail to admit or even recognize certain causes and consequences
of their behavior.

Problem-oriented ethnography
Impossible to study everything
Most ethnographers enter the field with a specific problem to investigate.
Collect data and can focus their research to make it more comprehensible and
with a goal.
Sometimes local consultants are as mystified as we are by the exercise of power
from regional, national and international centers.

Longitudinal research
Longitudinal research: is the long-term study of a community, region, society
culture or other unit, usually based on repeated visits.
Coming back after a number of years.

Team research
Working together and looking at different aspects of a particular culture.
Having people come back later to build on the research of previous

Culture, space and scale

Traditional ethnographic research focused on a single community or culture
which was treated as isolated and unique in time and space.
We now realize that cultures are interconnectioed, there is an ongoing influx
of people, flow, through technology etc.
Field work must in todays world be of a much larger scale.
Also important is increased recognition of power differentials and how they
affect cultures, and of the importance of diversities within culture and societies.

Anthropology: a scientific basis for dealing with the curical dilemma of the
world today: how peoples of different appearnce, mutually unintelligible
alnguages and dissimilar ways of life get alongpeacably together.
Problems trying to locate cultures in bounded spaces.
Mass media means that people now simultaneously experience the local and
the global.
Mass media, which anthropoloists often study, are oddities in terms of culture
and space. Whose opinions are they?

Survey research
Survey research: ivnovles sampling, impersonal data collection and statistical
Uses a sample!
Random sample: all members of the population have an equal chance of being
chosen for inclusion.
Survey researchers call the people they research respondents.
Variables: attributes that vary among members of a sample or population.
Many more variables affect social identities, experiences and activities in a
modern nation than the small communities where ethnography grew up.
Complex societies: large and populous societies with social stratification and
central governments.
In a complex society, many predictor variables (social indicators) influence
behavior and opinions.
Even in rural field work, more anthropologists now draw samples, gather
quantitative data and use statistics sto interpret them.
In the best studies though, anthropologists entre the community and get to
tknow the people.
PArticpate in local activities, networks and assocaiitons in the city, town or
Emphasis on personal relationships.

Theory in anthropology over time

Tylor and Morgan.
Key works in cultural evlolution.
Morgans unilinear evolutionism. Assumed there was one line or patht rhough
which all societies had to evolve.
Morgan assumed that human society had evolved through a series of stages,
which he called savagery, barbarism and civilization.
Savagery and barbarism were subdivided into three substages each: lower,
middle and upper.
Earliest humans apparently lived in lowest savagery.
Lower barbarism included humans making pottery.
Iron smelting, use of iron tools ushered upper barbarism.
Civilization was with writing.
Some had not advanced beyond upper savagery, others made it to middle
barbarism, others made it to civilization.

Criticism of the words barbarism and savagery and the whole idea because
it would mean that Hawaii never achieved civilization during his time.
Tylor also proposed a linear path, from animism to polytheism, then
monotheism, and then science.
He thought religion would retreat as science provided more and more
The League of Iriquois, the first ethnography!

The boasians
Four field anthropology
Boas is the father of the American four-field anthropology.
Collection of essays.
Contributed to many areas of anthropology.
Studied European immigrants to the United States and revealed and
measured phenotypical plasciticy. The children of immigrants differend in
physical traits form their parents not beucase of genetic hange but because
they had grown up in a different environment.
Boas showed that human biology was plastic. It could be changed by the
environment, including cultural forces.
Boas and his students worked hard to demonstrate that biology did not
determine culture. Including race.
Could be cahgned by environment, including cultural forces.
Four subfields initially formed around Native Americans being studied.

Historical particularism
Boas had many followers.
Disputed the idea of an evolutionary path.
Position was of historical particularism: idea that histories are not comparable,
diverse paths can lead to the same cultural result.
Things like totem societies might be the same but are really different because
they have different histories.
Boasian historical particularism rejected what scholars called the comparative
method, which was assicated not only with morgan and tylor but with any
anthropolgist intereste in cross cultural comparison.
Cross cultural comparison is alive in todays anthropology!

Independent intervention versus diffusion

Cultural generalities are shared by some but not all societies.
Evolutionists had to stress independent invention: eventually people in many
areas had come up with the same cultural soclution to the common problems.
Eg. Agriculture was invented several times.
Boasians stressed the importance of diffusion, or borrowing from other
For the Boasians, historical particularism and diffusion were complementary.
Historical particularism was based on the idea that each element of culture
such as the culture trait or trait complex, had its own distinctive history and
hat social forms that might look similar were far from identical because of their
different histories.

Historical particuarism rejected generalization in favor of an indivudating
historical approach.


Associated with Malinowski and Raddcliffe-Brown.
Malinowski: studied the Trobriand islanders for an extensive amount of time.
Father of ethnography!
Believed that all customs and institutions in society were integrated and
interrelated, so that if one changed, others would change as well.
Each was a function of each other.
He felt that an ethnography could start anywhere and eventually get to the rest
of the culture.
Needs functionalism: believed that humans had a set of universal biological needs,
and that customs developed to fulfill those needs. The function of any practice
was the role it played in satisfying those universal biological needs, such as the
need for food, sex and shelter etc.

Conjectural history
Radcliffe-Brown felt that social anthropology could never hope to discover the
histories of people without writing.
Urged social anthropologists to focus on the role that particular pracicces play
in the life of societies today.
Synchronic science (studying societes one at at ime) rather than diachronic
(studying multiple societies across time.

Structural functionalism
Associated with Radcliffe-Brown and Evans-Pritchard.
The Nuer!
Nuer society in Sudan.
Radcliffe-Brown felt that the function of any practice is what it does to maintain
the system of which it is part. That system has a structure whose parts work or
function to maintain the whole.
He saw social systems as comparable to anatomical and phsyiolgocal systems.
Customs, practices, socal roles and behavior function to keep the social system
running smoothly.

Dr. Pangloss versus Conflict

A character in Voltaires Candide, fond of proclaiming the best of all possible
Means a tendency to see things a s functioning not tjsut to maintain the system
but to do so in the most optimal way possible, so that any deviation from the
norm would only damage the system.

Functionalism persists

A form of funciotnalims persists in the widely accepted view that there are
social and cultural systems and that their elements are functionally related so
that they covary: when one changes, others also change.
Some elements are more important than other ones.
For instance increasing cash employment of women has led to changes in the

Two of Boas students Benedict and Mead!
Configurationalism: related to functionalism in the sense that culture is seen as
Traits might not spread if they met environmental barriers, or if they were not
accepted by a particular culture.
There had to be a fit between the culture and the trait diffusing in, and
borrowed traits would be reworked to fit the culture adopting htem.
Mead found patterns in the cultures she studied, icnlduing Samoa, Bali and
Papua New Guinea.
Mead was interested in how cultures varied in their patterns of enculturation.
Stressed plasticity of human nature, saw culture as a powerful force that
cerated almost endless possibilities.
Coming of Age in Samoa book.
Travelled to Samoa to study adolecense to compare it to the same period in
the USA.
Then studied New Guinea.

White claimed to be coming back to the concept of cutlral evolution used by
Tylor and Morgan, but now inormed by a century of archaelogical discoveries
and much larger ethnographic record.
Whites approach has been called general evolution, the idea that over time and
through the archaelogical historical and ethnographic records, we can see the
evolution of a culture as a whole.
Julian Steward proposed a different evolutionary model, called the multilinear
evolutionary model. Showed how cultures had evolved along several different
lines. He recognized different paths of statehood. Also a pioneer in cultural
ecology. (Relationship between culture and environment).
White and Steward were interested in causes.
Looked to technology and the envornment as the main cause of culture

Cultural materialism
Cultural materialism: idea that cultural infrasturucte determines structure and
Marvin Harris!
Multilayered models of determinism assocaitoed with White and Steward.
All societies, he said, had an finrastructure, corresponding to stewards culture
core, consistic of technology economics and demography.

Demography: the systems of production and reproduction without which
societies could not surivive.
Gorwing out of infrastructure was sturcutre: social relations, forms of kinship
and descent, patterns of distribution and consumption.
The third layer: superstructure including religion, ideology, play, aspects of
culture furthest away from the meat and bones that enable cultures to survive.
Felt that in final anlysis infrastuctre determines tructe and superstructure.
Weber and something about Protestantism.

Science and determinism

Haris insisted that antrhopolgoy is a sciene and that this science is based on
explanation, which uncovers relations of cause ansd effect.
The role of science is to discoer causes, find determinants.
Mead viewed anthroplogy as a humanistic sciene.
Mead was also a determinist but felt that human nature was more or less a
blank state on which culture could write almost any lesson.
Stressed role of culture rather than economy, environment or material factors.

Culture and the Individual

Cultural anthropology as a science.
Leslie White.
Cultural forces which rested on the unique human capacity for symbolic
though were so powerful that individuals made little difference.
The Great Man theory of history.
Cultural forces like the Rennaissance that produced great individuals.
Several times in human history, when culture was ready, people working
independently in different places have come up with the same revolutionary
idea or achievement.

The superorganic
Cultural real whose origin converted an ape into an early hominin.
Alfred Kroeber.
Kroeber felt that hordes of individuals were carried along helplessly by the
alternating trends of various times, swept up in the undulation of styles.

Emile Durkheim took a similar approach and called for a new social science ot
be based on what he called the conscience collectif.
New science would be the study of social facts.
Studying something larger than the individual.
Larger systems consisting of social positions (statuses, roles) and which
perpetuated across the generations thorugh enculturations.
Durkheim also wrote of the religion in Native Australia and readily of suicide
rates in modern societies.

Symbolic and interpretive anthropology

Victor Turner.

Interest in conflict and its resolution.
How symbols and rituals are used to redress, regulate, anticipate and avoid
Hierarchy of meanings of symbols, from their social meaings and functions to
their intenratlization within idivduals.
Turner recognized links between symbolic anthropology (study of symbols in
their social and cultural context) and other fields.
Interpretive anthropology: Geertz.
Study of culture as a sytem of meaning.
Defined culrue as ideas based on cultural learning and symbols.
During enculturation, individuals internalize a previously esptabilsehd system
of meanigs and symbols.
Approahces texts whose symbols can be interpreted differently depending on
time and context.
Cultures are texts which ethnographers constantly read and dcipher.

Blief that human minds have ertain universal characteristics which originate in
common features of Homo sapiens brain.
Lead people everywhere to think similarly regardless of their society or cultural
The need to classify: to impose order on aspects of nature, on peoples relation
to nature and onrelations between people.
Binary opposition: good, evil, black, white, etc.
Applied it to myths and folk tales.
More information on page 303 about this specifically.

Processual approaches
Refers to the actions that individuals take, both alone and in groups, in
forming and transforming cultural identities.

Practice theory
recognizes that individuals within a society or culture have diverse motives and
inteitnos and different dgrees of power and influence.
Can be associated with gender, age, ethnicity class and other social variables.
Focuses on how such varied individuals influence and translform the world
they live in.
Relationship between culture and the individual.
Culture shapes how individuals experience and respond to events.
Practice theory recognizes both constraits on individuals and the flexibility and
changeaboility of cultures and social systems.

Edmund Leach.
Focused on how individuals work to achieve power and how their actions can
transform society.

Took a regional, not local, perspective.
Focused on power and how individuals get and use it, and htus showed the
creative role of the individual in transforming culture.

World systems theory and political economy

Project emplified a post World War II turn of anthropology away from the
primitive and nonindustrial societies, assumed to be somewhat isolated and
authomnomous, to contemporary societes recognized as forged by colonialism
and participating fully in the modern world system.
Puerto Rico.
Sugar plantation.
World system and the spread of capitalism.
Political economy: the web of interrelated economic and power relations in
Periphery, core, semi periphery.

Culture, history, power

Transformative actions of indivduals and groups within colonized societies.
Gramsci developed the concept of hegemony for a stratified social order in which
subordinates comply with domination by internatlizing their rulers values and
accepting domination as natural.
Contemporary societies have devised various forms of social control in additon
to physical violence.
These inclue techniques of persuading, coercing and manging people and of
monitoring and recording their beliefs, behiavior, movements and contancts.

Anthropology today

Still strong four-field.

Theories that guide the subfields differ.
Ethnography has grown more specialized.
Cultural anthropologists head for a field with a specific problem in mind.
Anthropology has witnessed a crisis in representation, questions about the role
of the ethnographer and the nature of ethnographic authority. What right do
ethnographers have to represent a people or ulture to which they dont

Kottak Chapter 16: Making a
Adaptive strategies
The advent of food production (plant cultivation and animal domestication)
fueled major changes in human life, such as the formation of larger social and
political systems eventually states.
Pace of cultural transformation increased enormously.
Adaptive strategy: Used by anthropologist Yehudi Cohen to describe a groups
system of economic production.
Argued that the most important reason for similarities between two or more
unrelated societies is their possession of a similar adaptive strategy.
Typology included five adaptive strategies: foraging, horticulture, agriculture,
pastoralism, and industrialization.

Until 10,000 years ago, people everywhere were foragers, or hunter
Environmental differences did create substantial contrasts among the worlds
Some lived in Europe in the ice ages and were big-game hunters.
Then in warmer areas you increase the number of species.
People rely on available natural resources fo their subsistence, rather than
controlling the reproduction of plants and animals.
Control came when animals were domesticated and plants were cultivated for
the first time about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago in the Middle East.
Different crops.
In certain environments where you cannot cultivate year round (like the
desert) foraging has survived.
Doesnt make sense for them to change.
Have been exposed to the idea but havent andopted it.l
Less work.
Sometimes people reverted to foraging after trying it.
Foraging is diessappearing as a way of life.
Two outlines of broad belts of foraging are still evident: the Kalahari desert for
Madagascar and Malaysia has people who do some subsistence foraging.
Eskimos/Inuit were well-known foragers.
Coastal foragers in the tip of South America.
Hunter gatherer way of life did persist in some areas that could be cultivator,
even after contact with cultivatiors.

San: Then and now

Foraging survived in environments that posed major obstacles to food

San area is surrounded by a waterless belt.
The Dobe area is hard to reach even today and there is no archaelogical
evidence of occupation of this area by food producers before the 20th century.
Most of the San that are left live in poverty on societys fringest.
More and more foragers come under the control of nation-states and are
influced by forces of globalization.
The Basarwa, had their land in Botwsana converted to a reseve for wildlife
They got compensation and acces to certain services, but then made them
dependent on government handouts and aid.
Then in 2006 the high court ruled that the Basarwa had been wrongly evicted
from the game reserve.
Then they were allowed to return but then imposed conditions preventing
most of them from doing so.
189 people filed a lawsuit and would have automatic right of return with their
children, compared with about 2,000 Basarwa wishing to return.
The others would have to aply for special permits.
Water and shelter restrictions.
Those wishing to hunt would have to apply for a permit, stupid because this is
how they survive.

Correlates of foraging
Typologies suggest correlations, assocations or covation between two or more
Thought to be interrelated.
Correlations between economy and social life.
Corrleates of foraging?
Basic unit is the band.
Band: small group of fewer than 100 people, related by kinship or marriage.
Size varies among cultures and often from one season to the next.
Some had bands split up for part of the year.
Like the Nuer!
One typical characteristic of the foraging life is mobility. People shifted band
memberships several times in a lifetime.
Born in one that a mother has family, then more to one that has fathers
relatives, then you were able to join many more bands later that your
grandparents or something may have had ties with.
Also thorugh fictive kinship, like godparents and godchildren.
Human societies have tended to encourage a division of labor based on
Men hunted and fished, women gathered and collected.
Specific nature of the work depened on the culture.
All foragers have maintained social distcition based on age.
Younger people value elders special knowledge.


Horticulture: cultivation that makes intesive use of none of the factors of
production: land, labor, capital and machinery.
Simple tools such as hoes and digging sticks to grow their crops.
Fields are not permanently cultivated and lie fallow for varying lengths of time.
Often involves the slash and burn technique, where land is cleared by cutting
down and burning forest or bush or by setting fire to the grass covering a plot.
Vegetation is browken down, pests are killed, and the ashes remain in to
fertilize the soil.
Crops are then sown , tended and harvested. It is not in continuous use.
When they abandon a plot because of soil exhaustion or a thick weed cover,
they clear another piece of land, and the original plot converts back to forest.
After many years the cultivator returns to the original plot again.
Kuikuru and large houses taking a lot of time to build and would rather stay
further way from the water and fields.

Agriculture: cultivation that requires more labor than horticulture does,
because it sues land intensively and continuously.

Domesticated animals
Domesticated animals: As a means of production, for transport, as cultivating
machines, and for manure.
Attach to plows and harrows for field preparation before planting or

Agriculturalists can schedule their planting in advance, because they control
Irrigate their fields with canals from rivers, streams, springs and ponts.
Irrigation makes it possible to cultivate a plot year after year. Enriches the soil
because the irrigated field is a unique ecosystem with several species of plants
and animals, many of them minute organisms, whose wastes fertilize the land.
Capital investment.
Increases in value.

Rice fields!
Homeland with small valleys separated by steep hillsides.
People need to farm the hills because population is dense, but if they planted
on the hillside fertile plants and crops would be washed away during the rainy
Springs located above the terraces supply their irrigation water.

Costs and benefits of agriculture

Requires human labor to build and maintain irrigation systems, terrages and
other works.

People must feed, water, and care for their animals.
Lots of work.
Agricultures yield relative to the labor put into it is also lower.

The cultivation continuum

Cultivation continuum: At one end you have the horitculturalists with low
labor, shifting plot, and on the other agriculturalists with labor intensive and
permanent plot.
There are also inter mediate economies, combining features from both.
In Papua New Guinea, plots are cultivated for two or three years, allowed to
rest for three to five and then recultivated.
After several of these cycles, the plots are abandoned for a longer fallow
Sectoral fallowing.
The key difference is that horticulture always uses a fallow period whereas
agriculture does not.

Intensification: People and the environment

Range of environments for food production has widened as people have
increased their control over nature.
Have had demographic, social, political and environmental consequences.
Because of the permanent fields, intesive cultivators are sedentary.
People live in larger and more permanent communities located closer to toerhs
Growth in population size and density increases contact wbetween indviduals
and groups.
Intensive agriculture has environmental effects, as irrigation ditches become
repositories for organic wastes, chemicals, and diseased microorganisms.
Intensive agriculture typically spreads at the expense of trees, which are cut
down to be replaced by fields.
Loss of environmental diversity.
Because tropical horticulturalists typically cultivate dozens of plant species
simultaneaously, a horticultural plot tends to mirror the botanical diversity
that is found in a tropical forest.
Agricultural plots dont because they cut down trees and only concentrate on a
few staple foods.
In the tropics, the diets of both foragers and horituclturalists are typically more
diverse, although under less secure human control than the diet of
Favor stability in form of reliable annual harvest.
Problem that single staple crop may fail and lead to famine.
Foraging is associated with smaller populations.

Pastoralists: live in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and sub-
Saharan Africa.
Herders are people whose activities focus on such domsesticated animals as
cattle, sheep, goats, camels and yak.

Protect their animals and ensure their reproduction in return for food and
other products, like leather.
Provide dairy products, meat and blood.
Sometimes socities didnt eat but only rode their horses.
Horses were a means of production for certain Native Americans.
Pastoralists typically make direct use of their herds for food.
Consume their meat, blood and milk, from which they make animals yogurt,
butter and cheese.
Some rely on herds more completely than others do.
Pastoralism was confined almost totally to the Old World.
Two patterns of movement occur with pastoralism: nomadism and
Nomadism: the entire group women, men and children moves with the
aniamsl throughout the year.
Transhumance: part of the group homes with the herds, but most people stay
in the home village.
During the annual trek, pastoral nomads trade for crops and other products
with more sedentary people.

Modes of production
Mode of production: a way of organizing production- a set of social relations
through which labor is deployed to wrest energy from nature by means of
tools, skills, organization and knowledge.
Labor can either be bought or be seen in non-industrial societies as a social
Kin based mode of production.
Societies like this tend to have a similar mode of production.

Production of nonindustrial societies

Some kind of division of economic labor related to age and gender is a cultural
universal, however the specific task assigned to age/gender varies.
Men usually tend large animals, but in some cultures women do the milking.
Jobs accomplished through teamwork in some cultivating societes are done by
smaller groups or individuals working over a longer period of time in others.
Eg. Two stages of teamwork in rice planting of the Betsileo,
transplanting and harvesting in Madagascar. Divided depending on gender
and age.
All household members help to cultivate the rice.

Means of production
Include land, labor and technology.

Among foragers, ties between people and land were less permanent than
among food producers.
Boundaries were usually not well marked.
Depends on where you were born, raised, or married into that you have
different rights.

Among food production, rights to the means of production also come through
kinship and marriage.
As members of a descent group, pastoralists have access to animals to start
their own herds, to grazing land, to garden land, and to other means of

Labor, tools and specialization

Labor is a means of production.
Nonindustrial societies contrast with in industrial societies with one means of
production: technology. Manufacturing is usually linked to age and gender.
Some tribal societies do promote specailaization.
For example, the Yanomami have certain villagers making clay pots and
others making hammocks.
Everyone knows how to make pots but not everyone does so.

Alienation in industrial economies

Factory workers produce for sale rather than profit.
Alienation from the stuff they make, meaning they dont feel a pridde about
their products.
In industry people dont susually work with kin.
A case of industrial alienation
Malaysia was a very export oriented industry
Transnational companies installed labor intensive manufacturing operations in
rural Malaysisa.
Part of global strategy
In search of cheaper labor a lot of other companies decided to move labor
intensive factories to delveoping countries.
Young women from peasant families assemble microchips and electronics.
Female factory workers had to cope with a rigid work routine and constant
supervision by men.
The discipline thart factories value was being taught in local schoos, where
uniforms helped prefapare the factory dress code.
Village women wear loose clothing and sarongs, factory workers had to wear
tight things.
Assembling electronics componest requires precise, concentrated labor.
Demanding and depleting, separates intellectual and manual activity.
The bosses exhaust us very much, as if they do not think that we too are
human beings.
Factory work does not give them a lot of income.
Young women only work a few years.
One response has been spirit possession. (Factory workers are possessed by
Sometimes they get hysterical.
People think that first the women see the spirits and then they are invaded.
The women sometimes become violent and scream abuse, then the women
sob, laugh, or shriek in fits.

Then the factories employ local mdedicine men, who sacrifice chickens and
ogats to fend off the spriits.
Factory women continue to act as vehicles to express their own frustrations,
and the anger of avenging ghosts.
By enganging in this form of rebellion, factory women avoid a direct
confrontation with the source of their distress.
IT doesnt do much to modify factory conditions.

Economizing and maximization

Economic anthropologists have been concerned by two main questions:
1. How are production, distribution and consumption organized in
different societies? Systems of human behavior and their organization.
2. What motivates people in different cultures to produce, distribute or
exchange, and consume? Focus on the individual who participates in the system.
Antrhopologists view both economic systems and motivations in a cross-
cultural perspective.
Profit motive.
Economizing: the rational allocation of scarce means (or resources) to
alternative ends (or uses).
Classical economic theory assumes that our wants are infinite and our means
are limited.
Since means are limited, people must make choices about how to use ther
scarce resources: their tim,e labor, money and capital.
Subsistence fund: They have to work to eat in order to replace lost calories.
Certain economists in western cultures now recognize that they may be
motivated by many other goals.
Depending on the society or situation, people may try to maximize profit,
wealth, prestige, pleasure, comfort, or social harmony.

Alternative ends
To what use do people in various societies put their scarce resources?
Throughout the world, people devote a lot of their time to building a subsistence
Subsistence fund: they have to work to eat, to replace the calories they use in
daily activity.
People also invest in a replacement fund.
Replacement fund: They must maintain their technology and other items
essential to production.
If a hoe or plow breaks, they must repair or replace it.
They also have to replace items that are essential to production and everyday
life, like clothing and shelter.
Social fund: People also invest in this, where they have to help their friends,
relatives, in-laws and neighbors.
Ceremonial fund: expenditures on ceremonies and rituals.
Rent fund: Citicens of nonindustrial states also how to allocate their resources
to this. This refers to resources that people must render to an individual or
agency that is superior politically or economically.
Eg. Tenant farmers or sharecroppers.

Peasants: small scale agriculturalists who live in nonindustrial states and have
rent fund obligations.
They produce to feed themselves, to sell their produce, and to pay rent.
All peasants have two things in common:
1. They live in state-organized societies.
2. They produce food without the elaborate technology chemical
fertilizers, tractors, airplanes to spray crops, and so on- of modern farming
Peasants also have to satistfy government obligations, paying taxes in the orm
of money, produce, or labor.
Rent fund is not simply an additional obligation for peasants. Also becomes
their foremost and unavoidable duty.
Sometimes this means their own diets suffer.
The demans of paying rent may divert resources from subsistence,
replacement, social and ceremonial funds.
Motivations vary from society to society. People often lack freedom of choice
in allocating their resources.
Peasants, because of obgligations to pay rent, may allocate their scarce means
towards ends that are not their own but those of government officals.
Even in societies where there is a profit motive, people are often prevented
from rationally maximizing self-interest by factors beyond their control.

Distribution, exchange

Karl Polanyi (1968), defined three principles orienting exhcnages: the market
principle, redistribution and reciprocity.

1. The Market Principle

In todays economy this dominates.
Govenrs the distribution of the means of production: land, labor, natural
resources, technology and capital.
Items are bought and sold, using money, with an eye to maximizing profit.
Supply and demand. You want to get your moneys worth.

2. Redistribution
Operates when goods, services or their equivalent move from he local level to
a center.
This could be a capital, a regional collection point, or a storehouse near a
chiefs residence.
Products often move through a hierarchy of officials for storage at the center.
Along the way officials and their dependents may consume some of them, but
the principle is redistribution.
Flow of goods eventually reverses direction: out from the center, down thorugh
the hierarchy, and back to the common people.
Eg. Cherokee, owners of the Tennessee Valley.
Had chiefs, each village had a cental plaza, where the chiefs council
meeting took place, and redistributive feats were held.

Each family farm had an area where the familycould set aside a supply of corn
as its annual harvest to the Chief, which would be used to feed the needy, as
well as travelers and warriors journeying through friendly territory.
It belonged to the chief but it was for th needy.

3. Reciprocity
Exchange between social equals who are normally related by kinship,
marriage or another close personal tie.
Dominant in the more egalitarian societies, among foragers, cultivators and
Three degrees: generalized, balanced and negative.
Generalized reciprocity: purest form, is characteristic of exchanges between closely
related people.
Balanced reciprocity: social distance increases.
Negative: social distance is greates.

Generalized reciprocity:
Someone gives to antoehr person and expects nothing concrete or immediate
in return.
Expressions of personal relationships.
Most parents dont keep accounts of every penny they spend on their children,
they just hope that when they get older they will love and honor the elderly.
Foragers have routinely shared with other band members.
Most foragers lacked an expression for thank you.

Balanced reciprocity
Aplies to exchanges between people who are more distantly related than are
members of the same band or household.
In a horticultural society, for instance, a man presents a gift to someone in
another village.
The giver expects something in return.

Negative reciprocity
Dealing with people outside or on the fringest of their social systems.
Done with full distrcust.
Relationship is still tentative.
Often people want to get something back immediately, they try to give the best
possible return at that moment.

Back to the rest

Balanced reciprocity and generalized reciprocity are based on trust and a
social tie.
Negatinve reciprovcity involves the attempto t get something for as little as
possible, even if it means being cagey, deceitful or cheating.

Coexistence of exchange principles

Market principle in North America now governs most exchanges.
From the sale of the means of production to the same of consumer goods.

Exchanges of gifst, cards and invitations exepmplify reciprocity, usually
Everyone hears things like they invited us to their daughters wedding so when
ours gets married well have to invite them.

Fstive event within a regional exchange program among tribes of the North
Pacific Coast of North America.
Traditionally potlatch sponsors give away things, like food, blankets, pieces of
copper and other items. In return they get prestige. and to give a potlatch
enhances ones reputation.
They were foragers but had acess to a wide variety of land and sea resources.
Some think it is based on an irrational strive for prestige. Thinks its wasteful.
Ecological anthroplogy: is a theoretical school in anthroplogy that attemps to
interpret cultural practices, in terms of their long-term role in helping humans
adapt to their environment.
Others think that customs like postlatch are cultural adaptations to alternating
periods of local abundane and shortage.
In the North Pacicfic Coast, resources fluctuate from year to year and place to
place. One village can have a good year while another is experiencing a bad
one. Later their fortunes reverse. In this contex,t the potlatch cyle of the Salish
and other tribes has an adaptive value, and not a competive display.
This allows everyone to be prosperous and help each other in times of need.
Potlatiching linked villages together in a regional economy, an exchange
system that distributed food and ealth from wealthy to needy communities.
Potlatching also served to prevent the development of socioeconomic
stratification, a system of social classes.
Wealth relinquished or destroyed was converted into a nonmaterial item:

Kottak Chapter 17: Political

What is the political?

Political organization: comprises those portions of social organization that
specifically relate to the individuals or groups that manage the affairs of pulibc
policy or seek to control the appointment or activities of those inidivduals or
Sociopolitical organization.
Decision making, social control, and conflict resolution.

Types and trends

Band: refers to a small kin-based group found among foragers.
Tribes: had economies based on nonintsenive food production (horticulture
and pastoralism).
Living in villaes and organized into kin groups based on common descent
(clans and lineages), tribes lacked a formal government and had no reliable
means of enforcing political decisions.
Chiefdom: refers to a form of sociopolitical organization intermediate between
the tribe and the state. In chiefdoms, social relations were based mainly on
kinship, marriage, descent, age, generation and gender just as they were in
bands and tribes.
Chiefdoms were kin-based, but they featured differential access to resources
and a permanent political structure.
Thes tate is a form of sociopolitical organizaion based on a formal govenremnt
structure and socioeconomic stratification.
Sservices labels band, tribe, chiefdom, and state are categories or types within
a sociopolitlcal typology. Foragers tended to have a band organization.
Many horiticulturalists and pastoralists lived in tribal societies, although most
chiefdoms had farming ecnomies.
Man ysociopolitical trends reflect the increased regulatory demands of an
increasing population.

Bands and tribes

Foraging bands
Modern hunter gatheres are not stone age peoples!
Modern foragers live in nation states and arn interlinked world.
All pygmies of Congo for example now trade with food producers. Most rely
on governments and missionaries for at least part of what they consume.

The san
The Basarwa San

Government of Botsana.
San speakers of sourthern Africa have been influenced by Bantu speakers
(farmers and herders) for 2,000 years and by Europeans for centuries.
Many San descend from herders who were pushed into desert by poverty or
San are seen by some today as a rural underclass.
San now tend cattle for wealther Bantuy rather than foraging independently.
Foragers can be stereotyped as all alike but this is not the case.
New stereotype sees them as a culturally deprived people forced by states,
colonialism, or world events into marginal environments.
Kent stresses variation among foragers, focusing on diversity in time and space
among the San. The nature of their life has changed a lot since the 50s.
Although sedentism has increased substantially in recent years, some San
groups have been sedentary for generations.
San groups that still are movile, or that were so until recently, emphasise social
political and gender equality.
Foraging bands, small nomadic or seminomadic social units, formed seasonally
when component nuclear families got toegher.
Marriage and kinship created ties between members of different bands.
Trade and visiting also linked them.

The Inuit
Conflict resolution: means of settling disputes.
Norms: cultural standards or guildenlines that neable individuals to distinguish
between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a given society.
Foragers lacked formal law (legal code of a state society, with trial and
enforcement), the absence of law did not entail total anarchy.
Population of some 20,000 Inuit spanned 6,000 miles.
Some bands had headmen, there were also shamans.
Hunting and fishin bby men were also the primary Inuit subsistence activities.
Travellling on land and sea in a bitter environment, the Inuit men faced more
dangers thatn woman did. The traditional male role took its toll in lives.
Adult women would have outnumbered men substantially without occasional
female infanticide which Inuit culture permitted.
Despite this there were still more adult women than men.
So men ahd multiple wifes.
Prestige: esteem, respect, or approval for cultural valued acts or qualities.
Disputes caused by wife stealing or adultery.
Could kill the wife stealer, but then he probably would get killed.
Each inuit had the resources to sustain life and didnt really have private
ownership of territory or animals.
But certain minor things were associated with various people.
If people wanted something from someone else, they ask for it, and usually it is

Tribal cultivators
No totally authomous tribes in todays world.

Horticultural or pastoral economy, organized by village life.
Tibes lack class structure, and a formal government of their won.
Some tribes still conduct small scale warfar in the form of intervillage raiding.
You have village heads, big men.
Some have a clear gender stratification policy.
Age, gender and personal traits determine how much respect people receive
and how much support they get from others.
Diminishes, however, the village size as population density increases.

The village head

The Yanomami are Native Americans who live in southern Veneuzuela and
the adjacent part of Brazil.
20,000 people in the tribal society in widely scattered villages with a
population of 40-250.
Staple crops are bananas and plantains.
Families, villages and descent groups (which span more than one village).
Descent groups are patrilineal and exogamous.
They have a village head.
Always a man
Lacks the actual power to make an influence but is the person they go to to get
persuaded, and tries to influence opinion.
But for instance if he wants the plaza to be cleaned for a feast he has to start
sweeping it himself and hope that people will take a hint.
Headman only acts as a mediator.
Has to lead generosity, has to be more generous than other villagers, and
cultivates more land.
Sometimes he invites other people to a feast from other villages!
The Yanomami are faced with more regulatory problems.
Yanomami are not isolated from outside events, like missionaries.
One Brazilian president declared a huge Yanomami territory off bounds for

Big Man
In Papua New Guinea!
Almost always male, and was an elaborate version of the village head.
The big man supported several villages.
Achieved status through hard work, amassing wealth in the form of pigs and
other native riches.
Wealth, generosity, eloquence, physical fitness, bravery and supernatural
They became Big Men because they had certain personalities.
A Big Mans wealth exceeded that of his fellows.
His supporters, recognizing his past favors and future rewards, thus saw him as
a leader and accepted his decisions as bidning.
Helped determine dates for big feasts and markets of the Kapauku life.

A stingy man would lose his support and sometimes was murdered by his

Pantribal sodalities and age grades

Big men could forge regional political organization by mobilizing people form
different villages.
Principles other than kinship can also ink local groups.
Things like sororities or fraternities give that link in modern society.
Pantribal sodalities: those that extend across the whole tribe, spanning several
Sometimes arose in areas where two or more different clutlures came into
regular contact.
Best examples of pantribal sodalities come from the Central Plains of North
America and tropical Africa.
Some of the Plains sodalities were age sets of increasing rank.
Each set includes all the men from that tribes component bands, born during
the same certain time span.
Each set had its distinctive dance, songs, possessions and privileges.
Members of each set had to pool their wealth to buy admission to the next
higher level as they moved up the age hierarchy.
Many of the tribes that adopted this Plains strategy of adaptation had once
been foragers for whom hunting and gathering had been individual or small-
group affairs.
Never come together previously in a single social unit.
Grades in Africa commonly recognized were the following:
1. Recently initiated youths.
2. Warriors
3. One or more grades of mature men who play important roles in
pantribal government.
4. Elders, who may have special ritual responsibilities.
In certain parts of West Africa these sodalities are secret societies.

Nomadic politics
Range of demographic and sociopolitical diversity occurs with pastoralism.
Political organization becomes less personal, more formal and less kinship-
Range of authority structures manage regulatory problems associated with
specific environemtns.
The scope of political authority among pastoralists expands considerably as
regulatory problems increase in densely populated regions.
The use of the same pasture land at different times was carefully schedules
with example of 2 Iranian tribes.
Pastoralism is often just one among many speciazlied economic activities
within complex nation states and regional systems.
As part of a whole, pastoral tribes are constantly pitted against other ethnic

In these nations, the state becomes a final authority, a higher level regulator
and attempts ot limit conflict between ethnic groups.
Up until Chiefdoms.

Kottak Chapter 18: Gender
Up until gender among agriculturalists.

Sex and Gender

Nature and nurture questions
Women have two Xs, and men have an X and a Y.
Humans are sexually dimorphic.
Sexual dimorphism: the differences in male and female biology besides the
contrasts in breasts and genitals.
Women and men differ not just in primary and secondary sexual
characteristics but also in weight, height, strength and longevity.
Women tend to live longer, men have excellent endurance capabilities.
What effects od thse things have on the way men and women act and are
treated in different societies?
Anthropological position on sex-gender roles and biology may be stated as
The biological nature of men and women should be seen not as a
narrow enclosure limiting the human organism, but rather as a broad base
upon which a variety of structures can be built.
Men tend to be more aggressive in most societies.
Gender roles: the tasks and activities a culture assigns to the sexes.
Gender stereotypes: oversimplified but strongly held ideas about the
characteristics of males and females.
Gender stratification: an unequal distribution of rewards (socially valued
resources, power, prestige, rights, and personal freedom) between men and
women, reflecting their different positions in a social hierarchy.
In stateless societies, gender stratification is often more obvious in regard to
prestige than it is in regard to wealth.

Recurrent gender patterns

Ethnologists compare ethnographic data from several cultures to discover and
explain differnces and ismilarities.
Exceptions exist though, with Pawnee women working on wood (unlike all
other Native American tribes)
Some societies assign more farming chores to women.
Cross-culturally the subsistence contributions of men and women are roughly
But in domestic activities and child care, female labor predominates.
Even in societies where men did some domestic chores, the bulk of such work
was done by women.
Women tend to work more hours than men do.
Men have a longer reproductive period.
Men have greater tendency to have multiple mates.
Eg. India, while formally offering equal rihts to women, still denies
them the privilege of movie untroubled thorugh public space.
Women are routinely harassed when they move from private to public space.

Gender among foragers
Men contributed most to the diet.
Gathering was generally womens work.
Domestic public dichotomy: the private-public life contrast.
Womens activities tend to be closer to home than mens are.
In foraging societies, women are either pregantn or lactating during most of
their childbearing period.
Late in pregnancy and after childbirth, carrying a baby limits a womans
movements, even her gathering.
In the Phillipines however, the Agta women also hunt with dogs while carrying
their babies with them.
People of the Sawn had gener roles that were interdependent.
During gathering, women discovered information about the game animals
which they passed on to the men.
Competition and aggression were discouraged.
The Ju/hoansi people of the San tribe.
Study of foragers and a group of former foragers who had become sedentary.
Foragers may live with either the husband or wifes kin and often shift between
With foragers, the public-private sphere is least separate.

Gender among horticulturalists

Gender roles and stratification among cultuivators vary widely, depending on
specific features of the economy and social structure.
Descent group: one whose social unit and solidarity are based on a belief in
common ancestry.
Matrilineal descent: people join the mothers group automatically at birth and
stay members throughout life.
Patrilineal descent: people authomatically have lifetime membership in the
fathers group.
The children of all the groups men belong to the group.
The children of the groups women are excluded.
Membership rules and rules bout where members should live once they marry.
Patrilocality: associated with patrilineal ddescent, the couple ives in the
husbands band and community, so that related males stay put, as wimes move
to their husbands village.
Matrilocality: less common, when married couples live with the wifes
community, and their children grow up in their mothers village. This keeps
related women together.
Women were main producers in horticultural societies.
Did more cultivating in the matrilineal societies.

Reduced gender stratification matrilineal, matrilocal societies

Cross-cultural variation in gender status is related to rules of descent and
postmarital residence.
Female status tends to be high.

Patrilocal allows an advantage in warfare.
Means women can become the basis of the entire social structure.
In some tribes like the Iriquouis of New York womens economic, political,
and ritual influence can rival that of men.
Iroquois women played a major subsistence role, while men left home for long
periods to wage war.
The men hunted and fished, but women controlled the local economy.
Women did some fishing and occasional hunting, but their major productive
role was in horticulture.
Women owned thel and, which they inherited from ancestors.
Women controlled the production/distribution of food.
Matrons consistently monitored the chiefs and could empeach them.

Reduced gender stratification matrifocal societies

Matrifocal: mother-centered, often with no resident husband-father.
Eg. Tanner found matrifocility among the Igbo of eastern Nigeria.

Political system ruled by women? Or where women played a much more
prominent role than men do in social and political organization?
Eg. Minangkabau of Sumatra.
Culture based on the coexistence of matrilineal custom and a nature based
philosophy called adat, complemented by Islam, a more recent arrival.
Women are at the center of social order.

Increased gender stratification Patrilineal-patrilocal societies

Patrilineal-patrilocal complex: consisting of patrilineality, patrilocality, warfare
and male supremacy.
Many societies in Papua New Guinea.
Women work hard growing and processing subsistence crops, raising and
tending pigs and doing domestic cooking, but they are isolated from the public
domain, which men control.
Men grow and distribute prestige crops, prepare food for feasts, and arragnge
In certain areas of Papua New Guinea, men fear all female constacts,
including sex. They think that sexual contact with women will weaken them.
Men see everything female as dangerous andpolluting.
Segregate themselves in mens houses and hide their precious rigtual objects
from women.
delay marriage, some never marry.
Other areas of Papua New Guinea lack these contact taboos.

Kottak Chapter 19: Families,
Kinship and Descent
Kinds of societies anthropologists have studied traditionally, have stimulated a
strong interest in families, along with larger systems of kinship, descent, and
Cross-culturally, the social construction of kinship illustrates lots of diversity.
To understand the social structure, an ethnographer must investigate such kin
The most significant local groups may consist of descendants of the same
Nuclear family.
Descent groups: composed of people claiming common ancestry, are basic
units in the social organization of nonindustrial food producers.

Nuclear and extended families

Most people belong to at least 2 nuclear families at different times in their
Born into a family consisting of their parents and siblings.
Marry and establish a nuclear family that includes the spouse and eventually
the children.
Family of orientation: the family in which one is born and grows up
Family of procreation: formed when one marries and has children.
Usually relations with nuclear families take precedence over relations with
other kin.
But depending on the place the significance changes.
Nuclear family is not always the basis of residence or authority organization.
Eg. In Muslim families of western Bosnia nuclear families were
embedded in a larger household called the zadruga.
Included married sons and their wives and children, and unmarried sons and
Each nuclear family had a sleeping room.
However, the possessions and clothing was shared by the zadruga family.
Social interaction was more usual among women, men, or children than
between spouses or between parents and children.
Traditionally, all children over 12 slept together in boys or girls rooms.
When a woman wished to visit another village, she shought permission of the
male zadruga head.
Although men usually felt closer to their own children than their brothers they
had to treat them equally.
When a nuclear family broke up, children under seven went with their
mother, but old children could choose.
One widow who remarried had to leave her five children, all over seven, in
their fathers zadruga, headed by his brother.

The Nayar is another example on the coast of southern India.
Traditional system was matrilineal.
Lived in those compounds called tarawads.
Lived in a compound and was headed by the head woman with her brother.
Nayar men belonged to a warrior class, who left home regularly for military
Child care is the responsibility of the tarawad. Some didnt know who their
fathers are.

Industrialism and family organization

Neolocality: postmarital residence pattern: married couples are expected to
establish a new place of residence, a home of their own.
When an expanded family includes three or more generations, it is an
extended family household, such as the zadruga.
You also have a collateral household which is the siblings and their spouses
and children.
Sometimes relatives pool together their resources because they cant survive
In Brazil, poor Brazilians use kinship, marriage, and fictive kinship as a form
of social security.

Changes in North American kinship

Nuclear families only accounted for about 23 percent of families in the US in
Women are increasingly joining men in the cash workforce.
This often removes them from their family of orientation while making it
economically feasible to delay marriage.
Job demands compete with romantic attachments.
Major jump in American divorce rate.
Each year there are about half as many new divorces as marriages.
More and more children are living without a father.
More American women are now living without a husband than with one.
Immigrants are often shocked by what they perceive as weak kinship bonds
and lack of proper respect for family in contemporary North America.
Middle class Brazilians talk of their family including siblings, aunts, uncles,
grandparents and cousists.
Because middle-class Americans lack an extended family support system,
marriage assumes more importance.
Living in a less mobile society, Brazilians stay in closer contact with their
In America you learn to live with strangers.

The family among foragers

Populations with foraging economies are far removed from industrial societes
in terms of social complexity.
But they have geographic mobility, associated with nomadic/seminomadic
hunting and gathering.

Nuclear family is often the most significant kin group.
Foragers dont usually reside neolocally.
They join a band in which either the husband or the wife has relatives.
Nuclear families are usually more stable than bands are.
Many foraging societies lacked year round band organization.
The Native American Shoshoni tribe had very meager resources avaialbe so
for most of the year families travelled alone thorugh the countryside hunting
and gathering.
In certain seasons families assembled to hunt cooperatively as a band.


Descent roups belive they share, and descend from, common ancestors.

Descent groups
Are frequently exogamous (members must seek their mates from other descent
Matrilineal or patrilineal.
Matrilineal and patrilineal are types of unilineal descent: means the descent
rule uses one line only, either the male or the female line.
May be lineages or clans.
Same apical ancestor (at the top, like Adam and Eve).
How do lineages and clans differ? A lineage uses demonstrated descent.
Members can recite the names of their forebears in each generation from the
apical ancestor though the present.
Clans use stipulated descent, where they merely say the descend from the same
ancestor. They dont try to trace it.
Many societies tend to have multiple descent groups.

Lineages, clans and residence rules

Descent groups are permanent and enduring units.
New members are added in each generation.
Members access lineage estate, where some of them must live, in order to
benefit from and manage that estate across generations.
To endure, descent groups need to keep at least some of their members at
home, on the ancestral estate.
They then make rules about who belongs to a descent group and where people
go when they get married.
Patrilocality is more common, where a married couple moves to the husbands
fathers community, so that the children will grow up in their fathers village.
Less common is matrilocality.

Ambilineal descent
In ambilineal groups they do not automatically exclude either the children of
sons or those of dauthers.
People can choose the descent group they join.
People can also change their descent group membership.

Unilineal descent is a matter of ascribed status; ambilineal descent illustrates
achieved status.

Family versus descent

Rights, duties and obligations associated with kinship and descent.
Obligations to one may conflict obligations to another.
A woman when she leaves home doesnt have to have ties with her earlier
village, but a man has strong obligations both to his family and to his closest
Matrilineal societies tend to have higher divorce rates and greater female
In the Makua of northern Mozambique they believe that if after the sister asks
the woman deep in labor who the father is, she lies, she will have a very
difficult labor.

Kinship calculation
Kinship calculation: the system by which people in a society reckon kin
Kinship is culturally constructed.
Ego: position from which one views an egocentric geneology.

Genealogical kin types and kin terms

Kin terms: the words used for different relatives in a particular language.
Kin types: letters and symbols, referring to an actual genealogical relationship
(mothers sister) as opposed to a kin term (aunt).
Bilateral: traced equally through males and females.
Bilateral kinship: people tend to perceive kin links through males and females
as being similar or equivalent.
This is expressed in interaction with, living with or near, and rights to inherit
from relatives.

Kinship terminology
Functional explanation: one based on correlation or co-ocurrance of social
Attempt to relate particular customs to other features of a society.
Certain aspects of a culture are functions of another.
Kinship terms provide useful information about social patterns.
Several factors influence the way people interact with, perceie and classify

Lineal terminology
Lineal system: our own system of kinship classification.
It is found in societies such as the USA or Canada in which the nuclear family
is the most important group based on kinship.
Lineal relative: an ancestor or descendant, anyone on the direct line of descent
that leads to and from ego.
Collateral relatives: all other kin.

Bifurcate merging terminology
splits the mothers side and the fathers side.
Merges same-sex siblings of each parent.

Generation terminology
Suggests closeness between ego and his or her aunts and uncles.

Bifurcate collateral terminology

The most specific. Separate terms for each specific kin.
Isnt as common.
May also be used when a child of parents of different ethnic backgrounds and
uses tersm for aunts and uncles dericed from different languages.

Kottak Chapter 20: Marriage
What is marriage?
Marriage is an institution with significant roles and functions in addition to
No definition of marriage is broad enough to apply easily to all societies and
Common definition is this though:
Marriage is a union between a man and a woman such that the
children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both
But in many societies marriage unites more than 2 spouses.
Plural marriage
Or a woman marries a group of brothers: fraternal polyandry (as seen in
certain Himalayan cultures).
Eg. Brazilian community of Arembepe, people can choose among
various forms of marital union.
Most people live in long-term common law domestic partnrships that are not
legally sanctioned.
Some have civil marriages, others have both civil and religious ties.
This means that one person can have multiple spouses.
Some societies recognize various kinds of same-sex marriages.
Eg. Nuer woman can marry a woman if her father has only daughters
but no male heirs, who are necessary if his patrilineage is to survive.
May ask his daughter to stand as a son in order to take a bride.
This daughter becomes the socially recognized husband of another woman
(the wife).
This is a symbolic and social relationship rather than a sexual one. The wife
has sex with a man or men (who her female husband must approve) until she
gets pregnant. The children born to the wife are accepted as offspring of the
two women.
The brides children are considered the legitimeate offspring of her female
offspring and female father, who is biologically a woman but socially a man,
and then it continues.

Incest and exogamy

Exogamy: the practice of seeking a husband or wife outside ones own group.
Incest: sexual relations with someone considered to be a close relative.
Cultures all have taboos but define it differently.
Parrallel cousins: the children of two brothers or two sisters.
Cross cousins: the children of a brother and a sister.
Genitor: a childs biological father
Pater: ones socially recognized father; not necessarily the genitor.
Parallel cousins belong to the same generation and the same descent group as
ego does, and they are like egos brothers and sisters.

Defined as close relatives, parallel cousins are tabooed as sex or marriage
They fall within the incest taboo, but cross cousins dont.
The Yanomami in Venezuela anticipate eventual marriage to the cross cousin
by calling them wife/husband.
When inilineal descent is very strongly developed, the parent who does not
belong to ones own descent group isnt considered a relative.
Thus, with strict patrilineality, rthe mother is not a reltive but a kind of in-law,
who has married a member of egos group egos father.
With strict matrilineality, the father isnt a relative, because he belongs to a
different descent group.
Eg. The Lakher of Southeast Asia are strictly patrilineal.
If the parents divorce and each have their own children again, ego cannot
marry his fathers new female child but is allowed to marry the mothers new
female child because they are of different descent groups.

Explaining the taboo

Although tabooed, incest does happen
Among the Yanomami incest is widely practiced.
In the Ashanti however it was punished by death.
In Ancient Egypt it was allowed for royalty and commoners in some districts.
Incest common in Western societies when the father is not the actual father of
his daughter and they have only been in the same nuclear family since the
girl was older than 4.

Instinctive horror
Some people think it started because there was an instinctive horror towards it,
but if thre really was there wouldnt have to be a rule about it.
Doesnt explain why in some societies people can marry their cross cousins but
not their parallel cousisns.

Biological degeneration
Abnormal offspring were noticed to be born by incestuous unions.
To prevent this, our ancestors banned incest.
The human stock produced after the taboo originated was so successful that it
spread everywhere.
But neither really explains the widespread custom of marrying cross cousins.
Nor can it explain why breeding with parallel cousins but not cross cousins is
so often tabooed.

Attempt and contempt

Malinowski proposed that the incest taboo originated to direct sexual feelings
outside to avoid distruption of existing family structure and relations.
The opposite theory is that children are not likely to be sexually attracted to
those with whom they have grown up.
Eg. Also shown through unrelated people who grew up together in a
kibutz not wanting to marry.

Marry or die out
Arose in order to ensure exogamy?
Adaptively advantageous.
Extending peaceful relations to one of a wider group.
Ensures genetic mixture between groups.

Endogamy: marriage of people from the same group.
Members of an ethnic or relgiiosu group often are quai-endogamous groups.
Homogamy: marrying someone similar, as when members of the same social
class intermarry.
People with similar socioeconomic status seem to have similar education as

Abolished in 1949.
Membership is ascribed at birth and is lifelong.
Each varna includes a large number of subcastes, including the untouchables.
Belief that intercaste sexual unions lead to ritual impurty for the higher caste
partner has been important in maintaining this endogamy.

Royal endogamy
Inca Peru, ancient Egypt and traditional Hawaii all allowed royal brother-
sister marriages.
Permitted despite the sibling incest taboo that applied to commoners int hose
Mana in Hawaii and other Polynesians.
When the King and his sister married, their children had the most mana in the
Mana refers to a type of sacredness.
Tended to ensure wealth in European states if cousins wed.

Marital rights and same-sex marriage

Several different rights allocate marriage depending on the society.
Marriage can, but doesnt always, accomplish the following:
1. Establish the legal father of a womans children and the legal mother
of a mans.
2. Give either or both spouses a monopoly on the seuxlaity of the
3. Give either or both spouses rights to the labor of the other.
4. Give either or both spouses rights over the others property.
5. Establish a joint fund of property a partnership for the benefit of
the children.
6. Establish a socially significant relationship of affinity bewten
spouses and their relatives.

If same-sex marriages were legal, the social construction of kinship could easily
make both partners parents.
Mater: socially recognized mother of a child.
Canada allows same-sex marriage, as does certain parts of the USA.
Same with the Native American tribes where there was a manly woman.
Many parents are suspicious of their childrens sexuality and lifestyle choices
and may not recognize a realationship of affinity with a chids partner of the
same sex.
Much of it allows a woman to heighten her social status.

Marriage as group alliance

Often more a relationship between groups than between individuals.
The mass media and migration has increasingly spread Western ideas about
the importance of love for marriage to other societies.

Bride wealth and dowry

Bridewealth: marital gift by husbands group to wifes group.
It makes the children born to the woman full members of her husbands
descent group.
Progeny price: Marital gift by husbands group to wifes legitimizes their
Dowry: a marital exchange in which the brides family or kin group provdes
substantial gifts when their daughter marries.
When the dowry is considered inefficient, the bride may be harrased or
Domestic violence can elcalate to the point where the husband or his family
burn the bride, often by pouring kerosene on her and lighting it, usually killing
Sati: practice where widows were burned alive, voluntarily or forcibly, on the
husbands funeral pyre.
Mainly practiced by a few groups of particular caste in northern India.
As the value of bridewealth increases, marriage becomes more stable.
Men constantly use their sisters bridewealth to acquire their own wives.
Infertility is a very big problem, because if she does not have children, she
wont have fulfilled the needs of her side of the agreement.
Polygamy: plural marriages.
Polygyny: man has more than one wife
Polyandry: woman has more than one husband.

Durable alliances
Sororate: widower marries sister of deceased wife.
If eg. Sarah dies young, Michaels group will ask Sarahs group for a substitute,
often her sister. This way the alliance continues.
Levirate: When the husband dies, the widow marries his brother.

Concern is mainly the children.
Divorce tends to be more common in matrilineal than patrilineal societies.

Eg. Hopi of the Southwest (Arizona etc.), where the houses and other
securities were owned by the women. This allowed them to have security and
thus there was more rates of divorce.
High divorce rates are correlated with a secure female economic position.

Plural marriages

When the husband has multiple wives.
Some cultures encourage men to have multiple wives and yet monogamy is the
main way.
In certain societies the number of wives is an indicator of a mans household
productivity, prestige, and social position.
The more wives, the more workers.
Increased productivity means more wealth.
This wealth attracts additional wives to the household.
In some societies the first wife suggests a second wife to help with household
The second wifes status is lower than the first.
Polygyny has been allowed in Turkey so that men could afford multiple wives
and multiple children.
Because polygynous unions now lack legal status, secondary wives are at risk if
their husband mistreats, neglects, or leaves them.

Rare and practiced under very specfic condtions.
Most are in South Asia Tibet, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.
In some areas it seems to be a cultural adaptation to mobility associated with
customary male travel for trade, commerce, and military operations.
It ensures that there will be at least 1 man at home to accomplish male
activities within a gender-based division of labor.
Also effective when resources are scarce.
Less competition about the heir means land can be transmitted with the least