ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology
Monday, March 9, 2020 (Week 3)
Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/1001/2020/1.3.1
Richard Borshay Lee “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari,” Natural History, December 1969.
Marshall Sahlins “The Original Affluent Society,” in Stone Age Economics (London: Routledge, 2017), 1–37, doi:10.4324/9781315184951.
Auhelawa is a society on the south coast of Duau (Normanby Island), off the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea.
People of Auhelawa produce most of their own food by raising crops in gardens, and most of the year they are thinking about one crop in particular, 'wateya (Dioscorea alata), a species of yam.
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During the hungry time (tagwala), people eat
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OK, a lot of food. But all the while they are looking forward to eating real food, 'wateya.
Over history, a number of thinkers have tried to explain people’s differences by saying they are caused by climate, the environment, and the natural geography.
Many of these arguments are sophisticated and appear to be bolstered by evidence, but they all sound the same.
These claims sound silly now, but certainly there is an influence of environment on society. People need the environment in order to live.
Karl Marx, materialist, emphasized that all societies have a basis in physical nature.
Yet he also argues that the natural environment does not determine society. People use their environment as part of a definite mode of life (Marx and Engels  1972, 150).
Based on the collection of wild foods and game (fish and meat).
Based on the tending of herds of domesticated animals, e.g. cows, reindeer, sheep, camels, yaks.
The cultivation of several different food crops in small plots and usually using simple hand tools.
Agriculture is often distinguished from horticulture by the size and scale of production, thanks to the use of specialized steel tools and draught animals, if not machines.
See Eriksen Eriksen (2015, 255–56) for more information.
Having a name for something is not the same as understanding it holistically.
At best, anthropologists use these terms descriptively. They are ideal types that help us see important elements in particular cases, but never perfectly apply to a single case.
No, most societies are a mix of all of them. We can say that one type dominates, but it does not mean it excludes other possibilities
All of these types have fuzzy boundaries anyway, so we can never be absolutely sure whether a society is primarily based on one type or not.
The difference between horticulture and agriculture is supposedly technological, but it really is marked by a change in the social system
We must be wary of technological determinism too.
No, just because one kind of adaptation seems to involve more technology, it is not necessarily better or more modern.
Let’s compare these claims to ones we discussed last week.
Go to Canvas and answer the quiz question for today.
There is a “right” answer, but you can take this question multiple times if you need to.
The password will be announced in class.
Chagnon, Napolean. 1983. Ya̦nomamö: The Fierce People. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=MPArAAAAYAAJ.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. 2015. Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Pluto Press.
Hippocrates. 400BC. On Airs, Waters, and Places. Translated by Francis Adams. Internet Classics Archive. http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/airwatpl.html.
Lee, Richard Borshay. 1969. “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari.” Natural History, December 1969.
Lowie, Robert Harry. 1917. Culture and Ethnology. New York: D. C. McMurtrie. http://archive.org/details/cultureethnology00lowiiala.
Macintyre, Martha. 1980. “Changing Paths : An Historical Ethnography of the Traders of Tubetube.” https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/7534.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. (1844) 1972. “The German Ideology.” In The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, translated by S. Ryazanskaya, 146–202. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Montesquieu, Baron de. (1748) 1777. Complete Works, Vol. 1 (the Spirit of Laws). London: T. Evans & W. Davis. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/montesquieu-complete-works-vol-1-the-spirit-of-laws#lf0171-01_label_1040.
Sahlins, Marshall. (1972) 2017. “The Original Affluent Society.” In Stone Age Economics, 1–37. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315184951.
Siddiqi, Akhtar H., and John E. Oliver. 2005. “Determinism, Climatic.” In Encyclopedia of World Climatology, edited by John E. Oliver, 333–36. Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3266-8_67.
Wallis, W. D. 1926. “Geographical Environment and Culture.” Social Forces 4 (4):702. https://doi.org/10.2307/3004448.
General info: The goal of this class | What we will do in this class | Readings, other class requirements, and online resources | A note about attendance | The keys to success in this class | A guide to effective email | The ANTH 1001 class Canvas site (requires USYD login)
Lecture outlines and guides:
|Module 1: What makes us human?||Weeks 1–3|
|1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.1, 1.3.2||Ryan Schram|
|Module 2: Can an anthropologist really leave her culture?||Weeks 4–6|
|2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.0, 2.3.0||Ryan Schram|
|Module 3: Is family universal?||Weeks 7–9|
|3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2||Jadran Mimica|
|Module 4: Where is the mind?||Weeks 10–12|
|4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.3.1, 4.3.2||Jadran Mimica|
|5.1.1, 5.1.2||Ryan Schram|
Assignments: Online discussion posts and responses | Weekly reflections | Module 1 concept quiz | Tell me a story...: An analysis of qualitative data | Proposal for a Grade 12 lesson on kinship | Comprehensive (open-book, take-home) essay response assignment