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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Ivan Tacey and Diana Riboli

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze socio-cultural and political forces which have shaped anti-violent attitudes and strategies of the Batek and Batek

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze socio-cultural and political forces which have shaped anti-violent attitudes and strategies of the Batek and Batek Tanum of Peninsular Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection during the authors’ long-term, multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among the Batek and Batek Tanum in Peninsular Malaysia. Methodology included participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a literature review of texts on the Orang Asli and anthropological theories on violence.

Findings

Traumatic experiences of past violence and atrocities greatly influence the Batek's and Batek Tanum's present attitudes toward direct and structural forms of violence. A variety of anti-violent strategies are adopted, including the choice to escape when physically threatened. Rather than demonstrating “weakness,” this course of action represents a smart survival strategy. External violence reinforces values of internal cooperation and mutual-aid that foraging societies, even sedentary groups, typically privilege. In recent years, the Batek's increasing political awareness has opened new forms of resistance against the structural violence embedded within Malaysian society.

Originality/value

The study proposes that societies cannot simply be labelled as violent or non-violent on the basis of socio-biological theories. Research into hunter-gatherer social organization and violence needs to be reframed within larger debates about structural violence. The “anti-violence” of certain foraging groups can be understood as a powerful form of resilience to outside pressures and foraging groups’ best possible strategy for survival.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2009

Douglas Fry

Cross‐cultural studies show that most, but not all, human societies engage in warfare. Some non‐warring societies cluster as peace systems. The existence of peace systems…

Abstract

Cross‐cultural studies show that most, but not all, human societies engage in warfare. Some non‐warring societies cluster as peace systems. The existence of peace systems, and non‐warring societies more generally, shows that warfare is not an inevitable feature of human social life. This article considers three peace systems in some detail: Brazil's Upper Xingu River basin tribes, Aboriginal Australians, and the European Union. A primary goal is to explore features that contribute to peace in each of the three non‐warring systems. What do these peace systems suggest about how to prevent war? Provisionally, key elements would seem to be the promotion of interdependence among the units of the peace system, creation of cross‐cutting links among them, the existence of conflict resolution procedures, and belief systems (including attitudes and values) that are anti‐war and pro‐peace.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Bruce D. Bonta

Peaceful societies, groups of people described by social scientists as experiencing little if any internal or external violence, embrace the need for peacefulness, in…

Abstract

Purpose

Peaceful societies, groups of people described by social scientists as experiencing little if any internal or external violence, embrace the need for peacefulness, in contrast to most of the contemporary world, which accepts violence as normal and inevitable. The purpose of this article is to examine the ways that people in those societies view peacefulness, and to compare those ways with more “normal” violent societies.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is a literature review of salient trends about anti‐violence among some of the more highly peaceful societies, and comparable trends in two state‐level societies—Norway, a relatively peaceful state, and the USA, a relatively more violent one.

Findings

The findings show that some of the peaceful societies avoid violence through nonresistance—not resisting aggression. In addition, many base their commitments to peacefulness on religious and mythological beliefs, though for others, peacefulness is based on cultural values or is seen as a practical, reasonable way to order their lives. The societies that appear to have very firm commitments to nonviolence are the ones where structures of peacefulness thrive.

Originality/value

The practical value of this research is that it points out how the peaceful societies can be contrasted with modern nation states, and it may suggest ways to challenge general patterns of violence.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Kirk Endicott

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Douglas P. Fry and Patrik Söderberg

The purpose of this paper is to critique several studies that claim to show that nomadic foragers engage in high levels of inter-group aggression. This is done through…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critique several studies that claim to show that nomadic foragers engage in high levels of inter-group aggression. This is done through exploring four myths: nomadic foragers are warlike; there was a high rate of war mortality in the Pleistocene; the nomadic forager data support the “chimpanzee model” of lethal raiding psychology; and contact and state influence inevitably decrease aggression in nomadic forager societies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using exact criteria, a sample of 21 nomadic forager societies is derived from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. This sampling method minimizes the chance of sampling bias, a shortcoming that has plagued previous studies. Only the highest quality ethnographic data, those classified as Primary Authority Sources, are used, which results in data on 148 cases of lethal aggression. The specifics of the lethal aggression cases are then discussed vis-à-vis the four myths to demonstrate the disjuncture between the data and the myths.

Findings

All four myths are found to be out of step with actual data on nomadic forager war and peace. Overall, the default interaction pattern of nomadic foragers is to get along with neighbors rather than make war against them. The findings contradict both assertions that there was a high level of war mortality among nomadic foragers of the Pleistocene and the chimpanzee model's proposal that human males have a tendency or predisposition to form coalitions and make lethal attacks on members of neighboring groups.

Research limitations/implications

Consideration of nomadic forager war and peace should be contextualized in terms of social organization, contact history (including ethnocide, displacement, and other factors), and the current situation faced by extant forager populations. As in other contexts, the introduction of alcohol at contact or subsequently has increased nomadic forager aggression.

Practical implications

Propositions as to the aggressiveness of nomadic foragers should be viewed with skepticism because they are contradicted by data and a contextual view of nomadic forager social organization and ethnohistory.

Social implications

The debate over nomadic forager war and peace is connected to larger debates in modern society about the nature of human nature and has real-world implications regarding foreign policy and political approaches toward war and peace.

Originality/value

A critique of sampling, methodology, and theory is provided in this area.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2004

Bram Tucker

Anthropologists commonly accept that generous food sharing is universal to small-scale subsistence populations. This paper uses observational data from a Mikea community…

Abstract

Anthropologists commonly accept that generous food sharing is universal to small-scale subsistence populations. This paper uses observational data from a Mikea community in southwestern Madagascar to demonstrate the following: (1) Most foods are rarely shared, i.e. transferred between households; exceptions are prepared food and livestock meat; (2) Clusters of closely related households feed each other’s members reciprocally, and inconsistent with kin selection, unrelated affines are the major distributors; and (3) Tolerated theft and market value explain why livestock meat is widely shared, why scroungers are invited to share vegetal foods but rarely do, and why small game and honey are both actively defended (by hiding, theft) and scrounged (by demand sharing).

Details

Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-255-9

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Ida Madieha Abdul Ghani Azmi

Traditional cultural expression (TCE) includes music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and…

Abstract

Purpose

Traditional cultural expression (TCE) includes music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and narratives or many other artistic or cultural expressions [World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO)]. To constitute TCEs, the expressions must form part of the identity and heritage of a traditional or indigenous community and need to be passed down from generation to generation (Kuprecht, 2014). This paper aims to analyse the protection of TCE in Malaysia by focusing on the Mah Meri tribe. This paper examines copyright over TCE, recordation as a means of preserving a dying tradition and customary practices and native law.

Design/methodology/approach

Information is drawn from personal discussions with the weavers and carvers of the Mah Meri tribe, and a focus group discussion with subject matter experts. As a way of comparison, a personal visit has been made to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Sarawak Native Courts, the Dayak Iban Association and Dayak Bidayuh Association.

Findings

The research found that copyright law has no specific provision for the protection of TCEs. Customary practices of the indigenous people and the native law of Sarawak have limited effect outside their traditional domain. Recordation and documentation of TCEs are the prime initiatives, but the documents or the recordings do not carry any legal status.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited only to the Mah Meri tribe with a comparison drawn to the Dayak Iban and Dayak Bidayuh tribe.

Practical implications

The research examines the practical implications of copyright and recording and documentation of cultural expression in Malaysia.

Social implications

The research sets to unearth and highlight the ideation process in a tribal setting and how that clashes with the formal creation setting in a modern intellectual property system.

Originality/value

This paper was presented at the IAITL Congress 2013. It also appeared in the Conference Proceedings edited by Slyvia Kieerkgard, but it has not been published in any journals.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 59 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Md. Khaled Saifullah, Fatimah Binti Kari and Azmah Othman

The purpose of this paper is to study the socio-economic condition of indigenous households involved in the production of palm oil and natural rubber in Peninsular Malaysia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the socio-economic condition of indigenous households involved in the production of palm oil and natural rubber in Peninsular Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

Discriminant analysis is used in this study.

Findings

This study finds that 49.70 percent of natural rubber plantation owners and 37.3 percent of the palm oil plantation owners live under the national poverty line. Discriminant analysis shows that natural rubber plantation size has a significant difference between income below the poverty line and above the poverty line. But palm oil plantation size is not significantly different between income below and above the poverty line, mainly because small-scale palm oil farms receive help from the government and other agencies. This study also finds that the majority of indigenous people do not have ownership rights to their land.

Practical implications

This study suggests that small-scale plantation holders should be provided with training to upgrade their skills to increase productivity. Furthermore, finding an appropriate land ownership model helps to understand the fundamental issue of poverty among the small-scale plantation holder of indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia.

Originality/value

Primary data are used in this study. The results show different scenarios than the existing studies.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Richard B. Lee

The question of violence in hunter-gatherer society has animated philosophical debates since at least the seventeenth century. Steven Pinker has sought to affirm that…

Abstract

Purpose

The question of violence in hunter-gatherer society has animated philosophical debates since at least the seventeenth century. Steven Pinker has sought to affirm that civilization, is superior to the state of humanity during its long history of hunting and gathering. The purpose of this paper is to draw upon a series of recent studies that assert a baseline of primordial violence by hunters and gatherers. In challenging this position the author draws on four decades of ethnographic and historical research on hunting and gathering peoples.

Design/methodology/approach

At the empirical heart of this question is the evidence pro- and con- for high rates of violent death in pre-farming human populations. The author evaluates the ethnographic and historical evidence for warfare in recorded hunting and gathering societies, and the archaeological evidence for warfare in pre-history prior to the advent of agriculture.

Findings

The view of Steven Pinker and others of high rates of lethal violence in hunters and gatherers is not sustained. In contrast to early farmers, their foraging precursors lived more lightly on the land and had other ways of resolving conflict. With little or no fixed property they could easily disperse to diffuse conflict. The evidence points to markedly lower levels of violence for foragers compared to post-Neolithic societies.

Research limitations/implications

This conclusion raises serious caveats about the grand evolutionary theory asserted by Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham and others. Instead of being “killer apes” in the Pleistocene and Holocene, the evidence indicates that early humans lived as relatively peaceful hunter-gathers for some 7,000 generations, from the emergence of Homo sapiens up until the invention of agriculture. Therefore there is a major gap between the purported violence of the chimp-like ancestors and the documented violence of post-Neolithic humanity.

Originality/value

This is a critical analysis of published claims by authors who contend that ancient and recent hunter-gatherers typically committed high levels of violent acts. It reveals a number of serious flaws in their arguments and use of data.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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