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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2017

Serge Svizzero

This chapter is about the theories explaining the transition from foraging to farming. It aims to establish which links exist between the traditional theories – based on…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter is about the theories explaining the transition from foraging to farming. It aims to establish which links exist between the traditional theories – based on push/pull models – and the micro-founded approaches developed since the 1980s. More precisely, it asks how the latter may contribute, as the former did, to defining a macro-narrative of the transition to farming.

Methodology/approach

While they were providing a global narrative of the Neolithic revolution, the push and pull models have been progressively dismissed. Recent research is diverse, but it is all based upon human behaviour or micro-founded. We critically examine three of these approaches which focus either on foraging behaviour, or on the initial domestication of plants and animals, or on the evolution of social institutions related to ownership.

Findings

We demonstrate that these recent micro-founded approaches only provide a partial vision of the transition to farming. Despite this limit, they conciliate push and pull explanations in a single framework. Moreover, they confirm a conclusion held by tenants of pull models: the transition to farming is more likely to have occurred in a resource-rich environment such as the one associated with complex hunter-gatherers. Some archaeological evidence from the Levant is provided to support our claim.

Value

This research chapter provides a useful overview of the differing approaches to the behavioural, environmental and economic factors that led to the shift to farming from foraging. Its value lies in the way it presents and evaluates differing positions derived from differing scales of analysis and types of evidence.

Details

Anthropological Considerations of Production, Exchange, Vending and Tourism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-194-2

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2011

Mahin Gosine

A sociology of human rights is a modern challenge, and this study draws on the universalizing codification in the history of human rights documents from ancient societies

Abstract

A sociology of human rights is a modern challenge, and this study draws on the universalizing codification in the history of human rights documents from ancient societies to the present challenges of modern society. Power contradictions and conflicts are analyzed in the case study of historic inequalities and the modern deprivation of human rights of the People of Indian Origin in their diaspora in the modern world. Insider perspectives are posed to increase awareness and knowledge to the forming of community identity and to challenge others to study these complex social conditions. A public sociology is assumed in this chapter, derived from the author's public speech to further the development of a sociology of human rights, one that will reflect the complexity, universality, and inclusiveness protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Established methods and theories may be augmented by challenging their bases and working collaboratively to research contemporary human rights.

Details

Human Rights and Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-052-5

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Book part
Publication date: 11 December 2004

Frederic L Pryor

This essay provides evidence that the invention of agriculture was not a dramatic technological advance in the history of humankind and that agriculture was quite…

Abstract

This essay provides evidence that the invention of agriculture was not a dramatic technological advance in the history of humankind and that agriculture was quite consistent with nomadic hunting and gathering. The available clues also suggest that exact origins of agriculture do not seem important. Rather, the crucial question is why certain societies dramatically increased their dependency on agriculture for subsistence two to ten millennia ago. Unfortunately, most of the major theories purporting to explain the neolithic revolution – either the origins or the spread of agriculture – are either untestable or inconsistent with the available evidence. What is at stake for economic historians is to rethink the process of the adoption of agriculture using a multi-causal approach.

Details

Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-282-5

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Roger A. Layton

As specialisation takes root in human communities, the economics of scale and of diversity come into play. Scale leads to product markets, specialised firms, channels, and…

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Abstract

Purpose

As specialisation takes root in human communities, the economics of scale and of diversity come into play. Scale leads to product markets, specialised firms, channels, and to industries. Diversity generates peasant markets, shopping malls, and business eco‐systems. These outcomes are all examples of marketing systems, and are typical of the patterns that emerge, grow, adapt and evolve in complex transaction flows. Marketing systems are multi‐level, path dependent, dynamic systems, embedded within a social matrix, and interacting with institutional and knowledge environments. The purpose of this paper is to outline a number of propositions that might serve as a basis for a theory of marketing systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on historical research into the evolution of exchange and on examples of markets and exchange practices from marketing, anthropology, sociology, and economics. It utilises results from complex adaptive systems theory, from the networks and markets literatures, and from ecology, to formulate a series of propositions that identify properties believed to be common to all marketing systems.

Findings

Marketing systems are identified and categorized as emergent patterns in flows of transactions. In total, 12 foundational propositions are suggested. The propositions are complementary to those suggested by S‐D logic.

Originality/value

This paper offers a fresh approach to the study of marketing systems, developing relevant theory. Marketing systems link micro choices with macro outcomes, with implications ranging from disaster recovery to distributive justice and QOL outcomes.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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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: 1 February 2001

Lee Komito

Communities and neighbourhoods are often perceived to be under threat in the information society, as technological developments accelerate economic and social change…

Abstract

Communities and neighbourhoods are often perceived to be under threat in the information society, as technological developments accelerate economic and social change. Technological developments may also provide a solution: ‘virtual communities’. There has been much debate about whether virtual communities can exist, but in the midst of such debates there has been little recognition that ‘community’ is a complex phenomenon. Many varieties of community exist, which can be categorised as moral, normative or proximate. Evidence suggests that some varieties of community can be constituted via electronic communication, but it is probably not possible to replicate those features of community that many people find lacking in modern life. Such a lack, and the desire for virtual communities as a response to that lack, are symptomatic of individuals‘ disengagement from social and political participation. If the process continues, this suggests an information society constituted by segmented diversity with isolated pockets of sociability.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 57 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 22 September 2015

Monica L. Smith

This paper examines the conditions under which ancient peoples might have developed a concept of “sustainability,” and concludes that long-term resource management…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the conditions under which ancient peoples might have developed a concept of “sustainability,” and concludes that long-term resource management practices would not have been articulated prior to the development of the first cities starting c. 6,000 years ago.

Methodology/approach

Using biological concepts of population density and niche-construction theory, cities are identified as the first places where pressures on resources might have triggered concerns for sustainability. Nonetheless, urban centers also provided ample opportunities for individuals and households to continue the same ad hoc foraging strategies that had facilitated human survival in prior eras.

Social implications

The implementation of a sustainability concept requires two things: individual and institutional motivations to mitigate collective risk over the long term, and accurate measurement devices that can discern subtle changes over time. Neither condition was applicable to the ancient world. Premodern cities provided the first expression of large population sizes in which there were niches of economic and social mutualism, yet individuals and households persisted in age-old approaches to provisioning by opportunistically using urban networks rather than focusing on a collective future.

Originality/value

Archaeological and historical analysis indicates that a focus on “sustainability” is not an innate human behavioral capacity but must be specifically articulated and taught.

Details

Climate Change, Culture, and Economics: Anthropological Investigations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-361-7

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Richard H. Daly

The purpose of this paper is to question the assumptions behind the aggressive competitive image of Northwest Coast (NWC) forager societies, given that their most…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to question the assumptions behind the aggressive competitive image of Northwest Coast (NWC) forager societies, given that their most reflective descendants emphasize sharing and paying back as constant peacemaking actions through history. Also to seek data that help ascertain whether this contemporary view might predate today's sensibilities colored by life as post-foragers encapsulated in nation states.

Design/methodology/approach

Historical, ethnographic and ethnohistorical documentary sources are studied, together with regional archeological findings. These are considered against the author's own ethnographic work among various foragers on the edge of, but integrated with higher profile coastal peoples. Some historical context for regional war and peace is provided.

Findings

The archeology indicates that evidence for violent warlike activity appears clearly about three times in 10,000 years, the most extensive being contiguous with Europe's economic and political influence on the continent in the past half millennium. Even in this latter period, extended family foragers managed and sought to control aggression/competition by social sharing and cooperation between like units and by upholding established peacemaking processes and protocols.

Research limitations/implications

Since the region and its literature are vast, this theme requires extensive long-term investigation. Findings given here from a limited number of locations are tentative and require detail from other parts of the region; however, they do suggest an existing ethic of sharing and peacemaking reflected back in time through oral history and archeology.

Practical implications

The literature of the NWC's bellicosity, its slavery, war-making and agonistic giving is based on events reported from a very short span of contact history. If these conditions had been endemic over time, there would have been insufficient peace to allow these foragers to hunt, gather, fish, barter and prepare foods and goods with which to survive between annual growing and spawning seasons.

Social implications

Instead of finding ways to cooperate with each other to seek better living conditions, some NWC post-foragers now assume competition and aggression to be endemic features of their relations with each other. Such persons, perhaps from a sense of inferiority engendered by history, cite the bellicose literature and the glories of the fur trade period as more typical of their heritage than the wisdom and peaceful teachings of their own elders about the past, the future, human relations and the natural world.

Originality/value

The findings from the NWC suggest analogies in the emphasis on sharing as a mechanism for making and maintaining peace in the broader comparative context of hunter-gatherer studies. Sharing remains central whether one examines complex hunter-gathers or their more egalitarian colleagues.

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

Frank W. Marlowe

Most hypotheses proposed to explain human food sharing address motives, yet most tests of these hypotheses have measured only the patterns of food transfer. To choose…

Abstract

Most hypotheses proposed to explain human food sharing address motives, yet most tests of these hypotheses have measured only the patterns of food transfer. To choose between these hypotheses we need to measure people’s propensity to share. To do that, I played two games (the Ultimatum and Dictator Games) with Hadza hunter-gatherers. Despite their ubiquitous food sharing, the Hadza are less willing to share in these games than people in complex societies are. They were also less willing to share in smaller camps than larger camps. I evaluate the various food-sharing hypotheses in light of these results.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2004

Lawrence S. Sugiyama

Humans lifespan is characterized by delayed maturation. Delayed maturation may arise when juvenile mortality is reduced. Recent research suggests that juvenile mortality…

Abstract

Humans lifespan is characterized by delayed maturation. Delayed maturation may arise when juvenile mortality is reduced. Recent research suggests that juvenile mortality reduction could be achieved via provisioning to weaned juveniles, particularly during health crises. Here I test this idea with data on the causes, distribution, and duration of injuries and illnesses suffered by Shiwiar forager-horticulturalists during the juvenile period. Health insults for which prolonged care is necessary for survival are a recurrent feature of the juvenile lifespan. About half the individuals for whom data on disability duration were gathered suffered health insults likely to be lethal without extended aid; over 80% were born after a parent suffered such an event; and over 90% were born after a direct ancestor in the two ascending generations suffered such an event. The data indicate that health-care provisioning reduces juvenile mortality, and that provisioning of sick and injured juveniles has important fitness consequences in this population.

Details

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

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