How Does Human Ecology Shape the Main Patterns of (a) Society and (B) Culture (Using Keesing’s Distinction Between ‘Society’ and ‘Culture’) Among Three Kinds of Ecological Adaptation in the Tribal World: Hunter-

Topics: Sociology, Agriculture, Gather Pages: 3 (987 words) Published: May 26, 2013
Culture is seen as a system of shared beliefs and meanings. On the other hand society is composed of members who typically share a common culture or, at least, a recognised set of values, symbolism and other interactions such as social structure that defines the society's members.

Modern day hunter gatherers have adapted to geographical regions which have shaped their way of everyday life, social structure and organisation. The San of south Africa, as a result of their permanent settlement and geographic region, requires the males (because of their physical attributes) to travel and hunt for game, a rare source of nutrition which is normally eaten on special occasions. Women hold a more important role within a band as they are responsible for gathering food, such as fruits, nuts and berries that supply the daily diet. In contrast, the division of sex labour within the Batek of Malaysia is not so evident since the Malaysian forest is rich in food sources which are found under every rock and tree. Thus, both men and women can easily gather or hunt for enough food in the immediate surrounding area as opposed to their other counterparts in south Africa.

Nevada, the driest state in the United States, largely consists of desert and semiarid. In spite of these harsh environmental conditions, it is home to the Shoshoni, a mobile hunter gathering tribe who's small families travel in dispersed groups in pursue of food where weather is favourable. When abundant resources are available, small families would coordinate to meet up and live together. It is because of this that their social structure has been defined by “Steward (1955) as a “family level of sociocultural integration.” (Keesing 1998: 86). The definition explains that marriage is conducted between two families in order to exploit the possibilities of coordination between them, by keeping marriage lineages between the two.

Moreover the contemporary settled hunter gatherers adopted a patrilocal band by...
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