Huong Giang Tran
Student ID : 7476674
Marshall Sahlins, American anthropologist, who challenged the western economic theory when he gave an opposite view about defining the “affluent society”. His text, “the original affluent society” was focused on this argument and has become one of fundamental anthropology reading in the ethnographical field. Bird David, a cultural anthropologist of modern hunting and gathering people, who has one of the strongest arguments in Marshall Sahlins‘s theory. In her book “beyond the affluent society “, she not only showed some problems in Marshall’s ideas but also used her new metaphor to explain the hunter gather society. Even Bird David had not completely agreed with Marshall’s ideas but they did have some similarities in the way to see the hunter-gather life. The differences and similarities between the arguments of these two anthropologists will be discussed in this essay.
Another similarity between two of them should be mentioned is that they both refused to apply a western economy view of “scarcity” for the hunter-gatherer economy. Bird David and Marshall both realised that if in the western society , every economics decision will be based on the “ scarcity” of resource in hunter view , so in the hunter-gatherer case , the power of “ abundance” has effected in the same way . Based on the theory of “ abundance” , the hunters considered that their resource are unlimited .As the result for that , they live and work with an attitude that “ never care about tomorrow” and there was more on tomorrow than today which is totally opposite with the western view .
By contrast,Bird David focused on a different dimension to analyse hunter gather ’s behaviour. In Bird David side,she wanted to emphasize on the other cultural proposition which Marshall did mention in his study but not focus on that : “ the relationship between the hunters and the nature” and “ the confidence in environment” of hunter... [continues]
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