The Contrasting Curing Processes of the Ju/'Hoansi and American Doctors

Topics: Capitalism, Economic system, Healing Pages: 4 (1359 words) Published: March 27, 2006
Compare and Contrast:
The Ju/'hoansi who live in the Northwestern Kalahari Desert make a by hunting and gathering, killing antelope, rabbits, squirrels and gathering mongango nuts and fruits. When originally studied by Richard Lee in the 1960's, the Ju/'hoansi also traded, exchanging food and goods with the nearby villages. They had developed a sharing system where the food brought back to the village was distributed to all so no one would go hungry. But not until recently have their lifestyle started to change in the early 1980's due to the intervention of missionaries and other organizations. Like other foragers, their lifestyle has been exposed to poverty and exploitation; issues they have never had in their past. According to Richard Lee in his book The Dobe Ju/'hoansi, farmlands with cattle are a recent addition to their standard of living, along with schools, police stations, and large storehouses where goods can be purchased. These alterations have had both positive and devastating effects on the Ju's daily life (Lee, 167).

Americans on the other hand have a capitalist economic system where the means of production and distribution are privately owned. When compared to the Ju/'hoansi original means of hunting and gathering, this system is drastically different. Americans do not hunt or gather their food but instead go to supermarkets to purchase their food. And while the Ju/'hoansi are only starting to use the concept of money, American's have always had a monetary system. Furthermore, the Ju/'hoansi have a sharing system in terms of their food where Americans don't. However, our economic system and their economic system do have similarities as well. We both have division of labor, individual jobs and a trading system. But because of missionaries and the governments views on how the Ju/'hoansi should be living, their foraging economic system is starting to shift to be more capitalistic.

Like Americans the Ju/'hoansi must "face illness, misfortune, and...
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