The Role Of Women In A Foraging And Horticultural Based Society

Submitted By natck2011
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Week 2 Discussion 1
Gender and Economy
The role of a woman in a foraging and horticultural based society, plays a very big part of the kinship. For centuries man has been foraging or hunt for meat, berries or roots. In a affluent society such as the (San) who are known as to be the best hunters and great at gathering in South Africa. The men do the hunting and the women do the gathering of; nuts berries, fruits and melons. The women contribute about 80% of their diet which really helps out when the men come up short when hunting. The women of this kinship do not hunt, they only gather. Unlike the San culture the Agta culture, the women hunt. They are known to be very successful. On page 10 chapter 3Band Societies (Division of Labor by Sex) it states; typically among hunters and gatherers men hunt and the women of certain cultures gather. However sometimes women will bring a small animal home and sometimes men will bring gathered food. Women also keep men informed of the animals they encounter and the men will inform the women of the food they see that is ripe or abundant.
How is a woman status impacted by her participation in food procurement? A status does not impact her participation in any way. Women gather in groups to go foraging, the work is hard and shared evenly. They have a lot more work on them then the men. You could not compare those women to the women of American society today. Both women work hard and take care of the home. American women have it a lot easier because of transportation and technology. American women can get their food delivered to their home. They can hire a nanny and maids to help if needed and that depends on their wealth status.

Week 2 Discussion 2 Exchange Systems
To identify and explain the major forms of (reciprocity) I would have to explain balanced reciprocity. Foraging ( The Original Affluent Society Chapter 3 Band Societies page 5) “An outdated view of foragers was that they struggled to survive. Always on the edge of starvation, foragers needed to work hard to feed their families. Lee, among others who study hunters and gatherers, has provided a very different image of foragers. Even the San who live in one of the most marginal environments in the world, search for food only two or three days a week. Women can collect enough food in one day to feed their families for a full week, while men hunt two or three day a week. The rest if the time is spent in leisurely pursuits; visiting, playing, sleeping and just enjoying each other’s company(Lee, 1979)From within our text (Sahlins 1965, 1972) describes three types of reciprocal generalized, balanced, and negative. This here involving the San’s is a balanced reciprocity exchange. A forager is limited as far as the tools they have to use, but they make due with what is available. They help each other in balancing their whole culture not just individually. It states in the text 3.6 page 18 Managing Conflict and Law; conflicts are handled in different ways depending on the culture, but are rare. Most of the communities are small and of kinship and normally can work things out.

A balanced reciprocity is when two people made a trade of items of equivalent value. In chapter 4 Tribes1;page 44 In horticulture societies, the sexual division of labor evolved out of the foraging model of living. Women’s knowledge of plants and where they grew, what kind of soil was best for them, how much shade was needed was far greater than the men. The reason…