A Question About Marshall Sahlins

Lou Rocha (lrocha@TOTO.CSUSTAN.EDU)
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 13:17:49 -0700

My name is Lou and I am a student at California State Stanislaus and
doing research on Sahlins for a presention. If you can answer any of
these questions or point me in the direction where I can answer the, I
would be most greatful. Either resopnd to me personally or to the list. Thank you very much in advance.

1. In Social Stratification in Polynesia, what does Marshall D. Sahlins
mean by adaptive variations? What do these terms have to do with adaptive
variation and what do these term mean: Ramage, Descent-line, and Coral
Atoll or Atoll organizations?

2. In Moala: Culture and Nature on a Fijian Island, What does Marshall D.
Sahlins mean in his statement, the political transformation from
independent chiefdoms to a consolidated, albeit(although) small and
inconsequential outpost of a world empire and what does modern
enculturation adaptation have to do with it?

3. When Marshall D. Sahlins is talking about Tribesmen, what does
kinship have to do with these primitive societies in regards to
historical style and mode of subsistence? Also how does each represent a
certain category of cultural development in ethnographic heritage of
Neolithic times? What is meant by primitive segmentary societies system
and segmentary lineage system of Neolithic times?

4. Marshall D. Sahlins in Stone Age Economics, what is economic
anthropology and why is it a subfield of social anthropology, also on
these people how do they obtain a living from nature and with factors
(what factors?) affecting their organization engaged in such activities?

5. In Marshall D. Sahlins, The Anthropology of History in the
Kingdom of Hawaii, why does he want to redefine Hawaii history as a

6. Marshall D. Sahlins, in Culture and Practical Reason, what does
he mean when he states, human cultures are formulated our of practical
activity and utilitarian interest? What is meant by utilitarian interest?
And what is saying when he states that culture is the systematic and
meaningful order of persons and things. Therefore, culture cannot be the
free invention of mind nor viewed as merely a fetishist utility?

7. In Marshall D. Sahlins, Evolution and Culture, what is specific
and general evolution? And what is the distinction between the two. Also,
what is the confusion between history and evolution? What does Alfred
Louis Kroeber mean when talks about summarized history or large histories?

8. What is Marshall D. Sahlins definition of Formalism and
Substantivism and what is the debate between the two?

Again, thank you very much in advance for any information you can give me.