Re: um....

Dwight W. Read (dread@ANTHRO.UCLA.EDU)
Thu, 8 Aug 1996 12:49:50 -0700

I'm not sure how much detail is useful here.

The paper in question to which Kavanagh has asked several questions was a
theoretical paper, not an attempt to define the nature of primate social
organization or that of hunting/gathering societies.

The question of concern related to the consequences that arise from a change
in social organization as it is played out in terms of resource access
(i.e.,from more-or-less independently acting "living groups" with access
primarily to resources in territory defended against incursion via other
"living groups to an interacting set of livign groups that has the
consequence that there is an extensive resource base potentially available
for each of the living groups that is part of the interacting set of living
groups). NOte that H/G SOCIETIES are more or less closed. What is open are
the living groups which compprise the society; e.g., !Kung society is a
bounded system, but camps within !Kung society are "open" in the sense that
camps do not defend their "territory" (the n!ore) against other camps--and
they are open in a continuous temporal sense in that there are no specific
times in an individual's life cycle where change of membership can be made).
While primate "living groups"/troops are not totally closed (e.g., there are
shifts that do take place between "living groups"), it is my understanding
that these occur at fairly specific times in an individual's life cycle
(e.g. in some species, males shifting from a natal group to some other group
as they reach adulthood), these shifts are likely to take place with respect
to neighboring living groups and these shifts do not lead to a major change
in resource accessibility vis a vis the living group as it is currently
(Of course, primate species vary widely in terms of social organization, but
what does seem to be common is a territory that serves as the resource base
for the social group however it is constituted, in many cases expressed in
the form of territorial defense by that group.)
D. Read

At 10:04 AM 8/8/96 -0500, you wrote:
>On Thu, 8 Aug 1996, Dwight W. Read wrote:
>> The distinction was between "primate troop"--groups that are more or less
>> isolated (defend territories, limited movement between groups) and "Hunting
>> gathering"--where living groups that are integrated into a larger system
>> that includes access to resources nominally under the control of one of the
>> living group by individuals in other living groups, access to members of
>> other groups for reporductive purposes, etc. The details of organization
>> were less important than the implications the contrasting forms of
>> organization had with regard to the resource base available to a day-to-day
>> "living group".
>Can you indeed generalize like that? Are all primate troops closed, are
>all H-G groups open?
>Are the implications you are trying to draw more from the type of
>resource and its parameters (seasonal availability, locational dispersal,
>etc) than from social organization?