Re: Work & Use of Space

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Mon, 8 Jan 1996 13:15:50 -0700

On Wed, 3 Jan 1996, Fred Pearl wrote:

> I'd like to get some comments on the concept of "work". People work
> to provide food, shelter, and clothing for themselves and their
> dependents. People also work to procreate and raise children. In
> fact, it's been argued that people get food , shelter, and clothing
> in order to procreate and raise children, but that's another topic.
> In the US, people claim to sometimes work for their health. Others
> attempt to become wealthy so that they can have more leisure time to
> vacation, etc.
> The division of labor allows someone to devote more time to certain
> aspects of work, such as food gathering, in the expectation that
> others will provide shelter or offspring maintenance.
> As anthropologists we often study use of space. Living space is
> often divided into work areas. Since debris in living space often
> accumulates, archaeologists tend to prize abandoned habitations.
> Activities at these types of sites perhaps represent only a small
> portion of the work required to provide the basic necesseties of
> life.
> What must we understand of the division of labor and the nature of
> work itself to turn the study of use of living space into meaningful
> interpretations about human behavior?
> Fred Pearl

see: Arnold, Phillip J., III. 1988. "Household Ceramic Assemblage
Attributes in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico." Journal of
Anthropological Research 44(4):357-383

Arnold, Philllip J., III. 1990. "The Organization of Refuse Disposal
and Ceramic Production within Contemporary Mexican Households." American
Anthropologist 92(4):915-932

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

There are people who will help you get your basket
on your head because they want to see what is in it.
-- African proverb