Edward D.Cope, an American paleontologist proposed two laws in evolutionary biology Continue reading “I.1.4.C Cope’s rule”
Proposed by Louis Dollo, a Belgian palaeontologist,
The rule says Continue reading “I.1.4.C Doll’s rule”
Gause’s rule ( Principle of Competitive Exclusion)
It is a proposition named for Georgy Gause. Continue reading “I.1.4.C Gause’s rule”
Anthropology is a subject which is currently proving to be remunerative for the UPSC aspirants. Besides being scoring and less time intensive it is an extension of GS preparation for around 30-40% of its syllabus. Before selecting this optional for UPSC please go through the syllabus (Paper-I, Paper-II ) in a comprehensive manner. Continue reading “Strategy- Anthropology optional for UPSC”
पृथ्वी पर ऊष्मा एवं आर्द्रता के संतुलित वितरण को निर्धारित करने में भूमंडलीय पवने महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाती है| भूमंडलीय या ग्रहीय पवनें ऐसी पवनें होती हैं जो वर्षभर एक निश्चित दिशा में चलती है| तापीय एवं गत्यात्मक कारणों से पृथ्वी तल पर आदर्श रूप में सात वायुदाब पेटियां पाई जाती है जिनके परिणाम स्वरूप पृथ्वी पर निम्न नियतवाही पवनों का आविर्भाव होता है-
3.ध्रुवीय पछुवा हवाएं
व्यापारिक/ सन्मार्गी पवने – उपोष्ण कटिबंधीय उच्च वायुदाब से भूमध्य रेखीय निम्न वायुदाब की ओर चलने वाली पवने व्यापारिक या सन्मार्गी पवने कहलाती हैं |यह अपने कोरिओलिस बल के कारण अपनी दिशा में परिवर्तन कर लेती हैं तथा उत्तरी गोलार्ध में उत्तर पूर्व से दक्षिण पश्चिम तथा दक्षिणी गोलार्ध में दक्षिण पूर्व से उत्तर पश्चिम की ओर प्रवाहित होती है |
व्यापारिक हवाओं के विभिन्न भागों में पर्याप्त अंतर होता है | उपोषण उच्च वायुदाब के निकटवर्ती भाग हवाओं के नीचे उतरने के कारण शुष्क होता हैं जबकि भूमध्य रेखा के निकटवर्ती भाग आर्द्र होता है |स्थल की अपेक्षा समुद्रों में व्यापारिक पवने सुदृढ़ होती हैं| गर्मियों में तापमान की अधिकता के कारण 30 डिग्री अक्षांशों के पास महाद्वीपीय भागों में निम्न वायुदाब बन जाता है जिससे यह पवन लुप्त हो जाती है|
इन दोनों के कारण महाद्वीपों के पूर्वी भागों में अधिक वर्षा होती है उत्तर पश्चिम की ओर कम होती जाती है |
पछुआ पवने – उपोषण उच्च वायुदाब पेटी (30-35 डिग्री) से उप ध्रुवीय निम्न वायुदाब (60 डिग्री से 65 डिग्री) के मध्य दोनों गोलार्ध में चलने वाली स्थाई पवनों को पछुआ हवा कहते हैं| इन की दिशा उत्तरी गोलार्ध में दक्षिण पश्चिम से उत्तर पूर्व तथा दक्षिणी गोलार्ध में उत्तर पूर्व से दक्षिण पश्चिम होती है| जहां पर गर्म आर्द्र पछुआ हवाएं ठंडी ध्रुवीय हवाओं से मिलती है वहां पर वाताग्र का निर्माण होता है |पछुआ हवाएं अपने साथ चक्रवात और प्रतिचक्रवात भी पश्चिम से पूर्व दिशा में ले जाती हैं| आद्रता से परिपूर्ण पछुआ हवाओं द्वारा अमेरिका व यूरोपीय महाद्वीपों के पश्चिमी भागों में पर्याप्त वर्षा होती है |
दक्षिणी गोलार्ध में हवाओं की गति अधिक तीव्र हो जाती है| इनकी प्रचंड गति के कारण 40 डिग्री अक्षांश पर इन्हें गरजती चालीसा , 50 डिग्री दक्षिणी अक्षांश पर भयंकर पचासा तथा 60 डिग्री दक्षिणी अक्षांश पर चीखती साठा के नाम से जाना जाता है |
ध्रुवीय पछुवा पवनें –ध्रुव पर अत्यधिक शीत के कारण उच्च वायुदाब वर्ष पर्यंत बना रहता है जहां से शीतोष्ण कटिबंधीय निम्न दाब की ओर पवने प्रवाहित होती है| इन हवाओं को ध्रुवीय पवन कहते हैं |उत्तरी गोलार्ध में इनकी दिशा उत्तर पूर्व कथा दक्षिणी गोलार्ध में दक्षिण पूर्व होती है| गर्मियों में वायुदाब की पेटियां के स्थानांतरण के कारण इन हवाओं का क्षेत्र संकुचित हो जाता है परंतु सर्दियों में यह प्रचंड रूप धारण कर लेती है| कनाडा में इन्हें ब्लीजार्ड तथा साइबेरिया में बुरान कहते हैं|
हवाओं का उपरोक्त आदर्श रूप तभी संभव है जब वायुदाब की पेटियां में स्थायित्व हो | परंतु यह पेटियां सूर्य से संबंधित होने के कारण परिवर्तित होती रहती है जिससे इन पवनों के विस्तार क्षेत्र में परिवर्तन होता रहता है| इस परिवर्तन के कारण ही भूमध्यसागरीय जलवायु तथा मानसूनी जलवायु का आविर्भाव होता है|
Humans are social beings. They live together and form a society. Although they make society, neither they can see it nor can they touch it. But what all they can do is that they can perceive the society, they can feel the presence of society all around them. It is the basic reason behind calling society as an abstract entity.
The whole collection of individuals in which social interaction takes place is called as ‘Social Group’. It is the group in a form or the other which fulfills various needs of an individual. It provides a medium for social interaction and establishes social relationships. Even though group is small, still it is the true representative and reflection of society.
- Group is the basic element of society and is a concrete phenomenon;
- A group requires more than one individual; and
- There is a compulsory interaction between the individuals forming a group i.e. social relationships.
Max Weber opines that it is the mutual awareness or mutual recognition that establishes the relations among the group members. And it is the system of social relations that serves as a mean to fulfill the common interests of all the members. Talcott Parsons (1951) considers culture as a basic element behind social relationships. It is the culture which defines the patterns of behaviour in a group which are shared by all the members of the group. These shared norms or patterns define the roles of the members and differentiate them from non-members.
Definition of group
Anderson and Parker (1966)
“Groups are units of two or more people meeting in the same environment, or overcoming distance by some means of communication, who are influencing each other psychologically. The distinctive bond of the group is reciprocal interaction. Friends in conversation, a committee in action and children playing together are examples.”
This definition of group implies that the relations among group members are not temporary, they are recurrent and influence the other members of the group i.e. members are conscious about the presence of other members. This consciousness of membership influences their behaviour and also differentiates a group. Physical collection of people or an aggregation also it is a collection of people who shares common characteristics and organised pattern of persistent interaction and are aware of each other’s presence. The group are one of the most stable social units of the society. They endure for a longer period and make the society sustained. They also perform a number of functions like socialisation necessary for the maintenance of the society.
Social group is a social unit which has the following basic elements:
- an aggregation of two or more individuals,
- definite relations among the members comprising it,
- mutual awareness or consciousness.
Different scholars have seen group from different point of views and classified groups in different ways. There is broad range of facts on whose basis groups have been classified. Some of the chief basis include functions, size, stability, status, rule of membership, degree of interaction and many more.
A classification of groups was made by C.H. Cooley (1909)in his book ‘Social Organisation: Human Nature and Social Order’. Two types of groups were identified i.e. PRIMARY and SECONDARY groups. Although, Cooley has never mentioned the term ‘secondary group’ in his writings but other scholars have popularised the term secondary group to those groups which do not fall in the category of primary groups.
Primary group are those groups in which a small number of persons come into direct contact with one another. There is sense of mutual co-operation, companionship and sharing of personal feelings. They are small groups and every person necessarily belongs to any of the primary groups. Due to their important nature, they form the nucleus of the social organisation.
He has observed intimate and close social relations among the members of certain small groups and termed those groups as Primary groups. In his analysis of primary group he defined it in term of face-to face interaction, co-operation and association, emotional involvement, identification and sentiments of loyalty. In primary groups emotions and sentiments carry more importance than the size of the group. Primary group is considered to be a product of long and intimate informal interactions. The relations among the members of primary groups are as in themselves not a mean to those ends.
Cooley considers family, playmates of children, neighbourhood and community groups and groups of elders as primary groups. He believes in the universal presence of these primary groups in all the times and all the stages of development. He argues upon the presence of some degree of primary relations in all sorts of groups. This primary association create consensus which further adds a ‘we’ feeling among the group members. Thus primary association is seen in all the groups and cannot therefore be used as the bases of differentiation between primary and secondary groups.
A large number of people cannot interact in highly personal and face-to-face manner and they tend to break down into small, more intense cliques. So a primary group consists of a small number of people who interact in intense, direct and personal manner. The relationships between the members carry an emotional depth and the group is likely to endure for a longer time. The members know each other at personal level and share their experiences, gossip agreeably and fill the need for intimate human companionship.
Essential conditions for a primary group formation:
- Close face-to-face proximity
- Smallness of the group
- Durability of the bond
Characteristics of Primary Group
Characteristics of primary groups can be divided into two broad categories i.e.
external characters and internal characters
External characters include following aspects:
- Physical proximity among group members
- Small size of the group
- Stability and durability
- Continuity in the relations
Internal characters include:
- Common objectives of the group
- The relations are ends in themselves
- Relationships are spontaneous
- Personal relationships
- Inclusive relations among members
- Control over the members
Primary groups are essential for social life. They play a very important role in an individual’s life. They are significant at both individual and social level. They provide the medium through which we learn our culture and patterns of behaviour.
Importance of a Primary Group
At the level of individual, a primary group
- Helps in development of personality
- Increases the efficiency of an individual
- Fulfills the psychological needs.
At the level of society, a primary group
- Transfers the culture from one generation to another
- Carries cultural norms of the society within the society
- Provides means of social control and helps maintaining the social order
- Ensures the performance of social roles in accordance with society norms.
Though primary relations and primary groups seem to be very important for the society, it would be over imperative to consider them as ideal for social interactions. At times primary groups interfere with other elements of the society. At the time of making objective decisions, primary relations create hurdle. For example, if a teacher shows leniency towards a student and gives him high marks which he does not deserve, it would be considered as dysfunctional. Many situations arise in modern society where primary relationships are inappropriate at best and harmful at worst. In large bureaucratic structure, so necessary to contemporary organisations, impersonality is more appropriate than intimacy, routine is more important than spontaneity, and division of labour more necessary than versatility. Societies and sub-societies composed of tight network of primary relationships are often more tolerant of differences, more resistant to change, and less receptive to freedom than societies where relationships are more casual (Merill,). Moreover, primary group asserts its control over its members in the form of restrictions, conformity and reactions. For example, a family provides liberties to its members and at the same time imposes restrictions on them; a peer group fosters the conformity in the group. Primary group also resists the intellectual, industrial and educational changes in order to maintain its hereditary ties.
Typical examples of primary group
- The Army Group: Soldiers form primary groups with their commandants and form informal relationships within formal settings in order to defend its members against the arbitrary authority of officers.
- The Peer Group: Boys and girls of the same age group and approximately same social background, as in a class, form a primary group and have personal social interaction which also helps in their personality development.
- The Clique: It is a form of friendship developed between two or more persons which bring them into joint activity. It satisfies the emotional needs of a person to be loved and respected by his peers. example, clique of Indian students in Australian universities.
Secondary groups fulfill maximum needs in life. Ssecondary groups as those which depend for communication on indirect media, such as newspapers (Faris, 1937).
In secondary groups, the relations are formal, impersonal, segmental and utilitarian. These groups are less intimate as the level of interaction is restricted at a formal level. They do not give close identity to its members as primary groups do. In secondary group, we very often interact with people of diverse background because we need their services and we have certain obligations to fulfill. In case of utilitarian or contractual obligations, there is no need to develop personal relations. These relations remain based on reciprocal needs. Hence, members of these groups regard each other as means not an end in themselves.
MacIver and Page (1952) has pointed out that primary group relations are characteristics of simple or primitive societies. As the population and territory of a society increases, interests would have become diversified and so the needs. It gave rise to the need of indirect, impersonal and utilitarian relations. He called these newly emerged impersonal relations as ‘great associations”. They are result of expansion of population and perhaps primarily, of growing cultural complexity.
He considers secondary group a character of industrialised and urbanised complex societies. In these societies due to complexity in the nature of work, more complicated relations develop which provides a very limited scope for intimate relations.
Ogburn and Nimkoff (1966) say that the “groups which provide experience lacking in intimacy, can be called as secondary group.” Here by experience he means the interaction with the varied kind of people in day to day life. They also separate individuals’ activities from the rest of the activities because in secondary group context every individual is supposed to play his own part. It also segments individuals’ personality in contrast to primary groups where his whole personality reflects.
Typical examples of secondary group
- A group of co-workers: A group of people working together in the same organisation form a secondary group as they have impersonal relations but spends most of the time together in the organisation.
- Clubs: Clubs are formed in order to fulfill some of the requirements of social life as fun clubs or sport clubs for entertainment, charity clubs for contributions or donations, hobby clubs for leisure pursuits and many more. These clubs are utilitarian in nature and form a secondary group as members of the group are less intimate.
- University or college: University or a college also form secondary group as they are segmental in nature. People are dependent on colleges for educational requirements but it reflects just a part of their personality and people form formal contacts.
Characteristics of Secondary Group
Dominance of secondary relations: Secondary group relations are impersonal, indirect, non-inclusive and utilitarian. Members are connected to each other through contractual obligations or interests. Due to self-interest, individuality develops among the members.
Voluntary membership: Individuals are free to join or leave the group at any point of time i.e. membership of these groups are predominantly voluntary. But in case of secondary groups like ‘state’, membership becomes compulsory.
Large in Size: They might spread all over the world. For example, members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are scattered all over the world.
Goal Oriented: Secondary groups are formed in order to fulfill the needs of the individuals. They serve the special functions in the society. Every secondary group emerges in response to specific purpose and joins the people having same type of need.
Indirect communication: Mode of communication among the members of secondary group is indirect. In many of the cases, group members seldom or rarely or never come into direct contact to each other. They rely on different forms of mass media communication which include radio, telephone, television, newspaper, movies, magazines, post and telegraph etc.
Role decides a person’s position: In secondary groups, position of a person depends upon his role. Socially achieved status and its corresponding role remains the key factor behind the position of a person in the secondary group. His position is not being decided by his ascribed status neither he is treated on the basis of his birth.
In modern society, many of the former functions of the primary groups have been assumed by large, impersonal, goal-oriented groups. Each of these secondary groups creates a new network of primary groups that provide intimacy and personal response in many impersonal situations also. So we should not see both of them mutually exclusive. The inflexible classification of groups into primary and secondary is not preferable as there is much overlapping of the two. Kingsley Davis writes that “Cooley’s emphasis on ‘we’ feeling cannot be taken as the distinctive element in the primary group as such feeling to some extent is necessary for any enduring community.” In between primary group like the family and a formal and rigid group like army there are hundreds of groups, some of which are more primary than others. Even in modern organisations, efforts are made to create a friendly atmosphere among the employees.
Hence, we can say that in modern societies both primary and secondary groups are important and it is not easy to substitute one for the other.
A community is called as a collection of people with residential ties to particular locality. It is the territorial boundary which differentiates a community with other groups because the concept of group is not restricted to a particular locality. It may be considered as a permanent local aggregation of people having diversified as well as common interests.
Word ‘Community’ is comprised of two Latin words namely ‘com’ and ‘munis’. In English ‘com’ means together and ‘munis’ means to serve. Thus, community means to serve together. In implies that the purpose of a community is to serve.
According to MacIver and Page (1952: 9) “Community is a group of people who live together, who belong together, so that they share, not ties or that particular interest, but as a whole set of interests, wide enough and complete enough to include their lives.” Kingsley Davis (1957) has defined community as the smallest territorial group that can embrace all the aspects of social life. Community is not an exclusive entity, it should not be seen as a separate part of society. They are within the society and form their integral part.
Community provides the individual a conducive environment to live wholly within it and also summarize his social relationships within it. In the simple societies, communities are considered as self-sufficient but in modern time character of community has become very complex. Moreover, community is a relative term. People live within a greater community such as a village within a district, a district within a region, a region within a state and a state within a country.
Characteristics of a Community
Definitive geographical area: Community is a spatial entity. A community is always considered in relation to a physical geographical area or territory. It is a compulsory condition for a community. But it should not be confused with those groups who live together without any separate physical boundary. As four friends living in a room do not form a community. Community is a broader term.
We feeling or community feeling: It is home instinct which lays the foundation of people’s attachment to their house, community or nation. It’s the ‘we’feeling through which people recognises their community and themselves. Community sentiments develop during a period of time within community.
Common culture and common life: Due to their common ecological conditions, they develop same type of culture, habits and behavioural patterns. Cultural uniformity and uniformity in their mode of life can be observed.
Close relationships: As a person mostly lives in a community, proximate relations develop. Collective participation becomes a common affair which brings people together and gives a chance to primary relations to develop. Thus, the psychological feelings of a community become more important.
Completeness of life: Community covers all the aspects of life. Community helps in the socialisation and also helps in developing the community sentiments in a person as well.
Permanent nature: Communities are never formed with any particular aim or objective. It grows itself spontaneously and so it is durable.
Not a legal body: A community is not a legal body i.e. it cannot sue, nor it can be sued. In the eyes of law, community has no rights and duties.
Apart from these basic elements, community shares feeling of one-ness and has a particular name. Though a community does not form with a particular aim, its ends remain wider and natural.
MacIver and Page (1952) has considered village and tribal societies as the best examples of community. Apart from it, they have also kept asylum and prison into the category of community.
In anthropology, association represents a group created for fulfillment of common needs. Human beings can fulfill their needs through three ways. One, independently; second, through conflict with one another and third, on co-operative basis i.e. in company. This co-operative pursuit may be determined by customs of the community.
So when a group organises itself especially for the purpose of pursuing certain interests, an association is born. As MacIver and Page (1952: 209) says that “an association is an organisation deliberately formed for the collective pursuit of same interest or set of interests, which its members share.” This definition clearly indicates the nature of association, its structure and functions.
Conditions to constitute an association:
- Firstly, there must be a group of people;
- Secondly, the group of people should be organised i.e. there must be certain rules for conduct;
- Thirdly, there must be common purpose of the specific nature to follow.
Since, men have several interests and several purposes to pursue; they establish many associations to fulfill them. For example: political associations to serve the political motives, student associations to give out student welfare, professional associations like ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) to serve the interests of concerned people and international associations like Rotary Club, etc.
As society moves towards complexity, needs of the human beings also become diversified and this finally lead to more and more number of associations. In contemporary times, associations perform more than their conventional functions. Now people use associations to discharge their social obligations. Society is considered as a combination of associations and healthy associations represents a healthy society.
Characteristics of association
- Association requires at least two individuals. It is considered as a concrete form of group.
- Association has its own aims and objectives. No association can be formed without any aim. Aim can be broad or particular.
- Association is always a result of deliberate action. Like communities, they do not grow spontaneously. They are deliberately created by men in order to fulfill certain aims.
- In an association, membership remains voluntary. Members can join the association or establish an association as per their needs.
- There are certain rules to get membership of an association. Every association establishes on the ground of certain rules and regulations. It also contains code of conduct for the members. On any contradictory action or disobeying the regulations, a member may be expelled from the membership. Associations are subjected to be terminated. The life of an association is upto the achievement of the aim for which it has been created. The existence of the association after the achievement of the objectives becomes meaningless and immaterial.
In simple societies, where there is less division of labour, there are a few associations and they are more inclusive. Thus, they lack specific limited functional character. They take such forms as age groups, kin groups and sex-groups etc. while in modern societies; associations are tend to be specialised so that each stands for a particular type of interest.
In a society, everybody needs a house to live. It is everybody’s aim but we can not achieve it by our own exclusive efforts and resources. For that purpose Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) was established. Associations are formed in this manner only.
Hence, we can say that associations are those functional units of society through which a man fulfills his basic social needs. They are deliberately formed in order to attain certain purposes.
ORGANISATIONS: FORMAL AND INFORMAL
organisations are those associations of individuals through which certain value oriented interests are satisfied. They are systematically arranged units of individuals in which each person has a formal status and role, (Anderson and Parker).
Organisations are principally formed in order to attain certain goals. They emerge ‘when explicit procedures are established to coordinate the activities of a group in the interest of achieving specific objectives. The collective effort of the members of the group may become formally organised either because all of them have some common interests or because a sub-group has furnished inducements to the rest to work on behalf of its interests. Trade unions, government bureaus and army are few examples of organisations.
In modern society, needs of human being are diversified and so a number of organisations exist. Organisations provide a medium for expressing the interests like education, architecture, music, sports, cultural activities, etc. Parsons says that “organisations are social units that are deliberately constructed and reconstructed to pursue specific goals.” The government, trade unions, sports authorities and clubs are social structures formed to achieve certain objectives with special purposes. These all are counted as organisations.
Generally, organisations can be divided into formal and informal organisations. An organisation is developed when there is collectivity of people associated with one another. But, mere collection of individuals does not form a formal organisation. The defining criteria of a formal organisation is the existence of procedures for mobilising and coordinating the efforts of various, usually specialised, sub-groups in the pursuit of joint objectives.
Formal organisations are further divided into four types on the basis who benefits from the organisation.
- Mutual benefit organisations where the members are beneficiaries, for example a labour union.
- Business concerns where the main beneficiaries are owners.
- Client centered as in case of service organisations.
- Common-wealth organisations which are meant for the benefit of the public.
Formal organisation has fixed set of rules of intra-organisation procedures and structures. These rules are set out in writing leaving a little scope for interpretations. In some societies or in some organisations, such rules may be strictly followed; in others, they remain at the level of formalisation only. The informal organisations are informally organised by the participants themselves, and they compliment those formally organised for them by the management. It is the interlocking social structure that governs how people work together in practice. It is the aggregate of behaviours, interactions, norms, personal and professional connections through which work gets done and relationships are built among people who share a common organisational affiliation. It consists of a dynamic set of personal relationships, social networks, communities of common interest and emotional sources of motivation. Informal organisation originates or evolves spontaneously in response to changes in the work environment.
Characteristics of formal organisation
- Enduring unless deliberately altered,
- Very specified written rules
- Equates person with roles
- People are bounded together with formal rules and procedures
Characteristics of informal organisations
- Evolve or emerge spontaneously
- Dynamic and responsive
- Rules are not specified if written
- Treat people as individuals
- No hierarchical relations
Membership of an organisation along with its privileges entails duties and responsibilities. It is just like availing a new status in order to make the individual aware of his new responsibilities and status; many organisations go through the initiation ceremony along with oath taking process. Some organisations maintain secrecy which builds a kind of social distance between members and outsiders for example Mau Mau, a secret organisation of West Africa (Verghese, ).
In a large organisation, many smaller organisations exist. These smaller organisations, which are themselves formal organisations, work as sub units of larger network.
This whole network of organisations and its sub units is known as ‘complex organisations’. Etzioni opines, “Complex organisation constitutes one of the most important elements which make up social web of modern societies.
Modern organisations differ in three ways with social groups
- (i) division of labour;
- (ii) power centers; and
- (iii) substitution of personnel.
Contemporary organisations are specialised and are likely to be formed when there is a complimentary or common interest which may bring the members together for activities of mutual interest.
Archaeology as a study is diachronic—a single archaeological site always includes evidence of all the cultural events and behaviors that might have taken place at that location for hundreds or thousands of years, not to mention the natural things that happened to it over that time. In contrast, ethnography is synchronic—what is being studied is what happens during the course of the research. Ethno-archeology is application of ethnological knowledge into the archeological studies.
Archaeologists study past societies primarly through their material remains like buildings, tools, artefacts constituting material culture. But, the problem is how to interpret the material culture in human terms. At this juncture, Archaeological works overlap with ethnography. So, to deal with this problem Archaeologists have developed new concept Ethno- Archaeology. Ethno-archaelogy, similar to Ethnography but with specific purpose of understanding how such societies use material culture.
Ethno-archaeology is a research technique that involves using information from living cultures—in the form of ethnology, ethnography, ethnohistory, and experimental archaeology—to understand patterns found at an archaeological site. An ethnoarchaeologist acquires evidence about ongoing activities in any society and uses those studies to draw analogies from modern behavior to explain and better understand patterns seen in archaeological sites.
Ethno-Archaelogy can be defined as “the study of contemporary cultures with a view to understanding the behavioral relationships which underline the production of material culture. Ethno-Archaelogy was one of the most significant recent developments in Anthropological discipline.
History of Ethnoarchaeology
Ethnographic data was used by some late 19th century/early 20th century archaeologists to understand archaeological sites (Edgar Lee Hewett leaps to mind), but the modern study has its roots in the post-war boom of the 1950s and 60s. Beginning in the 1970s, a huge burgeoning of literature explored the potentialities of the practice. Today, ethnoarchaeology is an accepted, and perhaps standard practice for most archaeological studies
Significance of Ethno-Archaelogy
Archaelogy record can only be understood if we know the origin , formation and related processes. Ethno-Archaelogy , improve in understanding the Archaeloical record.
Eg: Study of Butchery practices among the Eskimo of Alaska undertaken by Lewis Binford, provided him new ideas of how Archaelogy have been formed.
Ethno-Archaeology is centred more on explanation of the processes. Explaining how the Archaelogical record was formed & meaning of excavated structure & artifacts in terms of human behavior. Ethno-Archaelogy was not new, as Anthropologists had already studied the American Indians & Australian Aborigines since the 19th century. But, Archaelogical focus was the new technique in ethnographic study.
Ethno-Archaelogy is an indirect approach of understanding any past society. Ethno-Archaelogy evidence focus on both general & specific questions.
At general level, Ethno-Archaelogy people tend to use materials which are easily available & abundant. But materials which have to reuse & carry with them require time to invest and effort into making implementations. The abundant materials does not have an intrinsic importance in culture.
Purpose of ethnoarchaeology
- As per Archaeologist Susan Kent “to formulate and test archaeologically oriented and/or derived methods, hypotheses, models and theories with ethnographic data”.
- Lewis Binford: ethnoarchaeology is a “Rosetta stone: a way of translating the static material found on an archaeological site into the vibrant life of a group of people who in fact left them there.”
Ethno-Archaelogy helps in identifying the function of a particular artifact. But it should be limited to cases, where there is demonstrable continuity of Archaelogical culture & modern society. Ethno-Archaelogical research is used to understand technology, social, political & economic aspects of past society.
Difference between new & old Archaeology is, old archaeology was purely descriptive whereas new incorporated 3 perspectives:
- General Systems approach
- Interpretive analysis
- Logic-Deductive reasoning
Ethno-Archaelogy is the manifestation of logical-deductive reasoning methodology in archaelogy & anthropological discipline.