Human Nature and Richard Lee

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours

Anthropologists seek to spot the forces which shape human behavior. as an example , understanding how humans perceive the planet around and have interaction in communication is a few of the factors which anthropologists seek to determine . Anthropologists also are impacted with the requirement of building social constructs which they use for communicating the required forces when required. Furthermore, the constructs also are available handy in promoting an understanding of several anthropological topics. Richard Lee studied has a chance of studying the San population mentioned because the Ju’/hoansi. The population mainly inhabited the southern a part of Angola, Northern and Eastern Namibia, and therefore the western and central Botswana (Lee 11). The Dobe areas was the central point of study for Lee where the members of Ju’ resided and sustained their life majorly through hunting and gathering. After studying for three years, Lee was able to gather requisite information about the hunting and gathering society.

What do you think Richard Lee is trying to say he learned about human nature from studying with the Dobe?

While studying with the Dobe, Lee learned various factors about human nature. For instance, Lee learned that the society of the Ju’/hoansi is founded on an egalitarian principle. Apparently, the members of the society appear to live carefree lives from aspects such as anxiety, depression, jealousy and other plagues noted within the modern society. The members of the cultural community greatly values collectivity rather than individual prosperity as common in the modern world (Wiessner 118). The presented form of equality is what forms a foundational basis of hunting and gathering societies. The members of the community does nit have material possessions. Their collective attribute ensures that every member of the community is fed at the end of the day. Clearly, the community will engage in sharing aspects such as food since that is what defines the community. In support of this, Lee indicates that “Freedom and the enjoyment of their own game for food and the skins for clothing are the main causes” (1).

The Ju’/hoansi culture significantly values humility. Lee observed that the members of the cultural community will rarely criticize a successful hunter with desirable skills. Despite the fact that meat compromises the value of the community, a skillful hunter is appreciated for his actions which uphold the society to a greater priority. Lee considers the presented tradition as “insulting the meat” which he considers as a core belief of the community. Evidently, the hunters in the community did not brag about their skills. Humility always drove their efforts. In support of this, Lee outlines a scenario after a successful hunting by providing that after a successful hunt, the hunter “… must first sit down in silence until I or someone else comes up to his fire and asks, “What did you see today?” He replies quietly, “Ah, I’m no good for hunting. I saw nothing at all… maybe just a tiny one.” Then I smile to myself because I know he has killed something big (52).

Lee also mastered that the Ju’/hoansi community valued equality. The aspect was common in most of the society’s aspects. Still on this point, Lee established that the members of the community treated gender roles differently from modern society. The members of the identified community shared almost everything on an equal basis such as the tasks revolving around food resources acquisition (Hansen 365). The major differences evident within the gender roles in the presented community is the fact that the men are directly involved with the activity of hunting while the women in the society are majorly gatherers. Despite the notable difference all will contribute to the food resources almost on the same scale. For instance, the men will contribute approximately 45% in comparison to 55% of the gathered resources by the women (Lee 54). The women are further provided with a strong social status since their contribution is highly imperative to the society’s survival. Despite this, the women in the society are provided with equal social status to their male counterparts in that the value does not fall below or above that of the men in the community. The presented factor supports the notion that the community values freedom and equality. Dominance based on gender differences is likely to deprive and erode the community of its outlined belief.

Lee also learned that equality is a dominant factor in marriage among the members of the presented community. The man and the women within the community have almost equal authority in marriage. According to the cultural tradition of the Ju’/hoan, the parents have a responsibility of organizing marriages for the first time. During the first days, the wife will feel uncomfortable and protests for the marriage to be called off. The presented fact explains the high number of marriage failures among the members of the community (Boyette 759). The fact that women have equal status and gender roles in the presented society is evident when Lee reveals that “There is no support in the Ju/’hoansi data for a view of women in ‘the state of nature’ as oppressed or dominated by men or as subject to sexual exploitation at the hands of males” (90). The fact that the men seems to be provided with an upper hand in marriage in that they get to choose their desired wives through their parents is neutralized by the ability of the women to protest until the marriage is called off. Moreover when it comes to the issue of sex in marriage, the element of equality is also common. The issue of women subduing to the will of men is not common in the presented cultural community.

Lee also came to an assumption that the members of the Ju community are at a threat of cultural erosion. The presented notion stems from the fact that the members of the community are continually being exposed to the outside world. As a result, they suffer from a threat of cultural evolution (Sahlin 5). The identified fact is evident since the neighbors such as the no-! Kung can marry women from the Ju community despite their strong willed nature. According to Lee, “The Ju girls, thought undeniably attractive, were by Herero standards free spirits. Herero gender relations were patriarchal, or at least more patriarchal than the egalitarian Ju/’hoansi” (147). Therefore, the community is no longer secluded as in the past. The community is continually becoming more assimilated in the new world with different governments and cultural values. A period of 30 years was enough to ensure change to the Ju society in that the members had transformed from being hunters and gathers and instead invested their time in farming and herding with minimal hunting and gathering (Lee 168). The presented factor shows that time and increased assimilation to the new world can significantly erode the cultural values of the community position a threat to the survival of their egalitarian nature. With the noted trend, it is highly evident that the society can transform to one that values a patriarchal structure like developed regions (Solway 211).

Conclusion

To conclude, hunting and gathering was a common activity among the members of various communities such as the Dobe. Basic human institutions such as marriage, language, kingship, and human nature were established as people lived on hunting and gathering. The Ju community is one of the communities which established a living through hunting and gathering. The members of the society valued equality which defined the society’s cultural beliefs and ties. With equality, the people believed in sharing tasks without considering differences in gender. For instance, the men and the women had roles to play when it came to the provision of food for consumption. The men had to hunt as the women gathered for the community to survive. Equality is also a dominant factor when it comes to marriage. Men and women were provided with equal status in marriage in that the woman was not required to submit to the man when it comes to sexual matters. Time poses a threat to the culture of the Ju community. Apparently, the community is increasingly being assimilated in the new world. This poses a threat to the survival of its cultural belief. It is highly evident that the community may adopt a patriarchal structure with time, thus forgetting about its egalitarian one which represented the society throughout history.

Works Cited

Boyette, Adam H. “Children’s Play and Culture Learning in an Egalitarian Foraging Society.” Child Development, vol. 87, no. 3, May/Jun2016, pp. 759-769.

Hansen, Casper. “Modern Gender Roles and Agricultural History: The Neolithic Inheritance.” Journal of Economic Growth, vol. 20, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 365-404

Lee, Richard. The Dobe Ju/’hoansi, 4th Edition. Wadsworth: Cengage, 2003. Print

Sahlins, Marshall. Stone Age Economics. Transaction Publishers, 1974. Print

Solway, Jacqueline. “‘Culture Fatigue’: The State and Minority Rights in Botswana.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, Winter2011, pp. 211-240. 

Wiessner, Polly. “Norm Enforcement among the Ju/’Hoansi Bushmen: A Case of Strong Reciprocity?.” Human Nature, vol. 16, no. 2, June 2005, pp. 115-145. 

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Let a professional writer get your back and save some time!

Hire Writer

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price