The darker side of the "original affluent society"

Authors
Citation
D. Kaplan, The darker side of the "original affluent society", J ANTHR RES, 56(3), 2000, pp. 301-324
Citations number
75
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0091-7710 → ACNP
Volume
56
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Pages
301 - 324
Database
ISI
SICI code
0091-7710(200023)56:3<301:TDSOT">2.0.ZU;2-6
Abstract
Hunter-gatherers emerged from the "Man the Hunter" conference in 1966 as th e "original affluent society." The main features of this thesis now seem to be widely accepted by anthropologists, despite the strong reservations exp ressed by certain specialists in foraging societies concerning the data adv anced to support the claim. This essay brings together a portion of the dat a and argumentation in the literature that raise a number of questions abou t hunter-gatherer affluence. Three topics are addressed: How "hard" do fora gers work? How well-fed are members of foraging societies? And what do we m ean by "work," "leisure," and "affluence" in thr context of foraging societ ies? Finally, this essay offers some thoughts about why, given the reservat ions and critical observations expressed by anthropologists who work with f oragers, the thesis seems to have been enthusiastically embraced by most an thropologists.