Now as I had talked about to look at the, to understand or make sense of the economic systems in different societies, now why is it important to link the economic systems with different forms of societies.
Now for example all societies produce the things they need it can be their basic needs for subsistence for the sustenance or it can be something behind it and all societies at one point were engaged in actions of things with each other and people of other societies. Now we might be familiar with the term called barter economy. Wherein peoples of different geographical location engage in certain kind of exchange of goods. Perhaps this was before the money was introduced or maybe the market system then was different before this the idea or the concept of money was not yet introduced so in that people used to have these actions of things depending on the kind of their need and that is how societies also operate a certain period of time.
Now if you if we elaborate that a little further if you look into the Hindu caste system maybe in the rural villages which is not much into practices today for instance that money system. Wherein in this just money system a particular caste group might be engaged in certain kind of services and this services is being exchanged or maybe if I am I belong to the blacksmith family I usually engage in making tools and implements for the agricultural works and in returns when the harvest season comes the farmers in essence in order to repay his services might give some kind of grains to those blacksmith family.
And similarly every cost of these occupations which are based on rather the kind of services which they have provided in essence is quite functional to a particular village or a community because that way that kind of dependence is leading to or maybe for that reason a stable society or that kind of the economic structure which in essence is also part of the social structure that kind of relationship or interactions thus takes place.
And all societies also does engage in consuming things now when we say consuming things it has a wider implication again here, now for instance depending on society we have different forms of food and drink practices right, now these food and drink practices again is also influenced by the kind of culture which we are into. Now these are also something which we need to look at and basing on these.
What does cultural ecology has to do in trying to make sense of the economic systems in different societies. The way people use their culture to add up to their particular environment the kind of relationship which we share to our environment is how the culture enable us to adopt to this. And it is also often associated with subsistence strategies. Now subsistence strategies are normally being practiced by traditional simple societies which is again different from the modern forms of economic practices, right.
Now in this we can for instance take examples of land use, land tenure, kinship, residence which are all emic, which are parts of which are codified into their culture the ideologies that are important for how people produce things. Now if we talk about the land use systems again the land use system differs across societies, now for some it might be based on an agriculture practices now again agriculture practices is different in different societies across regions and even how we tries to make use of land or resources is culturally defined.
Now I would like to bring to your attention what “Felix Padel” one of the contemporary noted economist who is been very much working in the eastern belt of India talks about the tribal economics what he discussed in one of the talks he delivered was tribal economics is usually based on the idea of subsistence there is in order to satisfy the basic needs and tribal in a sense are not really it they are not guided by that values or practices of greed, selfish so in a sense they are pretty much contented and satisfied with what they produce which in essence is entirely based on their immediate subsistence needs.
Now with a given technology in a given environment for example people have to do some things a certain way or not at all that explains the cultural similarities and people usually face different problems in different environments and with different technologies and that explains the cultural differences. Again now cultural adaptation is also technologies also used as a part of cultural adaptations the reason being different environment might require using of different technology right.
Now through that it in essence leads to a differences in culture across societies, now let us try to look at some of the different stages of societies. Now usually in the simple or traditional societies the idea of subsistence strategies and for example the foraging hunter-gatherer or maybe in the horticultural practice the pastoral agriculture will try to look into details.
What they are. In the this the first one foraging that is hunting and gathering societies usually are people are very small groups and numbering round about less than hundred in numbers and they are usually organized in bands and there are a limited size of food supply in that area so depending on the kind of resources available in that environment or in that area they will form a group. So it depends therefore they were also more or less relying on hunting that is primarily hunters while women and children usually gather the food which in a modern language we can say the non-timber forest products those the wild berries roots eatable items which are in essence being available freely in the natural surroundings.
Now they are pretty much guided by this idea of subsistence or subsistence economy and the kind of their social systems if we look at is pretty much egalitarian usually if there was a chief or had meant he was primarily an elder which is consulted and for advice and influence, now Weber talked about a German sociologist Max Weber talk about gerontocracy that is where hierarchies are normally be is on the edge that is usually people who are elder or older people are given sort of respect or they occupy the higher status in that society or in that social setting.
But nevertheless these societies are known to be more egalitarian in character and in this foraging that is the hunting and gathering societies people are normally on the frequently moved I mean the frequent movement which are with the in a sense to find for fresh or human resources to sustain them. Now in essence you can say they have this nomadic behavior which is not really static but they are on the move.
And as I said in the egalitarian thing they have less social stratification and they are not really very much permanent because again since they are dependent on the hunting and food gathering they have to be constantly or maybe as and went they feel that there is a need to find neighborhoods or resources they move out of that place. Now in horticultural society again which is distinct from different from agriculture.
As there is no domestication and these are mostly practices in the rain forest and without again fairly egalitarian and with no sort of someone who is considered to be a big man. Now usually these societies are permanent and they require a lot of land because they are into that practices of farming that is which are usually being carried out on a rotational basis, so therefore since they engaged in horticulture farming they require much, much larger areas of land as a result only this small group can be supported that is usually below 200 in numbers.
Now but even in these horticultural societies crops are not that to an extent heavily tended because there is no practice of irrigation, fertilizers and only a little weeding is being required, now which is again different from the kind of permanent cultivations which we are mostly practicing in the modern days.
Now the pastoral societies are more or less engaged or considered to be transhumance now they are mostly inhabiting the mountainous regions or they are more dependent on greener pastures or maybe meadows or plants for their animals and movement takes advantage of water source and grazing land and in this the hierarchy is based on ownership and we in essence tries to have this better code tribes that is mostly where the kind of chieftainship is being practiced.
Now in this pastoral societies there is this privilege of some surplus of food and more reliable food source resulting in some division of labor and trade for other goods. Now besides the dairy products usually which is derived from their kettles or animals products and myths animals also provide them leather, fertilizers and transportations. Now society in essence compared to the foraging and the horticultural societies they pastoralists seem to be much more internet one state because this concept of division of labor which in essence is the benchmark of modern societies has its resemblance.
Now there is this some warfare which is also being witnessed in the societies and the examples of Israel which was way back in 1200 BC can be one of the best pastoral societies no doubt there are also pastoral communities still today which is pretty much in existence. Now again in this agricultural societies that is it indicates.
Domestication, irrigations and usually the use of fertilizers now domestication no doubt was an early practice of other forms of society but then there is some modification through selective breeding of plants and animals resulting in crops people becomes more selective in the sense they are more a concern of crops which has which is more productive and maybe similarly in the case of animals.
Now which in essence is a result of how the evolution of culture also takes place, now invention of plow the use of animals to prepare fields was critical for the driving of these agriculture practices some of the benefits through these agriculture practices again is the surplus of food products and which in essence allow again the division of labor and lay the time allowing arts and science to develop so in a sense the agriculture society is making way for the emergence of an industrial society.
Now again there has been a trend which in a sense increase warfare and the spread of diseases much more labor intensive again, now no doubt the kind of economy from a modernist perspective has improved substantially in agriculture society but alongside there is also a different ills which are emerging. Now if you look at the industrial and post-industrial society.
Now we can go back to the place where this in the first industry revolution took place in England in the 1800 that is in the much, much which let it eventually lead to the practies of this colonialism or how of it eventually led to the widespread practices of colonizing different countries. Now no doubt in industrial societies people still rely on agriculture for food production but their economic production relies primarily on machines.
Again the technology in a sense evolve people tend to rely mostly on machines. To produce even the food items to have much more understanding about the industry revolutions maybe you can refer the modern omnibus. Now overall if you look at this economic systems of all these societies.
They can be perhaps a two way of defining or making sense of the economic system that is the system of reciprocity redistribution and market exchange, now what is oldest now this system in essence are defined the kind of economic system which we are into it now in reciprocity there is more of a sharing and giving a fairly equal value in exchange for other items either immediately or at a later time. Now perhaps these societies might be more egalitarian, correct? And second thing is the redistribution wherein all goods that is the food given to central leadership who apportion it amongst all members of the group in market exchange there is competitive buying and selling of commodities which are usually based on supply and demand and which employs some type of currency over here we tends to say the emergence of the use of currency or what we call as money.