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Anthropology Solidarity Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on November 17, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 2,343 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Anthropology Solidarity Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Solidarity is an essential theory for anthropologists throughout the world.   Solidarity, a form of unity within a group, was categorized by Emile Durkheim.   Durkheim explained two forms of solidarity; Organic and Mechanical.   Organic is where a society relies on the specialization of others within their community i.e. Doctors, Dentists, Farmers etc.   While Mechanical solidarity is more of a shared society, where the individuals of that community have an equal share in responsibility and importance, they work together.   While studying “The Harmless People,” a book written by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, we examine her experiences with the Bushmen: and how their society reflects organic or mechanical solidarity.   Hunting is the framework of life for the Bushmen, which has a large connection to family relations, influences marriage, establishes social standings among the community, and directs rituals and taboos in a manner that would be more closely considered mechanical solidarity than organic.
Family would have to be the basic structure for relationships of nearly everyone throughout the world, not just the Bushmen.   Family relations create a type of obligation to provide and care for those next of kin, which may even extend out of bloodlines i.e. adoptions or close friends.   As for the Bushmen, even though the extent of the obligatory feelings is not stated, from the book “The Harmless People” we learn that “the immediate family…is the only solid social unit” (Thomas 11).   This is most likely due to the ever-changing demographics of the band in which a Bushmen family lives.   The bands are usually small and consist of only a few families.   The sizes are always changing because some families move to different bands to visit relatives, or because of marriage.
Marriage is the first step in creating a family for the Bushmen. It is very important for a male Bushman to be able to prove himself as a man and suitable for marriage.   We see a very intense example as Thomas...

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