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7: Economic Organization

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    • 7.1: Subsistence Strategies
    • 7.2: Foraging
      For roughly 90% of history, humans were foragers who used simple technology to gather, fish, and hunt wild food resources. Today only about a quarter million people living in marginal environments, e.g., deserts, the Arctic and topical forests, forage as their primary subsistence strategy. While studying foraging societies allows anthropologists to understand their cultures in their own right, the data from these studies provides us with an avenue to understanding past cultures.
    • 7.3: Pastoralists
      Pastoralism is a subsistence strategy dependent on the herding of animals, particularly sheep, goats and cattle, although there are pastoralists who herd reindeer, horses, yak, camel, and llamas. This does not mean that the people only eat the animals they raise, in fact, some pastoralists only eat their animals for special occasions. They often rely on secondary resources from the animals for food, e.g., blood or milk, or use the by-products like wool to trade for food.
    • 7.4: Horticulturists
      Horticulturalists are small-scale farmers, but this should not be confused with family farming in industrial regions of the world. Horticulturalists grow not only crops, but often raise animals and gather economically useful plants. They generally produce only what they can consume themselves, a practice anthropologists refer to as subsistence farming. Horticulturalists are found in all areas of the world except the Arctic.
    • 7.5: Intensive Agriculture
    • 7.6: Neolithic Revolution
    • 7.7: Distribution

    Thumbnail: A waste picker is a person who salvages reusable or recyclable materials thrown away by others to sell or for personal consumption.[1] There are millions of waste pickers worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, but increasingly in post-industrial countries as well Scavenging in Jakarta, Indonesia (CC BY 2.0; Jonathan McIntosh).

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