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The Difference between Agricultural Societies and Hunter-Gathers Societies in the Past Term Paper

Discussing the Distinctions between social groups In the course of time, people have been searching for techniques and approaches to adjust to geographical, social, and cultural environment in the past and in the modern contexts. Gradual development of social and culturally different groups and nations, however, is not predetermined by a biological evolution, or by unequal conditions for the civilization development.

In this respect, Brody distinguishes between two social groups – hunters-gatherers and farmers – that were formed irrespectively of each other due to the certain historical and social conditions (14).

Hence, the author states that farmers are more mobile, restless, nomadic, and expansive in comparison with hunter-gathers who prefer to stay on a more secure, home territory (Brody 114).

The difference between agricultural societies and hunter-gathers societies also lies in temporal characteristics and the level of technological penetrations (Gonzalez 3). In particular, farmers are more developed in technological terms because they should work out strategies for increasing productivity and advancing farming practices.

However, Gonzalez emphasizes that original farmers who lived on the territory of the North American were more inclined to use ecology-friendly techniques to sustain traditional modes of farming and agriculture (27).

In discussing the differences between farmers and hunter-gatherers, Evans-Pritchard outlines two distinguishing criteria that identify the Nuer tribes: political system and ecology (47). In particular, hunter-gathers do not have particular organizational structure and subordination; instead, their political order is more close to anarchy. In ecological terms, the hunters and farmer can be classified in accordance with spatial discontinuity.

In contrast, Pollan speaks about farmers and foragers through their attitude to plant and animals (123). In particular, farmers considered corn not only as the food, but as the good that can be sold. Therefore, there were mode focused on advancing their technologies and increasing yield. In their turn, foragers were less developed in these terms because they correlated food with culture and spirituality.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More While examining the elements of Nuer culture as compared with contemporary communities originating from the immigration, Holtzman emphasizes that the Nuer life is closely connected with the waves of immigrations to the United States and explains that hunter-gatherers are more attached to traditions, kin relations, and culture (42). They had little interest in technologies and other techniques because their values were not based on materialistic objects, but on the spiritual development.

Social and Historical Forces That Are Responsible For These Modes of Life in the Recent Past Considering social factors affecting the formation of the farmers and hunter-gatherers, mostly all humans were hunter-gatherers over the years. However, this mode of life gradually altered due to the rise of agriculture that developed in societies. Paradoxically, despite of their chaotic structures, these groups are often united on the basis of kinship and tribe membership.

Brody also emphasizes that hunter-gatherer tribes have a distinct division of labor on a gender basic (2). In this regard the nomadic groups of the past are closely associated with the migration process in the contemporary societies.

Hence, the waves of immigrations predetermined by political and social processes made people change their modes of lives and choose a hunter-gatherer style of living (Pollan 24). The social and economical instability, therefore, played a decisive role in forming the groups (Gonzalez 103).

The analysis of historic precondition distinctly reveals the evolution of farmers and hunters where the conventional strategies applied to agriculture have been gradually replaced by modern industrial farming (Gonzalez 172).

Social and Historical Forces As Presented in the Current Situation Identifying the group: historical and social influences

The migration processes in the twentieth century caused significant shifts in the lives of the American people and immigrations. Blend of cultures and traditions, therefore, have made both groups change heir lives and outlooks on the current situation. I would like to present the migration process in the United States and how the waves of migration influence political environment and modes of life of different groups, which are the brightest examples of modern conjunctures.

It is possible to assume that migration paths are closely connected with group’s motivations and goals to explore other lands and possibilities. Therefore, those people who migrate to the United State were less concerned with economic and social conditions, but were guided by the possibility to innovate.

We will write a custom Term Paper on The Difference between Agricultural Societies and Hunter-Gathers Societies in the Past specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Providing connection between the past and the present.

The migrating groups debunk the myth about historical and social predetermination of the group affiliation either to farming or to foraging communities. Hence, the facts that the migrating groups derive from the agricultural societies does not guarantee that they could change their farming orientation.

Hence, the migration of the African tribes to the United States pushed them to the marginal areas proves that these groups with a deep historic of hunting and gathering can be simply converted in an agricultural society. Such process can also be called as the second Neolithic revolution, the transition from foragers to farmers.

Such a conversion is predetermined by necessity to adjust to the new mode of living. From migrated groups from Africa, agriculture and farming was the only means for survival; it also provided a favorable ground for adjusting to alien culture and tradition and for meeting the needs of a new social and political environment.

Works Cited Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World. New York: North Point Press, 2001. Print.

Evans-Pitchard, E. E.. The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Instituions of a Nilotic People. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1940. Print.

Gonzalez, Roberto Jesus. Zapotec Science: Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001. Print.

Holtzman, Jom. Nuer Journeys, Nuer Lives. Needham Heights: Allyn

Global Food Crisis Essay

Nursing Assignment Help Table of Contents Introduction

Historical Background

Political and Economic Dimensions

Current State of Food Crisis


Works Cited

Introduction Global food crises have severely affected political and economic structures and institutions that are fundamental in regulating and alleviating the impacts of such crises. The impacts of global food crisis have triggered immense policy reformation and institutions geared towards helping vulnerable countries in coping with hunger. Political economy approach entails incorporating political and economic policies aimed at finding a lasting solution to the human crises and sustainable development.

“Political economy focuses on the distribution of power and wealth between different groups, and individuals, and on the processes that create, sustain, and transform these relationships over time” (Collinson 1). The application of political economy perspective in the crises seeks to corroborate political and economic relationship in influencing power and wealth distribution.

Power and wealth distribution are imperative in addressing global food crisis that is subject to political and economic stability in varied nations. Global food crisis has direly affected agricultural production, distribution, and consumption of food. This realization raises the question of the importance of political economy perspective in understanding the scope of global food crisis.

Historical Background Global food crisis is threatening human existence. Over time, there has been gradual decrease in agricultural food production due to climatic changes and changing life styles of the people. People are shifting from agricultural production to service industries where they increase consumption pressure on meager production of food. Furthermore, with increased population, there is concomitant increase in food demands, encroachment, and fragmentation of agricultural farms that significantly affect food production.

Fragmented agricultural farms are very uneconomical in food production since they discourage mechanization due to high fuel prices. These factors amongst others are responsible for the rising food prices that have resulted in global food crisis. “Long before this crisis, more than 850 million people worldwide were already undernourished…hunger and malnutrition cause 3.5 million child deaths every year” (World Vision 1).

These figures are so high, making food crisis to be a global issue that warrants political and economic intervention. Alarming trends of food crisis all over the world have prompted many nations to seek a lasting solution, by focusing their attention on political and economic influence to determine distribution of wealth and power.

Although food crisis had existed over a long period of history, it has now become a global crisis due to the effects of globalization such as political and economic powers, which determine food and fuel prices. Developing countries begun to experience the international pressure over the past three decades; however, the pressure has hit top levels in the recent past.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Borras argues that, it is “a triple squeeze, namely: through globalization, with some regulatory powers being increasingly ceded to international regulatory institutions; through the partial decentralization of central political, fiscal and administrative powers to local counterparts; and through the privatization of some functions (11).

In effect, the loss of power to international institutions, decentralization of resources and privatization of powers are political economic factors that have worsened political and economic stability of developing countries making them more vulnerable to the global food crisis.

Changing global trends of institutional structures that aid the developing countries to enter into political and economic mainstream of the world, pose great threats because of manipulation by powerful countries. Localization due to the self-interests of the developing nations and decentralization pressure due to globalization affects production, distribution, and consumption of agricultural foods.

The current food crisis is unique from past crises since it was caused by fluctuation of rainfall and natural disasters such as floods, pests, storms, and volcanic activities. Additionally, experts warn that rising fuel prices and climate change are the impending factors that are posing significant threat to agricultural food production, all over the world.

Critically, climatic change and rising fuel prices are big issues of international concern, which require intervention from a political economic perspective of the world. Rao observes that, the increase in food prices in the recent past “produced deep distress among hundreds of millions of the poor and food-insecure across the world might also be seen as a needed warning to the national and international powers of the costs of gross disregard and fragile palliatives” (1280).

He attributes the current state of global food crisis to poor political and economic strategies that has led to improper subsidization of agricultural produce and income inequalities because of globalization. Therefore, current global food crisis is not only due to the climate change, but also due to changing political and economic policies, which unfavorably affect fuel and food prices.

Political and Economic Dimensions Global food crisis has attracted immense attention from the economic and political circles because it affects human resources and undermines the basic rights of the people to access food.

We will write a custom Essay on Global Food Crisis specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The crisis affects the economic development of a country since unhealthy nations do not marshal effective human resources imperative for sustainable economic growth. In efforts to address global food crisis, political and economic perspectives focused on four main issues; namely, enhancing agricultural production, promotion of trade, use of alternative sources energy and regulation of pollution.

Global food crisis is not only the consequence of climatic changes but “it is also the consequence of deep rooted long-term trends arising from changing demographics and consumption patterns and years of systemic failures of development strategy on many fronts” (United Nations 5). Since poor development strategies cause global food crisis, the use of political economy perceptive in reformation of policies in the view of alleviating food crisis, is very appropriate.

The primary focus of addressing global food crisis is in agricultural production. There has been continued economic negligence of agricultural production of food in both developing and developed countries despite the fact that, world’s population is drastically increasing.

The developing countries face increased pressure in trying to meet national and international demands of food consumption thus affecting food security of the nations producing the food.

“Food crisis stems from the inherent tensions that exist because the agriculture and food sectors are seen as being unlike any other economic sector” (United Nations 10). Systemic marginalization of agricultural sector from economic mainstream has left farmers perpetually poor, hence resorting to subsistence farming, which cannot sustain a whole nation. In addition, increased population amplifies rate of food consumption thus lowering food security of a nation.

Therefore, decreasing agricultural production stems from poor development strategies in that, both the government and private policies have not addressed fundamental issues surrounding agricultural development. It is quite ironical that developing countries’ economy relies on agriculture yet there is dramatic negligence of farmers and the agricultural sector in general.

Global food crisis stems from imbalance in supply and demand due poor trade strategies, an attribute of political and economic failure. Poor trade strategies have resulted into artificial food crisis emanating from manipulation of markets. “It appears that the global food price surge relate to recent volatility and turmoil in global finance, mortgage and housing markets sparked by the collapse of United States subprime markets” (Rao 1284).

Appropriate balance in supply and demand ensures a constant link between agricultural production and consumers thus maintaining reasonable food prices. Policies regarding supply and demand require political and economical influence that guarantees achievement of favorable market strategies. Moreover, high fuel prices, which increase agricultural cost of production contributes to the global food crisis.

Not sure if you can write a paper on Global Food Crisis by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Borras explains that, “high energy prices have made agricultural production and food processing and distribution more expensive by raising the cost of inputs such as fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, farm machinery use and irrigation, as well as of transport and manufacturing processes”(15). Given that acquisition and regulation of energy prices are subject to the political and economic policies of a country, enactment of favorable structures and institution that regulates energy prices can significantly alleviate global food crisis.

Current State of Food Crisis Since access to food is amongst basic human rights, world governments through their political and economic strategies are members of the United Nations organizations such as World Food Program (WFP), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and other humanitarian organizations as Red Cross and World Vision amongst others.

According to FAO, “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.(United Nation 13). Through political powers of the UN, FAO is setting policies that every nation must conform to, for the attainment of national and world food security.

It demands political and economic reforms in the agricultural sector that would enable all nations to comply with its policies. Institutional and structural reforms empower marginalized agricultural sectors and thus enhance production of food as a way of addressing global food crisis.

WFP is another United Nations’ body that deals with storage of food and their distribution to vulnerable nations. Through its reform policies, WFP is advocating its long-term measures that, “governments will need to review and reform existing policies to mitigate the current and potential future impact of high food prices and help the poor farmers benefit from increased demand of food” (Rao 1285).

Therefore, WFP utilizes political and economic perspective of the UN and its respective members in enforcing policies that will translates into effective institutions of powers, which can significantly influence development and bring a lasting solution to global food crisis.

Conclusion Political economic perspectives give a broad and clear view of global food crisis. Global food crisis is a consequence of political and economic factors that influence agricultural production, distribution, and consumption of food. Policies regarding food production and security depend on the political and economic factors, which in turn are quite fundamental in distribution and regulation of prices for consumers to benefit.

Food crisis not only emerge when there is insufficient production of food because of natural disasters such climatic change, but also due to poor political and economic structures that have negative effects on agricultural production, trade organization and regulation of fuel prices. Global food crisis therefore, is a complex issue entailing natural, political, and economic factors that affect food production.

Works Cited Collinson, Sarah. “Politically Informed Humanitarian Programming: Using a Political Economy Approach.” Humanitarian Practice Network 41.2 (2002): 1-26. Print

Borras, Saturnino. “The Politics of Transnational Agrarian Movements.” The Tricontinental Centre Journal 23.3 (2010): 11-20. Print.

Rao, Mohan. “Challenges Facing World Agriculture: A Political Economy Perspective.” Development and Change 40.6 (2009): 1280-1291. Print.

United Nations. “Addressing the Global Food Crisis.” United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2008. Web.

World Vision. “Global Food Crisis.” World Vision Resource Journal 12.2 (2007): 1-23.