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Hunting and gathering continues to constitute specific forms of social and cultural organisation, against the backdrop of state and economy driven notions of 'development' and expanding patterns of extractive industries. This issue of the Austrian Journal of Development Studies collects perspectives, from a variety of continents, on changing cultures and social practices that have emerged over the last century in hunter-gatherer societies. Colonisation and rapid industrialisation have connected remote places to global centres, and new relations – in a broad variety of forms – between local communities, corporations and the state have emerged.
This paper presents a materialist research strategy for the study of historical processes of change among hunter-gatherers, as they become incorporated into industrial society. Two aspects are discussed: 1) a theoretical model of sociocultural systems for categorising phenomena, and 2) a theoretical principle for identifying causal relationships. The approach is illustrated with a case study on the transformations of an Alaskan Inupiaq community, touching on several aspects of sociocultural life, including population, subsistence, technology, social organisation, economy, and politics. The focus lies on the changing role of the hunting economy and its related institutions.
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Bogojavlensky, Sergei (1969): Inaangmiut Eskimo Careers: Skinboats in Bering
Strait. Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University.
Brinkman, Todd/Maracle, Karonhiaktaítie B./Kelly, James/Vandyke, Michelle/Firmin, Andrew/Springsteen, Anna (2014): Impact of fuel costs on high-latitude subsistence activities. In: Ecology and Society 19(4), 18.
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BurnSilver, Shauna/Magdanz, James/Stotts, Rhian/Berman, Mathew/Kofinas, Gary (2016): Are Mixed Economies Persistent or Transitional? Evidence Using Social Networks from Arctic Alaska. In: American Anthropologist 118(1), 121-129.
Ellanna, Linda J. (1983): Bering Strait Insular Eskimo: A Diachronic Study of Ecology and Population Structure. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Connecticut. Retrieved from http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/techpap/tp077.pdf, 10.10.2016.
Ellanna, Linda J. (1988a): Demography and Social Organization as Factors in Subsistence Production in Four Eskimo Communities. In: Isaac, Barry L. (ed.): Research in Economic Anthropology. London: Jai Press Inc., 73-87.
Ellanna, Linda J. (1988b): Skin Boats and Walrus Hunters of Bering Strait. In: Arctic Anthropology 25(1), 107-119.
Ferguson, R. Brian (1992): A Savage Encounter: Western Contact and the Yanomami War Complex. In: Ferguson, R. Brian/Whitehead, Neil L. (eds.): War in the Tribal Zone: xpanding States and Indigenous Warfare. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of American Research Press, 199-227.
Ferguson, R. Brian (1995): Infrastructural Determinism. In: Murphy, Martin F./ Margolis, Maxine L. (eds.): Science, Materialism, and the Study of Culture. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 21-38.
Ferguson, R. Brian (1999): A Paradigm for the Study of War and Society. In: Raaflaub, Kurt/Rosenstein, Nathan (eds.): War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, The Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 389-437.
Hamilton, Lawrence C./Mitiguy, Angela M. (2009): Visualizing Population Dynamics of Alaska’s Arctic Communities. In: Arctic 62(4), 393-398.
Harris, Marvin (1979): Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture.
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Harris, Marvin (1994): Cultural Materialism Is Alive and Well and Won’t Go Away Until Something Better Comes Along. In: Borofsky, Robert (ed.): Assessing Cultural Anthropology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 62-76.
Heinrich, Albert C. (1960): Structural Features of Northwestern Alaskan Eskimo Kinship. In: Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 16(1), 110-126.
Langdon, Stephen J. (1991): The Integration of Cash and Subsistence in Southwest Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimo Communities. In: Peterson, Nicolas/Matsuyama, Toshio (eds.): Cash, Commoditisation and Changing Foragers. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, 269-291.
Nowak, Michael (1988): Sea Mammals in a Mixed Economy: A Southwestern Alaskan Case. In: Arctic Anthropology 25(1), 44-51.
Oswalt, Wendell H. (1967): Alaskan Eskimos. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing
Pelto, Pertti J. (1987): The Snowmobile Revolution: Technology and Social Change in the Arctic. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Ray, Dorothy J. (1992): The Eskimos of Bering Strait, 1650–1898. Seattle: University
of Washington Press.
Schweitzer, Peter P. (2016): Albert C. Heinrich and the Post–World War II Trajectory of (Alaskan) Inuit Kinship Studies. In: Krupnik, Igor (ed.): Early Inuit Studies: Themes and Transitions. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 265-288.
Usher, Peter J./Duhaime, Gérard/Searles, Edmund (2003): The Household as an Economic Unit in Arctic Aboriginal Communities, and its Measurement by Means of a Comprehensive Survey. In: Social Indicators Research 61(2), 175-202.
VanStone, James W. (1960): A Successful Combination of Subsistence and Wage Economies on the Village Level. In: Economic Development and Cultural Change 8(2), 174-191.
Wolfe, Robert J./Walker, Robert J. (1987): Subsistence Economies in Alaska: Productivity, Geography, and Development Impacts. In: Arctic Anthropology 24(2), 56-81.
Worl, Rosita (1980): The North Slope Inupiat Whaling Complex. In: Senri Ethnological Studies 4, 305-320.
hunter-gatherers, mixed economies, materialism, Alaska, Inupiat
Russian hunters-fishermen-tradesmen went to Svalbard during the 18th and the first half of the 19th century to hunt for marine mammals and fur bearing animals and were away from home for over a year. They were under considerable stress because of the need to be economically successful and to survive in the High Arctic. What were their food security strategies? How did they balance the subsistence hunt with the commercial hunt? In this article, data from different disciplines are used to analyse the food security strategies and explicate how they managed to balance the subsistence hunt with the commercial one in the High Arctic.
Extractive industries promise to bring prosperity to indigenous communities in order to obtain their consent to operate. While many of these promises are left unfulfilled, mining operations adversely impact these communities’ natural and social environments. We document how the Philippine Agta resist mining, but also attempt to reclaim the benefits they were promised by the mining company. By elaborating the complexities of implementing compensation mechanisms, we also bring to light their problematic underlying logic. Drawing on the concept of equivalence (Li 2011), this leads us to question the validity of the assumption that long-term environmental and social impacts can be compensated for by short-term material benefits.
International attention on the Arctic, a region shared today by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, is increasing, and the region is slowly becoming a ‘hot topic’ in international affairs. In recent years, all Arctic states have published policies and strategies where they outline their objectives and goals. In this paper, these documents are analysed following a broadened approach to security that takes into consideration state-centred or traditional (that is, politico-military and politico-economic) as well as non-traditional, comprehensive or rights- based (human, societal, environmental and socioeconomic) aspects of security. This non-traditional approach, which is increasingly being addressed in some Arctic policies and strategies, switches the focus of attention from state to non- state actors, and favours the inclusion in the political agenda of otherwise often understated topics.
Nick Kelesau was born in 1965 into a nomadic hunter gatherer family in Sarawak, Borneo, East Malaysia. Around 1970 the family settled and founded the village of Long Kerong. In 1985, areas around Long Kerong were logged off, which created great difficulties for hunting and gathering. Nick Kelesau’s father, Kelesau Naan, was the headman of the village at that time. Due to his resistance against the logging, he was arrested and put in jail. In 2007 Kelesau Naan unexpectedy disappeared. His bones were found many months later in the forest. Following his father ́s activism, Nick Kelesau quit his job and continues resistance against logging to this day.