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Cultural Analysis: !Kung San

Home
Introduction
Family
Religion
Education
Economics
Medicine
Politics
Law
Science
Military
Media
Conclusion
Annotated Bibliography

Welcome to a brief cultural analysis of the !Kung San of the Kalahari Desert.

On the following pages, we'll attempt to analyze the social institutions (family, religion, education, economics, medicine, politics, law, science, military and the media) of the !Kung San utilizing the three sociological perspectives (functionalism, conflict and symbolic interactionism). In doing this we hope to learn a little more about a people whose culture is being taken away from them as the world speeds more and more forward technologically.

For the purpose of this analysis, more emphasis is placed on the !Kung San as a hunter-gathering society in spite the deterioration of the !Kung culture due to external forces. Because of the group structure inherent in a hunter-gathering society like the !Kung San culture, there might be instances where some of the sociological perspectives may not fit into the social institution being discussed. When this does occur, information on why it doesn't fit will be given.

Throughout this site, you might see the words Bushmen, San, or !Kung used. Bushmen and San are interchangeable words describing the peoples of South Africa who live in the Kalahari. The !Kung (or !Kung San) are a sub-group within the San. The San each speak dialects of Khoisan language, which incorporates different clicking sounds.13 For a good description on how the sounds of the language are put together, visit this site.

Along the left side of your browser, you will find links to each of the social institutions that we will discuss based on the sociological perspectives. In addition, at the bottom of each page you should find the following symbols for navigation:

- Go to the previous page.
- Come back to this page.
- Go to the next page.

All in all, I hope that you find some useful information and perhaps learn a little bit about one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies in the world.



This site was created for SOCIOLOGY 1 SEC DE1 (21594) FALL 2005.