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Cultural Analysis: !Kung San

Annotated Bibliography

A few concluding words about the !Kung San culture

The !Kung San culture provides an interesting look into a dying way of life. Before agriculture changed the way that people settled into areas, foraging was an important means of survival. In spite of the rest of the worlds advancements, the !Kung remained insulated and continued to practice a culture that put an emphasis on cooperating with each other and the environment.

Because the !Kung are among the last known hunter-gathering societies, they became a focus for anthropologists. As with most forms of science, there is rarely a way to investigate a culture without somehow influencing it, no matter how many safety protocols that are put in place. Compound on this the increasing requirements that the African military are placing on land management, the !Kung way of life is sadly disappearing.

While it's good for a culture to be allowed to evolve and take natural steps forward, many cultures, like the !Kung, are forced to change before they are ready, whether or not they are willing participants. An important resource is being pushed into non-existence. In fact, given enough time, this cultural report would more than likely be a historical cultural study.

As for using the major sociological perspectives to analyze the different social institutions of the !Kung San, it is hard to use modern descriptions to analyze a more primitive culture. Many of the social incarnations that we take for granted do not (and can not) exist in a hunter-gathering society if that society is going to survive for any amount of time. For the !Kung culture to last as long as it has, they have had to rely heavily on each other and set up a social structure that targets cooperation and group-accomplishments above all else.

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