Upland Communities: Environment, Population and Social by Pier Paolo Viazzo

By Pier Paolo Viazzo

This publication follows the social, monetary and demographic differences of the Alpine sector from the overdue heart a long time. Its goal is to think again clone of the upland group which emerges from the paintings of historians, geographers and social anthropologists. The booklet for that reason bargains at size with such difficulties because the reasons and results of emigration and styles of marriage and inheritance in favouring or hampering the alterations of neighborhood populations to altering financial or ecological situations, and tackles the vexed query of the relative significance of cultural and environmental components in shaping relatives types and neighborhood buildings. even supposing its starting place lies in an extended interval of anthropological fieldwork performed in an Alpine neighborhood, Upland groups depends upon the tools and conceptual instruments of historic demography. mixed with a long term ancient standpoint, its vast comparative technique unveils an unforeseen range in neighborhood and spatial demographic styles and questions a few deep-rooted yet eventually deceptive notions bearing on mountain society and its alleged backwardness long ago.

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15 Redfield's words were echoed some twenty years later 11 12 13 14 15 Netting, Balancing on an alp, p. xiv. Gluckman, The utility of the equilibrium model', p. 221. Vayda and McCay, 'New directions in ecology', pp. 229-302. Cf. Orlove, 'Ecological anthropology', p. 250. A major influence in directing the attention of both anthropologists and archaeologists to the relations between demographic change and agricultural intensification has been E. Boserup's contention that population growth may stimulate technological progress.

See Netting, 'Alpine village as ecosystem'. A useful discussion of t h e problem of ecosystemic closure is provided by Ellen, Environment, subsistence and system, pp. 177-203. Rappaport, Pigs for the ancestors, p. 227. 28 Upland communities parts of the world. 43 Also, there is no doubt that from a theoretical point of view the adoption of the concept of ecosystem in Alpine anthropology marks an advance in two important respects. The first general advantage is that an ecosystemic approach provides models which describe the behaviour of complex systems, whereas cultural-ecological models only stress simple correlation and causality.

393. Vincze, 'Peasant animal husbandry', pp. 393-4. Environment, population and social structure 23 family herd hardly warranted shifting one or more members of the household from agricultural work to herding. In principle, the most efficient way of solving the problem consists in pooling animals and grazing resources and having the livestock cared for by an optimal number of herders. Forms of communal herding, either by rotation of owners or by specialized personnel hired jointly by them, are in fact very common in the Alps and in other mountain areas.

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