The main way that people make a living in a given culture is described as the mode of living. Foraging, agriculture, pastoralism, horticulture, and industrialism are the primary ways of life. Exchange systems, which include reciprocity, allocation, and market exchange, are the means by which goods and services pass through a community. The mode of living and trade structures are linked with reciprocity and redistribution, which were typical in foraging, pastoralist, agricultural, and horticultural modes of living that provided for the exchange of goods for others. The industrialist style is associated with business trade, in which people have sufficient wealth and knowledge to exchange commodities for capital. Kinship structure is related to the mode of livelihood for example foragers live in close kinship relations composed of small groups related by marriage and birth. There is little conflict and elders hold more prestige from their experience and age and the small size ensures limited conflict. The association of the kinship and foraging is because they have to live together to share food and ensure they get enough nutrition as groups while ensuring security for the members. Fertility plays a role in the kinship structure of foragers as there are low rates of fertility and close relations among members ensure they help raise children together.
Communication and language relate to culture as it expresses, symbolizes, and embodies cultural identity. Language and communication shares and defines the personality and culture of an individual. Language and communication aid in developing and transmitting culture.
Religion is used as a form of social control through fear to control followers including fear of death, the unknown, punishment, the use of promises of a better life when following certain rules and teachings. Religion gives a set of directions and rules that ensures social control of the believers.
Ethno-medicinal systems are practices of indigenous people that relate to human health. The relationship between ethno-medicine and culture is that ethno-medicine was developed from trial and error over hundreds of years and transmitted from one generation to another. The medicine-men were part of the community and had intricate knowledge of the community and the family and its environs improving effectiveness of dealing with community’s health issues. Culture allows ethno-medicine to thrive and members of the community to trust in its efficacy.
The course has been a great learning experience for me and has allowed me to have a better understanding of culture and its influence on aspects including communication and language. Academically, I have learned a lot and gained an in-depth understanding of the concepts in the course. The course has opened up my understanding of issues and how to effectively relate with others while improving my knowledge on cultural anthropology.