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Choose one aspect of Ju/'hoansi (also !Kung or San) culture. Identify an aspect of this culture and where it fits (infrastructure, social structure, or superstructure).

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To help you get started on this exercise, let's first look at some aspects of Ju/'hoansi culture, including their traditional hunter-gatherer economy, their commitment to sharing, their trance dancing, their gender roles, and their devotion to peace. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

The Ju/'hoansi practiced a...

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To help you get started on this exercise, let's first look at some aspects of Ju/'hoansi culture, including their traditional hunter-gatherer economy, their commitment to sharing, their trance dancing, their gender roles, and their devotion to peace. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

The Ju/'hoansi practiced a form of hunting and gathering until only a few decades ago. They moved around a great deal in order to find resources in their desert homeland, and they discovered the need to share with each other in difficult times. Resources have traditionally been viewed as belonging to the entire community, and both stinginess and arrogance are despised among the Ju/'hoansi.

The Ju/'hoansi practice trance dancing, which they believe allows energy to rise up in their healers that they may cure the sick in the community. These all-night dances involve chanting, dancing men, and clapping women. The community comes together to promote power as a group.

Women are valued in the Ju/'hoansi culture, for they traditionally gathered most of the food for the community. Men and women are actually almost equal even though they have different roles.

Finally, the Ju/'hoansi people are dedicated to peace. They try to solve their conflicts through talking (even though, admittedly, this doesn't always work), and their boundaries are flexible enough to prevent many disputes over land.

Now let's think about whether these aspects are part of infrastructure, social structure, or superstructure. Infrastructure refers to the material aspects of society, so the Ju/'hoansi's economic system would fall into this category. Social structure is all about kinship ties and politics, so the roles of women, the commitment to sharing, and the dedication to peace are part of this category. Superstructure focuses on ideals and beliefs, including religious beliefs. The trance dancing is part of superstructure.

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