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Meaning of savagery
Savagery is an outdated anthropological term (of classical anthropology rather than later cultural anthropology), which applied to designate the culture that lacks major signs of economic development and modernity. It is usually used in the plural (primitive cultures). Also uses the terms primitive societies and primitive peoples, which are usually associated with indigenous peoples. Its use is associated with the of the Terminohombre primitive, i.e. of current or recent past primitive cultures, but also the prehistoric man (hominid ancestors of current human beings, and the current man during prehistory).
The shortcomings identified in primitive cultures often include writing or advanced technology, and determine a limited and isolated population. The term was used by Western scholars to describe exotic cultures that came into contact with European settlers and explorers.
Primitive culture was the main work of Edward Tylor, the founder of anthropology, which defines their religion as animism, which in turn defines by reference to contemporary indigenous and other religious data, such as the belief in spirits. Another defining characteristic of primitive cultures is a greater amount of leisure time than in complex societies (civilizations), more characterized by the trabajo.1
Many early sociologists and other authors conceived primitive cultures under the myth of the noble savage, believing that his lack of technology and its integration into what is now called world-economy turned them into examples ideal shape human life more appropriate to the State of nature. Among these thinkers was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who are often frequently associated with the idea of the noble savage, by your discourse on the origin of inequality among men; and Karl Polanyi, who, at the great transformation understand the economic organization of primitive societies as less destructive than the market economy. Belief in primitive cultures as ideals is often described as Primitivism; primitive communism and the anarco-primitivismo to be derivations of this theoretical conception.
Many of these authors (and some later, projecting this belief even today) assume that contemporary indigenous peoples and their cultures are comparable with the primitive humans and theirs. The word "primitive" comes from the latin primus (first); Victorian anthropologists believed that so-called primitive contemporary cultures had preserved a State unchanged since the stone age (Paleolithic or Neolithic times, as they had developed or not an agricultural and/or livestock economy).
Primitive societies exist as an organization with a little advanced division of labor. The social way of life is expressed through the concept of mechanical solidarity, which is based on criteria of differentiation such as: age, experience and sex. In primitive societies there is an organization of tribes and clans. The solidarity of such societies requires adaptation to the collective by the individual. The individual is subject to the control of collective consciousness and can develop their individuality when they coincide with the mandate of the colectivo.2
The falsity of this premise is usually argued with the opposite idea that bands of hunter-gatherers may have as much innovation accumulated as "modern" civilised cultures. The differences there mainly in the cultural innovation of hunter-gatherers or groups of itinerant agriculture in the ceremonial areas, art, beliefs, rituals and traditions that normally do not leave physical evidence (artifacts, tools or weapons). The premise according to which bands of hunter-gatherers and the tribes of itinerant agriculture would have more in common that both have with the more complex societies (urban or civilized) also is denied by many modern archaeologists. According to these, a detailed examination of cultural differences would show that these types of cultures are so different from each other as they are from the urban cultures or civilizations.
Primitive societies, such as rudimentary societies of later times, do not focus their attention on economic aspects, considering them easily, and classifying its members not by their economic capacity, but by the "value" and the "feats", summarized in the ability to kill (men in war or hunting animals).
Although belief in the myth of the noble savage has not disappeared, describing a culture as primitive is often considered politically incorrect and offensive. The use of the term, especially in academia, has become very scarce.