The Role of Objects and Technology in Stabilizing and Reproducing Early Hunters and Gatherers Societies.

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Federico FANTECHI, University of Florence, Italy
Hunters-Gatherers societies has been considered the first model of “human” social organization, and the most durable (at least 90% of human history). Despite classic theories and concepts about this model of social organization, we'll argue that it raised up from a loose-knit network of weak ties.

In late Pleistocene the firsts Homo erectus abandoned the jungle niche for the vast dangerous Savanna, bringing whit them their weak ties based model of social organization. Hunters-Gatherers societies is the answer of hundreds K-years of adaptations processes to the new niche, resulting in a unique highly complex (for numbers and typologies of social ties) model of social organization. So unique, indeed, in his complexity that just us among all mammals have succeeded in stabilizing and reproduce it between generations.

The new model of social organization, born as a resulting of these adaptations processes (mainly guided by the need of protection from predators), is formed by 2 cores of social gathering: one at the population level assort by weak ties and the new nuclear family composed by strong ties. From Hunters-Gatherers societies on, hence, we are able to talk about ours socials organizations models calling them societies, because from then on we can observe the stable form of all other features that characterize the concept of society.

How could the Homo, alone among all mammals, stabilize and reproduce a model of social organization so complex? We'll argue, from an ANT prospective, that objects and technology has played - maybe still plays - a central role in these processes stabilizing ties and allowing each individual to manage a higher number and typology of ties translating the social complexity in social complication.