Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Labor, Division of
Walter E. Little
Anthropologists refer to the division of labor as the different tasks that people do to provide for their physical needs and to reproduce their culture. We base these tasks on such criteria as age, gender, and skill. How this division is manifested varies across cultures and according to societal type. In the foraging, tribal, and peasant societies, labor tends to divide along gender lines. Among foragers, such as the !Kung, men hunt large game animals, while women collect wild edible plants and care for children. Within tribal societies such as the Yanomami, women keep garden plots and care for children, while men engage in hunting and trade. Among peasants in Latin America and Asia, men tend to farm and women manage the household. In these societies, there is little specialization in that a man or a woman does just one job, although they learn most of the tasks that their ...