Habitats in Human History

Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha

in This Fissured Land

Second edition

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077442
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082155 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

Habitats in Human History

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This chapter discusses the aspects of technology, economy, social organization, ideology, and the ecological impact of gathering, nomadic pastoralism, settled cultivation, and industry. It then reviews the characteristic forms of social conflict between and within different modes. Apart from massive bursts of social conflict, the encounter between the different modes also signals a spurt in rates of ecological destruction. While the conflict between different modes of resource use is, at the most elemental level, a struggle for control over productive resources, it is invariably accompanied by an ideological debate legitimizing the claims of the various modes. The forms of intra-modal conflict presented, and the ways in which they are resolved, elucidate the interlinkages between modes of production and their corresponding modes of resource use. Nomadic pastoralism is best treated as being integrated with the peasant mode of resource use, within whose ecological zone it occupied a special niche.

Keywords: gatherer societies; nomadic pastoralism; settled cultivation; industry; technology; economy; social organization; ideology; social conflict

Chapter.  16617 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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