Cultural Anthropology

Production and Reproduction



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Production Can be defined as the generation of artifacts, ideas or knowledge. This can be in the form of physical goods such as farm crops, metals or even buildings. Reproduction is more basic, it is making duplicates of our selves, in reference to cultures it can mean producing not only children, but spin off cultures such as colonies. Production and reproduction, is there a relationship between the two in human societies?

Humans are similar to animals in that the more they have to eat, the more the female ovulates and the more she ovulates, the greater the number of offspring. With animals, the offspring start consuming the food supply and thus ovulation or reproduction decreases. With humans, they increase production and get food from other areas.

The more a society produces the more successful it is considered and the larger it grows. Ironically, the larger it grows the more assets it requires and the more people are needed to support it. Sooner are later, like with animals, it reaches a critical mass and either stops growing and producing enough to support itself, or reproduces and starts colonies. Thus physical production is directly related to reproduction!

Cultural production (ideas, music, and art) as expressed by education seems inversely proportional to reproduction. The more educated people get, the less they seem to reproduce. The same applies after a certain point is reached with economic production as in money. Why? this is a controversial point.

The decrease in physical reproduction of children may be because educated people learn more and better ways of birth control. They can, and do, still engage in sex, but if no offspring result it is not reproduction! Economical decrease in reproduction could be related to education, wealthier people generally have better education and can learn more effective ways to control the birth rate.

It is ironic that until a society reaches a certain level of production reproduction increases, but past that point it starts to drop. At present, the United States of America is one of the most productive in the world, yet without immigration the population numbers would be dropping. Africa and many poor places around the world mainly produce people. These people then migrate to the US. If the people stayed in their home country and only had access to their own products, it is likely they would stop reproducing!

But then from where would much of the developed world's workforce come! Production and reproduction, the relationships are complex!

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