Subsistence Types

According the the basic approach of cultural evolution, set out in the Bates and Fratkin text, patterns of subsistence resulting from the techology of food production can be classified into a few standard types, to which most actual systemss will conform.

Each subsistence type has specific implications for the development of and integration of social and cultural institutions and consequently can be related to a societal type which in turn is supported by a prevailing ideology.

Subsistence base ---> Societal type -->Prevaling ideology

Foraging Band society  Sharing Ethos
Pastoralism Mixed features

Horticulture 
(extensive cultivation)
Tribal society Common ancestry
Group cohesiveness

Agriculture 
(intensive cultivation) 
State Moral Hierarchy
Industrialization Modern Nation State Equality and Competition

This sequence represents historical progression (cultural evolution) from foraging to industrialization, determined by the impact of supposedly more productive technologies on the resource base of the society.

Improved technologies allow for higher levels of output and, consequently, greater social scale.