Social Organization and Adaptation in Alpine Environments Essay

Social Organization and Adaptation in Alpine Environments Essay

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Social Organization and Adaptation in Alpine Environments


Adaptive Strategies in Alpine Environments: Beyond Ecological Particularism, is an article that evaluates the similarities and differences of two alpine environments. The author’s main point of the article is to identify the consistencies of social organization and adaptation throughout communities existing in high altitudes. The mountain chains used to investigate these regularities were the Swiss Alps and the Himalayan Mountains. Along with finding the consistencies of the communities with in the mountains, they also wanted to discover whether adaptation was created though the mountain environment or outside influences. Rhoades and Thompson, through researching these different mountain ranges, find many similarities throughout the alpine communities.

The authors have clear points as to why they believe that the Himalayans and the Alps are so similar. What they bring up first is the fact that they are both immense mountain ranges, and because of the size special adaptations are necessary for survival. Throughout the article though, Rhoades and Thompson do not forget the differences of the ranges. The main thing to be aware of, they point out, is the fact that the Alps are surrounded by a technological advanced and wealthy society. Compared to the Alps the Sherpas of the Himalayans are only a herding society that are not affluent, and the only wealth made in the surrounding areas are from the tourism of the mountains. Putting that aside, the similarities are abundant, considering the location and climate of the two ranges.

The authors look to subsistence techniques, regulatory devices, ownership patterns, and sociopolitical forms to find the paralle...


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...s of similarities from yet another alpine community of the Andes Mountains. In ending, the authors find that they cannot explain the evolution of alpine areas, but they have found that throughout world mountain communities adapt in similar ways to deal with the mountain environment. The authors also wish to expand on this research but hope to further look in to the adaptations as well as the cultures of the groups.

Looking throughout the article it seems as if it has completely different intents than our text. Though the article discusses the Sherpas of Nepal, our text has a completely different idea when talking about the Sherpas of Melemchi. Bishop’s text is overall a more comprehensive study of the Sherpa, and gives more detail on their lives. If anything the article adds to the Bishop text and puts the Sherpa of Nepal in the bigger picture of the world.

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