Questions By The Best Answer

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Questions by the best Answer

Question 1

Modern studies of sexual selection take as their starting point the fact of reproductive competition. They then look for how potential mates are identified and attracted, how rivals are repelled, how females evaluate males and then enact their choice, and what characteristics of males and females are preferred. It seems to me that the corresponding "cultural" topics and institutions are genetics, kinship, marriage patterns, status hierarchies, costuming, dance, music, industriousness, physical attraction, health, fecundity, fertility, population parameters, puberty ceremonies, warfare, trade. Together, these topics will tell us sabout ancient gender systems. Largely uncertain about what gender actually did in society, archaeologists have addressed a smattering of these different issues in a piecemeal fashion. Many archaeologists have followed a theoretical position that sees asymmetrical interests and conflict as the basis of human interactions. They have taken gender hierarchies as their starting point (Jones 1996) and interpreted subsequent actions and results as domination and resistence motivated. Theories of sexual selection, however, indicate that hierarchy is but one way mating systems can be arranged, and cannot therefore, be assumed to be present, or even be the most beneficial way to investigate sexual selection. The archaeology of gender has, heretofore, concerned itself with issues of hierarchy, labor, production, health, status, and professional dynamics without recognizing that each topic is united by the study of human mating systems and without recognizing that the results of studying of human mating systems will be particular to each culture. While the social function of gender does not vary, what does vary over time is the configuration of a gender system. Mating may involve gender hierarchy at one stage in the society's history and not in another, it may involve musical equipment in one era and not in another, it may discriminate against foreigners or it may not. Notions of sexuality and its visual sexual releasers, kinship systems and related ideas of incest, hierarchical structure for gender, monogamy/polygymy, age categorization, and costume might also vary. Furthermore, notions of what constitutes reproduction may also vary over time. To understand gender as a sexual activity, we will need studies directed at costume, population characteristics, community and individual health, aging, Two-spirits, cultural isolation and interaction. Studies of gender directed at changes in pottery production output or hunting success using the bow and arrow, for instance, need to be situated within the mating system. With gender being the study of mating systems which are dependent upon competition for mates, mate choice, sexuality and fecundity markers, and physical attractiveness, archaeologists seem to have barely begun the inquiry and to have yet produced a comprehensive study of any one gender system.

Question 4

Instead of imitating natural music as its main function, what the art of music really does is to resolve the sound forms, given in nature, into their abstract elements, and then deliberately recombines this in harmony with human sensibility and intelligence. It is thus that we get the scale, which is a conventionally accepted order of intervals ...
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