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Education and Learning During Social Situations Among the Central Kalahari San

  • Akira Takada
Chapter
Part of the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series book series (RNMH)

Abstract

Hunter-gatherer societies, including groups of the San, have occupied a particularly important place in research on child socialization. This is principally because the features of hunter-gatherer societies have been associated with discussions about the nature of human child rearing. However, few studies have empirically analyzed the education and learning that actually occur during the everyday life of the San. To reconsider several of the premises underpinning most approaches to human education and learning, I performed an interaction analysis of the mutual accommodation that occurs while caregivers and infants engage in nursing and “gymnastic” behaviors and the process by which children imitate each other during singing/dancing activities among the G|ui and G||ana (Central Kalahari San) living in Botswana. This analysis clarifies how participants in interactions align and affiliate with each other during culturally distinctive activities. These dynamics serve as a foundation for the education and learning that is inherent in collaboratively organized sequences of interactions, by means of which experienced and inexperienced people participate in social situations, such as those listed above. The approach adopted in this paper also facilitates reconsideration of the individualistic perspectives on ability.

Keywords

Socialization Hunter-gatherer Child rearing Interaction Botswana 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Botswana for providing us with permission to conduct this research (OP 46/1 XLII (43)). This work is financially supported by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (S) “Cultural formation of responsibility in caregiver-child interactions” (Project No. 19672002 headed by Akira Takada), JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) “Cultural and ecological foundations of education and learning: An anthropological study on rhythm, imitation, and exchange (Project No. 24242035 headed by Akira Takada),” and JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutionary Models of Learning (Grant No. 1201 headed by Takeru Akazawa).”

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Asian and African StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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