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Strategies of Adaptive Mobility in the Colombian-Ecuadorian Littoral

Norman E. Whitten, Jr.
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Apr., 1969), pp. 228-242
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/669855
Page Count: 15
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Strategies of Adaptive Mobility in the Colombian-Ecuadorian Littoral
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Abstract

A stratification model groups families in a hierarchal arrangement according to a set of variables. Such a model is convenient but is generally not productive in providing explanations of variations in social organization within the lower stratum of a complex socioeconomic system. A model of a successful social mobility sequence supplements a stratification model by allowing investigators to focus on complementary groupings at the local level. In the Pacific lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador, peasants, proletariat, and local middle-class entrepreneurs are bound by the strategies people adopt in a four-phase sequence of successful mobility. The sequence, viewed as a developmental cycle, is part of a structure in which peasant organization transforms to proletariat organization and successful proletariat organization evolves into the activities of the local entrepreneurs. The four-phase sequence itself is part of a larger sociopolitical system manipulated by the local elite who make up a dispersed ambilineal ramage linked to community economics and politics through series of affinal and attenuated affinal bonds.

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