CHAPTER 2
Occupations
in Three Societies

IN THIS CHAPTER we shall examine very briefly three different modern societies. These have been selected to illustrate different levels of occupational stratification, from the simplest to the most complex. Although there have been many studies of societies, they have not been made with a primary view to investigation of the role of occupations in the society, and any occupational census is rare. The gap between the second and third groups discussed in this chapter is very great, but pertinent data for societies of intermediate level are not available.

The first group are the Arunta of Australia.Their culture is among the most primitive still extant, but even they have been enormously affected by changes in this century. There is, however, a long and authentic study of them which was begun in 1896, and it is from this that the data given here are taken ( Spencer and Gillen). At that time, their way of life had as yet been changed very little as a result of the white settlement of Australia.

The second group are the Aymara of Peru.These people have been extensively studied by Tschopik.They show some occupational specialization, and an occupational census for the group is available.

The third group is an American community to which the pseudonym of Middletown was given by the Lynds, who studied them in 1924 and again in 1939. Since then things have changed greatly in Middletown, but the earlier study particularly gives us background for our attempt to understand the occupational situation in American communities today.


THE ARUNTA OF AUSTRALIA

The Arunta are Australian aborigines. In 1896 there were only about 2,000 of them in all, and they were divided into

-12-

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