Using Cultural Domain Analysis to Examine Andean Social Roles

Benjamin Blakely Brooks*

Using Cultural Domain Analysis to Examine Andean Social Roles. To better understand the relationships between social stress and human physiology one must examine what components of a society are socially stressful. The research reported here is based on analysis of free list data collected as part of a larger project aimed at uncovering the elements of Andean culture and society that are socially stressful.

The research project consisted of a cultural domain analysis of various domains of social role expectations. Cultural domain analysis is a set of techniques for eliciting terms from informants for a specific domain.

The free list of characteristics of bad and good farmers highlights the importance of neighbor relationships in the Andes. The characteristics of not sharing and envious of other neighbors were common on many informant negative free lists suggesting that many Andean highlanders believe that neighbors should share their harvests and not be envious of each other.

The good farmer characteristics support the notion that neighbors are needed for successful farming since sharing with neighbors and helping neighbors with planting and harvesting were listed by many informants as behaviors displayed by a good farmer.

The potato is a staple food for Andeans and it also represents the Andean culture because it was first domesticated in this part of the world and all Andean farmers’ plant potatoes. If a farmer cannot plant potatoes or does not own the shovel and pick axe needed for planting and harvesting crops than they will experience social stress.

he highland culture necessitates cooperation between neighbors as a balancing mechanism, but sometimes these neighbor relationships. When one is unable or unwilling to support their neighbor or they are envious of another farmers harvest than the individual is not adhering to Andean cultural expectations and will experience social stress.

Anthropol Open J. 2016; 1(1): 11-14. doi: 10.17140/ANTPOJ-1-103