Patterns of Society in Permaculture

Permaculture Designers Manual

 

CHAPTER 4 – PATTERN UNDERSTANDING

IN PERMACULTURE

Section 4.24 –

Patterns of Society in Permaculture

We can pattern the behavior of human and other social animals to represent aspects of their society.

A set of such patterns, derived from studies my students and I made in Tasmania from 1969 to 1974 are illustrated in Figure 4.29.

The central pattern represents the orders or castes of occupational level (status) in its long axis.

There are seldom more than seven major occupational levels even in such rigorously-stratified hierarchies as the army.

The width of the Figure 4.29 represents the numbers of people at each level, and for this configuration we summed the numbers of people in several organizations (to sample some 35,000 people), including the local army, a multinational company, some churches and many small businesses.

Within the general “boat” pattern form so evolved, I have marked some arrows to represent genetic streaming (by marriage or sexual congress); important classes of occupation are:

1. LOWOCCUPATIONAL (RESOURCE) AREA – MANUAL AND UNSKILLED URBAN:

Characteristics are a general dearth of material resources, low status, part-time occupations, and a remarkable preponderance of male births and survived male children (about 140 males per 100 females). Large families, serial polyandry is common or acceptable.

 

2. THE CENTRAL OR MOST POPULATED LEVEL; THE “MIDDLE CLASS”:

Adequate resources, nine-to-five jobs, some job tenure, and a “normal” birth ratio of  104 males per 100 females. Mixed; white collar and skilled technical workers, average family sizes. Monogamy is an idea, but is often expressed as serial monogamy.

3. THE UPPER LEVELS:

Few people, extensive resources, flexible and often self-set times and a high proportion of female children (about 100 females to 70 males or less); urban professionals or managers would typify the group, small families, effective polygyny, via concubines or mistresses.

4. VERY HIGH LEVELS:

Executive directors and landed nobility. Variable family sizes but a preponderance of female children (as per 3. above), and a habit of lateral intermarriage for economic alliances, facilitated by exclusive schools and resorts.

The imbalance of the sex ratios in these strata ensures a genetic turnover or diffusion between classes; a streaming of genetic materials between levels over generations.

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