Cooperative Labor in Farming: Comparing Eastern to Western Societies

The eHRAF World Cultures is a great resource when it comes to comparing Eastern to Western cultures on topics such as cooperative labor in agriculture and farming….after all, it’s a cross-cultural database that automatically searches across major regions of the world for ethnographic materials of societies.

Because of its unique structure a search in eHRAF is very powerful but uses a different search methodology. In eHRAF’s Advanced Search the “Add Subjects” function can be used to pick “cooperation” and “farming” as OCM subjects. These OCM subjects can be used to search across all cultures and to find paragraphs and pages in ethnographies with information on this topic.

This image shows an Advanced Search in eHRAF World Cultures with agriculture and cooperation selected as OCM subjects.

eHRAF Advanced for farming cooperation using the "Add Subjects" function

eHRAF Advanced Search for farming cooperation using the “Add Subjects” function

Steps in Using an eHRAF Advanced Search

Step 1. Find subject(s) for agriculture
Click Add Subjects –use tabs to find “matching” subjects for your topic:
>A-Z Index (type the word “agriculture” in index box)
>Major Subjects>”Resources Exploitation” > OCM 243 Cereal Agriculture, OCM 244 Vegetable Production,
>OCM Code>200 range under “Agriculture” (this is a good way to see the OCM thesaurus in its entirety)
Check the boxes to select appropriate subjects and click Add Subjects

Step 2. Add more subjects by clicking on the + sign in lower right-hand side.

Step 3. Find subject(s) for cooperation
Click Add Subjects –use the 3 different tabs to find “matching” subjects for your topic:
>A-Z Index (type the word “cooperation” in index box)
>Major Subjects> Economy, Food, and Resource Exploitation > Business and Industrial Organization > OCM 476 Mutual Aid, OCM 474 Cooperative Organization
>OCM Code>400 range under Business and Industrial Organization (this is a good way to see the OCM thesaurus in its entirety)
Check the boxes to select appropriate subjects and click Add Subjects

Step 4. Boolean AND and OR-Very, very important to set them right!
AND to narrow search OR to expand search (see red and green circles in image above)

Step 5. Click Search.. This will retrieve a list of culture names from various regions of the world.  Pick culture names from Eastern and Western societies.

Culture Results for Farming Cooperation. eHRAF automatically searches across the major regions of the world and lists culture names and subsistence types.

Culture Results for Farming Cooperation. eHRAF automatically searches across the major regions of the world and lists culture names and subsistence types.

Step 6. Once you click on a culture name you’ll find documents (books, journal articles, etc.) with information on the searched topic.

Try your own eHRAF Advanced Search in eHRAF World Cultures. Contact hraf@yale.edu for a current login.

Related Link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/05/08/310477497/rice-theory-why-eastern-cultures-are-more-cooperative

More Search Methods Posts:

Related eHRAF User Guide Links

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