People of Sierra

Essay by Nraz94University, Bachelor'sA-, November 2014

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

"The People of the Sierra" by Julian Pitt-Rivers is a riveting ethnographic account of the rural community in Andalusia, the mountainous region of southern Spain.

This paper is aimed at the notion of Status and Age amongst the people of the Alcala as well as the complexities and causalities that are a result of it. Through this paper I hope to shed light on the varying faucets of this cultural factor as well as the varying approaches one may take to understand it. By going through each theory at a time and then linking it to the next I hope to highlight now, though distinct, applicable these anthropological theories are in not only western culture, but amongst the people of Alcala as well.

History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology. - W. H. Auden [1:]


This approach characterized by Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown emphasizes on the study of the interrelations of cultural elements and the mutual effects institutions have on each other; and society as a whole.

In Julian Pitt-River's ethnography of "The people of the Sierra" functionalism serves as an important anthropological theory. From a functionalism point of view we see the stark interplay of one's intellectual worth directly associating itself with one's social worth. Malinowski would agree that the respect that is showered on the elders and those of professions that command a higher educational qualification is culmination of the effects the social ideal of education and the social consciousness of co-ownership of the pueblo amongst the people, resulting in the societal outlook of "respecting people in themselves and not due to one's fortuitous circumstances".

This ideal is further highlighted via the lack of a visual differentiation between the classes. Though there may be slight differences of...