Accepted Paper:

Cain and Abel revisited: a cognitive-anthropological approach  


Vintila Mihailescu (National School of Political and Administrative Studies)

Paper short abstract:

Consistent biological, psychological and cultural differences between a pastoral and an agrarian population in a Romanian county are revisited from the point of view of more recent research in cognitive and ecological anthropology.

Paper long abstract:

Two rural populations, one of shepherds the other of (mainly) farmers, co-inhabiting without mixing until late after WWII in a Romanian county, have been subjected to multidisciplinary surveys during ten years. Biological, psychological, linguistic and cultural data seem to fit into a general dynamic frame of differentiation that applies not necessarily across individuals, but on a population level. Where cross-cultural data on cultural differences between agrarian and cattle breading cultures exist, the present data seem to converge. The final picture of agrarian versus pastoral cultural settings will be revisited from the point of view of more recent research on perspective taking in the broad frame of cognitive anthropology and will be confronted with a possible interpretation in terms of ecological anthropology.

Panel P15
Labour, market and policy: European shepherds today