Date of this Version
FROM: Processual Archaeology: Exploring Analytical Strategies, Frames of Reference, and Cultural Process. Edited by Amber L. Johnson. (Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood, 2004).
THIS CHAPTER EXPLORES some of the interpretative implications of a failure to consider the potential causes for organized variability among cultural systems. The niche concept is considered useful when exploring organizational similarities and differences among cultural systems and central to a productive discussion regarding the differences between living systems that are biologically as opposed to culturally organized. Some interesting issues regarding systems complexity are focused upon through a discussion of mutualism and what is implied by the term when students of cultural systems use the idea.