Inequality, Complexity, and the Notion of a Gulf of Georgia Developmental Trajectory
Type de publication:Conference Paper
Résumé (en anglais):
Thirty years ago Don Mitchell made a case for the distinctiveness of the cultural and natural characteristics of the Gulf of Georgia region. Since then, new research questions have been addressed and additional data gathered, providing fresh perspectives on Mitchell's original conclusions. In particular, a variety of models have been presented to explain the development of a pan-coastal and ethnographically-based cultural pattern– the 'Developed Northwest Coast Pattern'. This paper draws upon recent theoretical and empirical observations in order to assess the evidence for a specifically Gulf of Georgia developmental trajectory. Is it appropriate to view the Gulf of Georgia region as having a unique trajectory that requires its own explanations, or, are Gulf of Georgia developments explainable as a local expression of the development of coastal cultures as a whole? This question is examined in light of current research on Northwest Coast complexity, inequality, and household evolution.