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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Farming and the State

Use the "Three Close Reads" approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second read you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What do Candice Goucher and Laura Mitchell think about the argument that farming was a pre-condition for the state?
  2. What evidence do Goucher and Trevor Getz provide as a counterargument to the claim that grain farming, in particular, leads to states?
  3. What does Mitchell say about the connection between labor and the state?
  4. Given the added labor and tax burden, do Goucher and Mitchell think the state was a good idea?
  5. According to Goucher, is there still a connection between farming and the state today?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. How does this video help you to understand the governance and economic systems themes?
  2. This video concentrates on the connection between farming and the formation of states, many of which had some common characteristics such as social hierarchy and specialization of labor. But the participants also push back on this by stating that there were other states that did not rely on farming such as fishing populations or pastoralists. What about foraging communities—do you think some foraging communities could also be called states? What conditions might foragers need in order to develop things like specialization of labor or social hierarchies?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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