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Lecture 3

SOCI-225 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Stateless Society, Ideal Type, Ultimate Power

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-formally enacted laws have not always been used to settle disputes; some communities do not rely on
them, and in the past, disputes were settled privately, between families (main goal was to restore
harmonious relationshsips)
-in hunter gatherher societies communion with the group was essential to survival and cooperation,
mutual aid, and kinship were essential to preserving order
-as societal organization shifts so do methods of dispute settlement; but universally, the role of dispute
settlement is to restore order
-crime does not exist in all societies because crime is defined as a violation of law, and not all societies
have formal lawsalthough all have some sort of moral expectation that becomes explicit
-the formulation of law requires a centralized body called a state: as defined by Max Weber the state is
an institution that claims right to exercise force to control a territory and maintain stability
-while there have been stateless societies, most require some government and formal
-i soieties ithout a state, rie as hadled  redress
-criminal law comes into force when the state itself claims to be injured, not just an individual
-requires a reflection on the human condition: in place of instincts we value stability; we work towards
large scale problem solving. We both create and resolve dispute, and desire to recover from harm
-social order: a response to the need to construct moral and legal order
Patterns of socialization: Small societies
-Lenski emphasized mode of production: the dominant form of societal organization and economic
production in a society. Ie the difference between an industrial society and huntergatherer.
-Small scale societies: usually hunter gather societies and serve as an ideal type: a theoretical construct
that uses real observed social interactions combined to create a social form that is never entirely
observed but can be used as a standard against which to compare communities
-small scale relies on a strong collective identity: a state of interdependency that rests on similar
values, beliefs, activities and cooperation among members
-see the natural forces as outside of their control and thus understand that their vulnerability as
individuals can be overcome with collectivity. The ertait of death for those outside the group
reinforced solidarity
-emphasis on self restraint: social networks are dense in small communities and characterized
by a high degree of visibility; expect the relationship to be longlasting. Diffusiveness of role: a trait of
HG societies in which peoples roles overlapthus they are reminded that there is no clear separation
between public and private life; reminded continuously of their bonds to others (cooperation
-cultivation of norms and desirability of consensus [reluctant to offend each other and often
restrain comments]
-Colson showed how restraint and impulse control foster forbearance, sharing of resources,
dispute avoidance, etc. The tonga of Zambia actively tries to avoid dispute and this works against
outbreaks of dispute, retaliation etc. Fear of reprisal also keeps members from acting out and creates
great self-restraint
-Objibway communities literally bury old disputes and decline to revisit the emotions (keeps
thepast from disrupting the present social situations)
Principle of emotional restraint in Ojibway: grief, anger sorrow to be buried. Their expression
only burdens those who hear it; indulging them privately only reduces ones energy
-principle of mutual benefit: all have to share in the fruits of the hunt; collective scarcity must
be dealt with and usually everyone receives the same share regardless of contribution; so poverty
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