ANTH 100 Lecture 8: Chapter 11 (March 20th 2017)
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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 100
Professor
R.Robin Dods

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Anthropology 100 March 20 , 2017 Power and Organization  Political Anthropology: study of the various methods people choose to achieve specific person and/or group goals o May be based on an ideology, a worldview that legitimizes a specific form of political action o A hegemony that persuades the acceptance of the ideology used by the dominant group to maintain their power though some form of mutual accommodation (threat of violence of some form could have been used) o The use of form – coercion thus domination may be a factor in this Note: this refers to any form of coercion from physical to mental o Political Organizations o What is power? Power is the ability to transform a given situation  Power vs Free Agency o People pursue their own self interests, at the same time, many societies attempt to meet this “need” more or less (some offers the illusion of individualism) while placing various forms of constraint on the individual to achieve the group ‘good’  How the group good is directed is through the exercise of power o How is power achieved? (i) Ascribed: born to some position of power; power on the basis of inherited status (ii) Acquired: have power ‘thrust’ upon them; power achieved through personal acts o Processes to observe  Selection of leaders  The ways norms and politics are established  The sanctions for norms/ how is social control maintained (Police? Courts? Gossip?)  Forms of settling disputes  How issues are settled between neighbouring societies (welfare vs diplomacy) o Forms of Basic Social Organization  Stateless/ State: the distinction being the formalization of political offices and governmental institutions - refer back to Chapter 4 and classification of political structures, we recognize various economic adaptations on which these forms of organization rely to some extent; also recognized as forms of social organization that have specific types of systems of distribution of power  Stateless: - non-hereditary (usually) with informal leadership - non-coercive with decisions being reached by consensus through the mobilization of public opinion, mediation, and the use of persuasion (Note: role of the greater orator in such cases) - sanctions include the removal of a member (banishment) and other forms of ostracism - if warfare appears, it is usually to support social integration/status hierarchy (Note: Warfare in PNG to keep balance with the spirit forces)  State - Centralization a feature - Increasing governmentality in some instances - Alienation from the various forms of political ‘control’ results in resistance  Bands - Units of traditional political economy - Require flexibility with respect to fission/fusion as to group size and task at hand - Frequently require mobility over an extensive territory - Family is the centre - Leadership is decided by choosing the member with the expertise for a specific group chore and following that person’s lead; role of leadership relates to that task, or sets of tasks, and may fall on another individual for others tasks - Decisions are usually though consensus  Tribe - Has a legal tone in the context of American political authority and indigenous people - People organized beyond the nuclear and extended family units usually on the principle of clans, age grade societies and/or special interest organizations (ex. Warrior’s club), into larger units of mutual political economy than found in band societies; clans or segmentary lineages can come to provide consistent leadership; regardless, communities are usually locally autonomous , leadership usually remains informal based on individual expertise Note: Big Man, an example of an extreme form of self-interest  Chiefdom - Regional polity where leadership is usually ascribed through the inheritance down a specific ‘line’  leadership is usually held by a male passing from a man to his son in patrilineal societies and from a man to his sister’s son in matrilineal societies  the relationships of power are situated in men through their
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