Anthropology 101, Lecture Notes, October 24
WHAT ARE STATE ORGANIZED SOCIETIES?
- the amount of inequalities that exist in a society is how we determine just how organized a
- CITIES with very complex social organization and a very large territory
- based on AGRICULTURE with centralized government supported by tribute and taxation.
*it is not a coincidence that cities do not pop up until after we discover agriculture
- mass agriculture production creates a need for administration of distribution of food and
organization of labour (especially for production of IRRIGATION and other such large organized
- State Organized societies are supported by
● TASK SPECIALIZATION
● LONG DISTANCE TRADE
● ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE
- In state organized societies we see the rise of ORGANIZED Religion - meaning a priestly class
who collect taxes in order to build monuments and temples for people to gather to worship and
they also exert influence, telling people when to plant and harvest and go to war. this class leads
- the State system was based on inequalities in wealth and status. Very little upward or
downward mobility in the social stratum.
- Inequalities are reinforced by coersion. centralized judicial systems.
HOW WERE PRESTATE SOCIETIES ORGANIZED?
Bands: small groups based on family ties; no centralized authority; limited task specialization; no differences in wealth and status.
*not interested in acquiring power or accumulating surpluses.
Tribes: cluster of bands (large kin groups) which organize the distribution of resources and
provide a system of economic support. For example, native americans had to band together to
trap bison because it takes many people to do that work. Living in larger groups meant that to
organize a hunt, there had to be certain people in charge. Doesn't mean you could tell someone
what to do, but there is emerging leadership based on meritocracy. These tribes could also come
together to defend themselves militarily.
*some task specialization and minor inequalities in status are beginning to arise but no difference
Chiefdoms: headed by a chief with authority in religious, economic, and political spheres.
Leaders commonly believe they were chosen by god(s). Chief has all the power.
*influence transitions to authority in chiefdoms. chiefdoms are hierarchical (chief has all the
power), but status is rarely hereditary.
*chief is associated with redistribution of surpluses and task s