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Lecture 5

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ANTH 1150

Kottak Chapter 6 – Political Systems Power: the ability to exercise one’s will over others Authority: is the formal, socially approved use of power Tribes: have economies based on nonintensive food production (horticulture and pastoralism); no formal government and no reliable means of enforcing political decisions Chiefdom: refers to a form of sociopolitical organizations intermediate between the tribe and the state; social relations were based mainly on kinship, marriage, descent, age, generation, and gender – just as in bands and tribes; differential access to resources and a permanent political structure Differential access: some people have more wealth, prestige, and power than others did State: a form of sociopolitical organization based on a formal government structure and socioeconomic stratification Sociopolitical typology: Conflict resolution: Norms: cultural standards or guidelines that enable individuals to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in a given society Law: foragers law formal law in the sense of a legal code with trial and enforcement, but they did have methods of social control and dispute settlement Big Man: an elaborate version of the village head, supporters in several villages; a regulator of regional political organization; almost always a male Status: for any social position, no matter what its prestige Ascribed status: people have little or no choice about occupying them (Ex. Age) Achieved status: based on choices, actions, efforts, or circumstances, and may be positive or negative (Ex. Terrorist) Pantribal sodalities: groups that extend across the whole tribe, spanning several villages Office: a permanent position, which must be refilled when it is vacated by death or retirement Social Stratification: Wealth Economic status Power Political status Prestige Social status Wealth: encompasses all a person’s material assets, including income, land, and other types or property Power: the ability to exercise one’s will over others to get what one wants if the basis of political status Prestige: the basis of social status, refers to esteem, respect, or approval for acts, deed, or qualities considered exemplary; gives people a sense of worth and respect, which they may often convert into economic advantage Superordinate: the higher or the elite, has privileged access to valued resources Subordinate: he lower of the underprivileged, has limited access Fiscal: Social Control: those fields of the social system that are most actively involved in the maintenance of any norms and the regulation of any conflict Hegemony: Summary: 1. Although no ethnographer has been able to observe a polity uninfluenced by some state, many anthropologists use a sociopolitical typology that classifies societies as bands, tribes, chiefdoms, or states. Foragers tended to live in egalitarian, band organized societies. Personal networks linked individuals, families, and bands. Band leaders were first among equals, with no sure way to enforce decisions. Disputes rarely arose over strategic resources, which were open to all 2. Political authority increased with growth in population size and density and in the scale of regulatory problems. More people mean more relations among individuals and groups to regulate. Increasingly complex economies pose further regulatory problems. 3. Heads of horticultural villages are local leaders with limited authority. They lead by exam
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