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Lecture 11

Anth: Lecture 11 Oct. 13

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ANTH 3690
Marta Rohatynskyj

Lecture 11 Oct. 13. 2011 Two Early Structuralists Social Structure (1958 published A. R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955) Empirical Reality and Concepts • A mature science has a set of terms that are used by every practitioner in the same way • anthropology still has not attained this stage • this introduction to Method in Social Anthropology (1958) works toward clarifying meanings of terms already in use - published post death • But Radcliff-Brown warns that we have to be aware of the difference between the terminology we employ and empirical reality • we must avoid misplaced concreteness (reification) • the empirical reality that we deal with is the process of social life • we describe certain general features and these generalized descriptions provide our data Social Structure • some of these general features will change over time social structure at a particular moment in time - synchronic study • • a study that recounts changes over time is diachronic • Social Structure: an arrangement of parts or components related to one another in some sort of larger unity • The components of social structure are individuals as persons who are actors in social life • We look at groups of all kinds, classes and categories • we loot at dyadic relationships • groups of people, not individuals, but also between 2 people • social structure is exhibited in the interactions between groups and person • these groups have to have some permanence in order to be considered part of social structure • spontaneous grouping, temporary grouping are not part of social structure Social Organization • Social Organization is the arrangements of activities of two or more persons which are adjusted to give a united combined activity • contrast social structure as relationship between groups • contrast social structure as activity-less • Example: the social structure of the army is evident in the divisions, regiments, companies and in the hierarchy of offices. • this is status to sociologists • Majors may form a category in the army but they are not a group • ‘all’ the majors never come together as a category and group • The organization of the army is the allotment of activities of various kinds to the groups and the individuals, whether in time of peace, or in actual military operations (p.198) Extended example of the Tribes of Western Australia • Clan - men connected with particular hunting territory are a clan • Horde - these men and their wives and children • Horde camped together and travelled together and was divided into families • Several hordes could share the same language and similar customs and thus see themselves as a tribe • Moieties as categories and kinship • moieties sub groups • Institution - an established or socially recognized system of norms or patterns of conduct referring to some aspect of social life. Definition • Social structure, therefore, is to be defined as the continuing arrangements of persons in relationships defined or controlled by institutions, i.e., socially established norms or patterns of behavious. (p.201) The Legacy of Marx and Durkheim The Influences of Hagel • The dialectic - a thesis demands its opposite, the antithesis, and this results in the synthesis • But Hagel is an idealist, he saw human society as moved by ideas and spirit • His concern with the contradiction between the subject and object of knowledge echoes throughout later theory • Marx accepted the value of the dialectic but wanted to ground it in material realities • This dialect plays
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