ANTH 3690 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Class Conflict, Dialectic, Mythologiques

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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
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