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ANTH 111 (19)

ANTHRO 111: Social groups & social stratification

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ANTH 111
Elaine Hulse

Social groups & social stratification - Humans gather in groups, and both formal & informal groups offer a succinct way of organizing one’s society AND organizing oneself IN society Social groups & “Friendship” 1. Social groups tend to promote a common cause – one’s set of friends may promote several causes 2. Social groups “define” membership on some sense of shared identity - united in a common cause with common objectives 3. “friends” seldom make those types of distinctions 4. However, people belonging to a specific social group can also be “friends” *eg. Gangs, wikken, cooperative & self-help groups)  In book by Danielle Allen “Talking to strangers” (2004), she argues that habbit of interaction compromise he “real meat” of a nation’s democratic citizenship- wether these interactions be with friends or in social groups Social Stratification - In socially stratified societies, anthropologists are interested in:  How rewards are allocated  To whom  Under what conditions Social rewards 1. MONETARY WEALTH OCCURS - When one has access to most of the things valued in a country 2. POWER - Ability to make others do what you want, through authority or force 3. PRESTIGE - Respect & esteem granted to an individual by others - Earned through personal abilities (eg. Obama, mama michi) Characteristics of stratified societies 1. OBVIOUS inequalities in access to wealth, power & prestige 2. UNEQUAL ACCESS to resources ( land, tools, technology) 3. Access to rewards is difficult to achieve because of race, ethnicity, class & gender 4. SYMBOLIC INDICATORS ( eg. Activities & possessions) are clearly visible 5. Some groups are not able to access their own nation’s goods & services, because they hold ALLEGIANCE to their tribe or ethnic group ( eg. Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Druze) 6. A few groups enjoy tremendous luxuries, at the expense of other group’s labor 7. Those few social groups who do enjoy all those “luxuries” fail to distribute resources/goods EQUITABLY. Caste Based Societies (INDIA) are... 1. ENDOGAMOUS- marriage withinin a particular group 2. Assigned “membership” at bitch  ASCRIBED 3. HEIRARCHICALLY arranged 4. Socially SEGREGATED 5. “higher-ups” have an interest in maintaining system, while “lower-downs” want change 6. Access to resources is INHERITED 7. Little MOBILITY 8. Regulated marriage, occupation & residential patterns Brahma – “priestly” Kashatrya – “warriors”
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