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ANTH100 Lecture Notes - Marvin Harris, Social Inequality

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Jennifer Liu

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ANTH 102 Chapter 8: Political and Legal Systems FEB 27
DeMello “The Convict Body”
- Anthropology of the body “if the physical body serves as site on gender, ethnicity, class are
symbolically marked tattoos…create the cultural body…creating and maintaining specific social
Different subcultures of Tattoo Culture
1. Professional
2. Semi professional
3. Street
4. Prison
Specific types of common themes/images on prisoner bodies. Ex: tears, barbed wires,
gang symbols
Paid by with drugs
DIY tattoos with needles and black ink
Convict (antagonist towards authority, demands respect, gets tattooed because it is
illegal) vs. inmate (model, good behavioral prisoner)
Tattoo becomes marker of convict identity/self-respect
“Expresses social division, but helps produce meaning in lives. Provides convict to join
new community”
Political Anthropology
- addressing behavior/though related to public power
- Studying pro-ana websites and if they should be legal
Legal Anthropology
- Socially accepted ways of maintaining social order and resolving conflict
3 aspects of political leadership
1. Power
Bring results through possession/forceful means
A prince, dictator, doctors, police, PM’s
2. Authority
Achieved/ascribed status
Boss, military personnel, religious leaders
3. Influence
Ability to achieve desired result by exerting social/moral pressure on someone
Sometimes subtly
Modes of political organization (small, simple to complex, larger)
- Band: smaller societies, foragers, no formal leaders, based on age/kinship
- Tribe: horticulture, lineage group, similar lifestyles occupying a territory
Controversy: “backwardness” primate=problematic
- Chiefdom: larger, several chiefdoms make a confederacy
- Confederacy
- State: encompasses several communities
Religious beliefs and symbols, architecture, urban planning to express power
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