EP talks about structural time on p.104. Review it.
104. E-P “There is a point at which we can say that time concepts cease
to be determined by ecological factors and become more determined by
interrelations, being no longer a reflection of man’s dependence on nature,
but a reflection of the interaction of social groups”
A move beyond pure functionalism. Every human institution formed
something that enabled people to survive, read through evolutionary mode
Humans have farming because it is a way of producing, religion as a way
First move into a complex analysis of human societies.
Not looking at human survival but looking at constitutional part of society
and how that society reproduces itself.
Looking at kinship, religion, economy, etc. It is how these work to produce
as a cultural whole or structural functionalism. It is the parts
In each layer, the way each part works together becomes complex in his
EP discusses the way in which structural time works. Time is one of these
cultural beliefs that work through all these things, tying them together.
People measure time according to events of significance to that group:
TIME IS RELATIVE TO STRUCTURAL SPACE, LOCALLY
Time (temporal dimension) and space (spatial dimension). For EP they
Way of measuring time is ritual:
Types of Structural Time:
Ritual Time: marks the passage through a social system (not a natural system,
based on cultural institutions): birth, age-sets, marriage, death, etc. These times
in a persons time and community time is marked by ritual.
Social memory, personal contact with those people.
Nuer social and historical memory works the same. Oldest living member of the
family and however far back their memory goes (probably the memory of their
grandparents) is the social memory of the community. It is within living memory
sort of even though some people may have passed on.
Nuer do this through age-sets which marks a boys entry into manhood. It is
marked ritually because you are receiving your garr marks (scars across your forehead happens with a significant number of boys between ~10-15 or 18).
Ritual memory and given a name will have something to do with historical
significant event (ex: the year of a great profit movement, the year of Darfur
massacre, civil war began, etc.)
Historical time is dependent on historical memory.
Historical Time: Measured by age-sets. Boys enter manhood and receive garr
marks. The boys’ age-set is named and recalls the historical events that were
relevant when they became men. (ie The class of 2011: Named 9/11 to recall
historical event) At one time, there can be living up to 6 age-sets, 7 age-sets in
living memory). Each age-set passes through the generations, assuming
particular responsibilities in the tribal territory as they age. The social
relationships between the generations are marked. Events mark time, have a
certain position in a social structure.
As each age sets pass through generation, they assume particular responsibility
(child: looking after cattle, old: go to war).
Events mark time and have a certain position in social time. Oldest memories are
the people who have in this political structure, the most authority.
Structural space: related to structural time.
∆(4) ∆(5) ∆(6) ∆(7)
∆(8)∆(9) ∆(10) ∆(11) ∆(12) ∆(13) ∆(14) ∆(15)
(1) Oldest common ancestor
(2) (3) Sons.
(8)-(15) Great Grandsons The structural distance between (8) and (9) and (14) and (15) is greatest. Live
furthest apart in the village as land is sub-divided between sons in successive
generations. And the structural distance stretches back 4 generations to find the
common ancestor. It becomes important when we think about tribal politics and
Lineage and politics are woven in together.
Family connections could be traced to determine political structures. EP is talking
about the same thing.
P. 108. Time is thus not a continuum, but is a constant structural relationship
between two points, the first and last persons in a line of agnatic descent.
Relationship between (2) and (13) must be measured in terms of kin. Structural
distance measured by how far back in time you go.
Relationships must be explained in terms of the past.
Your relationship to someone else in a lineage in time.
People who live closely together are related to the same family. As a particular
patrilineage grows, what happens? You have more and more people. Structural
distance through historically is deeper. Structural distance betwe