ANT207H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Charismatic Authority, Endogamy, Decision-Making

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Professor Tanya Li Nov. 3, 2016
ANT207 LECTURE 8
INEQUALITY & POWER
STATE SYSTEM = legitimate authority
Ex. Parliament, President
- Bureaucracy
- Army, monopoly over use of force
- Decision making
- Law, police, taxes
CHIEFDOM/KINGSHIP (Polynesia)
Chiefly lineages have ascribed “right to rule”
Control over property
Ritually elaborated, legitimated (contested?)
Taxation, bureaucracy, force, law
NON-STATE (“ACEPHALOUS”)/HEADLESS SYSTEMS
Absence of inequality
Ex. foraging bands
Use kinship system or other ways to manage and limit conflict
Ex. raiding, feuding, meditation, divine sanction, payment of compensation, ritual
BIG-MEN SYSTEMS (Melanesia)
Status not ascribed, must be achieved
Competition, charisma, prowess, skill, leadership
Win support, mobilize networks, resources
Takes agency, initiative, skill
Act within a system, established set of meanings, practices, rules
Outcomes uncertain (such as Trobriand Cricket)
WHO HAS AUTHORITY IN THE LAUJE AREA?
Weak-state authority limited taxation, poor maps, little data; overall, importance and
neglect
No chiefs
ACEPHALOUSwith some BIG-MEN tendenciescharismatic individuals like the
Mo’opu gathered kin and neighbours, asserted ritual and political authority over a
roughly bounded for a time (until authority waned, group dispersed)
Indigenous forms of authority not institutionalized
Charismatic leaders may gain some authority/legitimacy by recognition from state
WHAT IS THE SOCIAL BASIS OF INEQUALITY?
Class, caste, race, nationality, gender, age?
Role of IDEOLOGY to legitimate inequality, make it seem “natural” and common-
sense
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Document Summary

Chiefdom/kingship (polynesia: chiefly lineages have ascribed right to rule , control over property, ritually elaborated, legitimated (contested?, taxation, bureaucracy, force, law . Ex. foraging bands: use kinship system or other ways to manage and limit conflict. Ex. raiding, feuding, meditation, divine sanction, payment of compensation, ritual. Who has authority in the lauje area: weak-state authority limited taxation, poor maps, little data; overall, importance and neglect, no chiefs, acephalous with some big-men tendencies charismatic individuals like the. Mo"opu gathered kin and neighbours, asserted ritual and political authority over a roughly bounded for a time (until authority waned, group dispersed) Indigenous forms of authority not institutionalized: charismatic leaders may gain some authority/legitimacy by recognition from state. What is the social basis of inequality: class, caste, race, nationality, gender, age, role of ideology to legitimate inequality, make it seem natural and common- sense.

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