Inequality in pre-modern societies:
(1) hunter-gatherer- (Inuits/Native people prior to European contact) They are
nomadic people (need to move around) strict limitation on how much property can be
owned by their society/people. Kept material posessions small, and transportable;
little private property, no domestication of plants/animals (very little), societies in
which there is no strong class demarkations (very egalitarian society in relation to
socio-economics) there is a sexual division of labour (gender role expectations e.g.
women-cooking/gathering, men - hunters) This division exists but there is relatively
little gender inequality.
“generalized reciprosity” - if you think of gift giving in our society around birthdays,
if one gets a gift there’s no expectation for the birthday person to give a gift back.
Reciprocity thus means sharing etc etc without any expectations e.g. hunting means
you have skill, and luck. If you are unlucky one day hopefully the person you help
when you win hunting will help you back. Implies a sort of pooling of foods in the
economics of food within a society. A system in which gifts are distributed
(2) tribal societies- domestication of plants and animals, associated with leadership,
generally women are subordinated politically. Re-distributive society (families
responsible to direct some of what they receive to the chief who distributes it
depending on how he thinks will fit). Economic inequality.
(3) early states: ancient egypt for example or Rome, China, these societies associated
with extreme inequality ; the structures of inequality are as follows: power around the
emporer (supported by bureacrats, households, administrators, army) below the
empiror and his household as listed are peasants.
➪ *Marx* if you want to ask who has the controls of economic production, but Weber
looks at who also has control over violence. In a hunter gatherer society (weapons
bow and arrow- the means of violence are available to all adult males) therefore the
control of violence is egalitarian available for all. In tribal society most men are
warriors but they are in charge of the chief, control centralized around tribal chief. In
Early states, the empress has huge standing army (permanent, professional soldiers)
the fact that the emporer is surrounded by them is backing to his rule; the emporer
has tremendous means of coercing of those who dare to disobey.
➪ How does variation in property ownership affect gender relations? in a society
where private property is widespread is there more equality because women have more access to it? or the opposite does it make men have more control. These sort of
questions are good to see macro connections to micro. Liberal democracy hangs
together with Capitalism. The spread of capitalism will issue into a democratic regime
(e.g. China) democratic meaning multi-party regime, which holds regularly scheduled
elections, realistic opposition to win. Whether these macro features of society go
together or not. Democracy and Capitalism go together. These features of different
societies are examples of them
From peasants to proletarians-Marx on work conditions in industrial Britain:
capital- bourgeoisie (middle class) find work online
- He was an aristocrat, who looked back at the achievements of the aristocratic society
which proceeded the French Revolution. He wrote in the 1830’s at that point he
thought inequality was inevitable. For Marx, the physical suffering is not central in
Tocqueville’s work; its true that certain parts of democracy in America he focuses on
Native people after the arrival of Europeans; so he is alert to human suffering. But his
concern is the atomization of society under conditi