Anthropology 2229F/G Lecture Notes - Ascribed Status, Achieved Status, Nuclear Family

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Published on 18 Jul 2012
Lecture 27 Social Forms and Society
All ideal the divisions of social systems are not necessarily completely true,
variations within each
Archaeologists interested in changes of social forms
o Population growth precedes social hierarchy? Stratification
encourages population growth?
o How is that complex chiefdoms led to the creation of ancient states?
Questions to ask about sociological change
o What kinds of social groups occupied sites? What kind of social
groups were present?
Nuclear family? Extended family?
Descent groups like lineages and clans?
Ranked clans or lineages?
o Status differences
Were there marked social differences?
Achieved status or ascribed status?
Based on age and sex?
o What kinds of activities were carried out by individuals?
Were there specialists? Jack-of-all-trades?
Are they craft, economic or religious specialists?
Full-time or part-time?
o Sexual division in division of labour
Particular concepts for what is appropriate for men and
How was labour organized?
o Mobility
How mobile were the people?
Sedentary or nomadic?
o Population Size and Density
How the people might be organized
o Subsistence
Agricultural? Hunter-gatherers?
o Exchange Systems
Introduce exchange systems to control resources
Enhance social status
o Settlement Systems
How was the society organized?
Aspects of Social Systems in the Archaeological Record
o 1. Settlement Patterns
Reflect the social system that produced them
Three Levels:
Individual structure/activity area
Community level
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Document Summary

All ideal the divisions of social systems are not necessarily completely true, Lecture 27 social forms and society variations within each. Ranked clans or lineages: status differences. Full-time or part-time: sexual division in division of labour. Particular concepts for what is appropriate for men and women. How the people might be organized: subsistence. Aspects of social systems in the archaeological record: 1. Reflect the social system that produced them. Community level: see the layout of the entire settlement, relationship between different activity areas, houses, etc. Distribution on the landscape: what is relationship between communities. Hunter-gatherer sites usually lack structures: very mobile societies, had structures that are hard to see in the record. When structures are preserved, can give a lot of information about social system: produced more than just living structures, specialized structures. Living/domestic structure: diverse assemblages/range of objects, wide range of debris. Iroquoian longhouses: cooking areas, sleeping areas, other evidence of domestic activity, frequency and redundancy.

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