SocialComplexity.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 166
Professor
Dr.King
Semester
Fall

Description
SOCIAL COMPLEXITY: a technology, or a collection of different technologies Simplest level of social complexity= a Band Characteristics of a band Size: less than 50 (small society) Leadership/strata: informal and temporary (No economic social class, at most, temporary informal leadership) Work: no occupational specialization, variation only by age and sex Economy: Minimal exchange, reciprocity Notes:  Members related and culturally homogeneous (members of a band are all related by blood or marriage)  Conflict in the band society is dealt with at an individual basis, there is no formal conflict resolution structure.  Most self-sufficient society with the least resources/complexity Second level of social complexity: Tribe Size: between 50-1000 Leadership/strata: Informal, no leader in a tribe Work: no occupational specialization, variation only by age and sex Economy: exchange, reciprocity (giving and owing), trade Notes:  Members are culturally homogeneous, but has a presence of "strangers" in this society (more than one extended family compared to a band), clan systems are common  Being the “stranger” is dangerous in a small community (tribe), since if something goes wrong, you are automatically blamed, also a stranger is unpredictable- "stranger anxiety" o Tribes create artificial families/clan systems to overcome their stranger anxiety (makes sure strangers have a connection to each other) Why do we not find complex technologies in Bands and Tribes? Because there is a lack of craft specialization; these societies have no craft specialization In contrast, we are now living in craft specialization since we have the ability to dedicate our time to specialize in a specific skill, etc. whereas people in those societies had to do everything from hunting, gathering, medical, etc. Third level of Society: Chiefdom (The most dramatic change is from the tribe to a chiefdom society since there is a massive domino effect and the key thing that triggers this effect is the introduction of Craft Specialization) Size: around 1000-100,000 people Leadership: Formal leaders (often hereditary), social strata, ranked classes, general bureaucrats Work: craft/vocational specialization Economy: Trade and redistributive economy Notes:  Members are culturally homogeneous, the presence of "strangers" in this society, clan systems, presence of slavery, first presence of public works in a society, ideology is significant  From bands and tribes…Chiefdom, states, and empires, are more invested in the society and the more they need the society to survive (you can no longer depend on yourself whereas in ba
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