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Lecture

Anthro Notes 11.14.13

8 Pages
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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
CAS AN 101
Professor
Lia Calhoun

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Anthro Notes: 11.14.13 Power and Politics: Anthropologists have thought about the relationship of power and politics Different kinds of political organizations: - Giving you the tools and the map - Real examples - They never neatly fit into the boxes In all societies - From the largest (China) - To smallest - People face challenge of who gets what - When do they get it - How do they get it - This is the challenge of politics - Acts as the controlling aspect of power Power: the ability to impose one’s will upon others - Can happen to an individual and to groups - Through violence - Through persuasion - Force – can mean positive or negative - Control others (the ability to do so) Political Organization – the way that power is accumulated, arranged, executed, and structurally distributed and embedded in society - The means of obtaining power - Polis – AGreek city o The Greek polis  Acity state  Aself governing entity • Aself governing city o Our expansion and our concept of the political - Takes many different forms o State that we’re most familiar with now is recent and only one type o Kin ordered societies – political power isn’t centralized  Shared from social networks of families Divide political systems into four basic types: - Bands - Tribes - Chiefdoms - States We’re painting a falsely clear picture of this: - There is a lot of overlap BAND: - Small, loosely organized, kin-ordered group - Inhabits a common territory - Found among food foragers and other small scale migratory populations o The predominate form among pre-Neolithic revolution groups o Smaller than a hundred people o No need for formalized political systems  Everyone is related to each other  Everyone knows everyone  Political organizing  Happens on a kinship basis • Getting along – political activity - Oldest form of political organization - No real need for formal, centralized political systems - High value placed on “getting along” o They spend a small amount of time getting food  Alot of the extra time, not spend on provisioning activities • Enormous amount of time talking to each other • Ironing out difficulties • Political work • Conflicts arise – political means settle these o Gossip o Ridicule o Mediation  They are really good at this • The solution has to be fair for all parties o Sometimes doesn’t work o Disgruntled individuals have the option of leaving  Live with another band  Establish a community of their own • Happens frequently - Participation of all of the adult members in decision making processes, which are based on their consensus o Leadership based on ability, no power to force others  They don’t have the kind of power to force people to abide by their decisions  Aleader who tries to make this happen will erode and people will no longer listen to him  Anew leader will emerge o Leaders:  Represent the band in negotiating rights or claims • When conflicts arise with other bands  Coordinate migration • When one place has exhausted its resources for the people - Mobility as a key technique for resolving and preventing disputes o People who are unable to get along will be pressured to move to another group o Very fluid system of politics o Has an impact on livelihood o This is as the core of their social relations TRIBE: - Arange of politically integrated, kin-ordered groups whose members share common ancestry, identity, culture, language, and territory o Economy based on some form of crop cultivation or herding o Politically integrated by one unifying thing o Political organization in a tribe is informal and temporary  Food production activities yield more food than foraging can • Larger population • New problems and challenges • Increasing complexity in challenges  In many societies the organizing unit is the clan • Descended from a common ancestor o All came from Raven or Bear • Within the clan, elders generally regulate and represent the clan to other clans • As a group the elders of all the clans form a council o Deals with outsiders o Subset clans within a larger entity o Those leaders together have a body and a council o Layering of political authority  Different kinds of leadership within this political system: • Navajo o Local leader – person who is respected on the basis of their age, integrity, and wisdom  Latter two are respected within the cultural frame  Advice is sought  They can not force their advice or decisions on anyone o “Big Man”  Leaders of localized descent groups  Combined their interest in the community’s welfare with a great deal of cunning and calculation for their own personal gain  Emerge as leaders and maintain their position on the community • Also on personal interest and personal gain  Always a he  Not elected  Position is the result of strategic acts which contribute to political power • Attract to him a number of loyal followers who depend on his success  (ie. Papua New Guinea) • Tonowi – rich one • Have to be male, rich, eloquent, generous • Economy is based on pigs • Comes with his success at breeding pigs • When someone from th
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