Many Anthropologists use a socio-political typology that classifies societies
as bands, tribes, chiefdoms, or states.
Foragers tended to live in egalitarian, band-organized societies
Personal networks linked individuals, families, and bands.
Band leaders were first amoung equals, with no sure way to enforce
decisions. Disputes rarely arose over strategic resources, which were open to
Tribes- have economies based on non intensive food production
Tribes have no formal government and no reliable means of enforcing
Chiefdom- a form of socio-political organization intermediate between the
tribe and the state.
The state- a form of socio-political organization based on a formal
government structure and socio-economic stratification.
Services labels “band,” “tribe,” “chiefman,” and “state” are categories or types
within a socio-political typology.
San speakers have been influenced by Bantu speakers for 2,000 years.
Many san now tend to cattle for wealthier Bantu rather than foraging
independently. San also have their own domesticated animals, further
illustrating their movement away from a foraging lifestyle.
The aboriginal Inuit, another group of foragers, provide good example of
methods of settling disputes—conflict resolution—in stateless societies.
Hunting and fishing by men were the primary Inuit subsistence activities.
The diverse and abundant plant foods available in warmer areas, where
female labour in gathering is important, were absent in the Arctic.
A jilted husband had several options. He could try to kill the wife stealer.
However, if he succeeded, one of his rival’s kinsmen surely would try to kill
him in retaliation.
Each Inuit had access to the resources he or she needed to sustain life.
Age and Gender
Age and gender also can be used for regional political integration.
Among North America’s Plains Indians, men’s associations (pantribal
sodalities) organized raiding and buffalo hunting.
Such sodalities provide offense and defence when there is intertribal raiding
Among pastoralists, the degree of authority and political organization reflects
population size and density, interethnic relations, and pressure on resources. State
The state is an autonomous political unit that encompasses many
Its government collects taxes, drafts people for work and war, and decrees
and enforces laws. The state is a form of