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Chapter 7

Anthropology- Chapter 7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ivan Kalmar

Chapter 7: Political Systems 4 Levels of Political Organization:  bands (foraging, small, kin-based)  tribes (based on nonintensive food production) o based on horticulture or pastoralism o stratification and centralized rule are absent in tribes, and there is no means of enforcing political decisions  chiefdoms (intermediate between tribe and state) o kin-based with differential access to resources and a permanent political structure  State (formal government with stratification Bands:  Small groups of foragers related by kinship or marriage  Foraging encourages equality, reciprocity, and sharing as well as mobility  Band members are first among equals; have local influence only  Successful hunters or talented curer earn respect but do not inherit position nor enjoy differential access to resources Tribes:  Horticultural or pastoral economies, are organized around village life and descent groups  Village headman and the “big man” a regional leader, have limited authority  Descent group leaders, village heads, and especially the big man must be generous  The big man amasses resources through effort, his achieved status gives him authority to regulate events and persuade people Chiefdoms  Have horticultural, pastoral nomadic, or agricultural economies  While kin-based, they feature differential access to resources and permanent political regulation  Chiefs, who statuses is based on seniority of descent, receive products that come upward trough hierarchy, then redistribute them to the people  Chiefs and their assistants occupy political offices, which are permanent positions State  Is an independent, centrally organized political unit with marked socioeconomic stratification  Economy is typically agricultural or industrial  Political regulation is permanent and regional  Chiefs started to erode the kinship basis of the chiefdom and create separate strata – unrelated groups differing in economic, political, and social status  New kinds of status arise in states, such as ethnic, party, an
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