Presentation on theme: "Social Stratification and Political Organization"— Presentation transcript:
1Social Stratification and Political Organization Chapters 10-12Social Stratification andPolitical Organization
2Social Control Exists to ensure a certain degree of social conformity Some people may resist conformityNormsLaws
3Most non-state societies have a comparatively high degree of personal security…why? Small size of the bands and villagesThe central importance of domestic groups and kinship in their social organizationThe absence of marked inequalities in access to technology and resources
4Descent Groups and Social Organization Beyond Kin Clans and other complex descent groups expand the basic family relationships of kin groups to provide a wider set of social structures welded together by obligationsSources of conflict between these larger groups are numerousPractices and institutions to mitigate these conflicts become necessary
5Social Control in Small-scale Societies In foraging societies, formal laws are rarePunishment is often through naming and shamingPunishment is legitimized through belief in supernatural forcesCapital punishment is rare
6Social Control in States Increased specialization of tasks relating to law and orderProcess is more formal and based on lawUse of capital punishment
7Political Anthropology Who has it; who doesn’tGovernmentsPolitical Anthropologists address the area of human behavior and thought related to powerMorality and lawDegrees of powerSocial conflict and social controlBases of powerAbuses of powerPolitical and religious power
8Social Inequality and the Law Critical legal anthropologists examine the role of law in maintaining power relationships through discrimination against indigenous people, women and minorities.
9Why Kin Groups Aren’t The Answer to All Our Problems Optimal Size of Kin Groups is small, about 200 peopleKinship ethics don’t always levy adequate sanctions (there are social reasons against it)Long-term and immediate problems in relationships between kin groups are difficult to solve: Intermarriage is the only really permanent “glue”
11Interpersonal Conflict Covers verbal arguments to murderBetween neighbors over resources or territory, e.g. Gwembe ValleyBetween neighbors over dogs, e.g. middle-class Americans
12Feuding The most universal form of inter-group aggression Based on revengeSome cultures experience more feuding because of economic change
13FIERCE MALE BABIES FAVORED SHORTAGE OFFEMALESRAID TO CAPTUREWOMENFIERCE MALE BABIES FAVOREDFEMALEINFANTICIDEPOLYGYNYThe WaiteriComplexYanomami
14Nonviolent Conflict Gandhi Weapons of the weak Non-violent resistance Public fastingStrikesCelibacyWeapons of the weakFoot dragging, desertion, false compliance, humor
15Mobilizing Public Opinion Within Kin-Based systems disputes are settled on the basis of who has the most kin support (public opinion)The general principle of dispute settlement, and leadership, is mobilization of public opinionHow far claims can be pressed depends on an individual’s willingness to suffer social penalties and his/her social backingExample: Inuit Song Contests
16Social Control of Behavior Ways societies deal with abnormal behavior and conflict:Gossip and ridiculeFear of witchcraft accusationsAvoidanceSupernatural sanctions
17Law Law is found in every society. In complex societies, functions of law belong to legal institutions, such as courts.Law addresses conflicts that would otherwise disrupt community life.
18Aboriginal Youth and Justice More likely to receive the most severe outcomes from criminal justice decision-makers than white youthMore likely to be classified as “undependable”More likely to appear in court rather than Children’s Aid Panels- Gale 1990
19Politics and the Social Contract Social Contract - a public contract where people agree to band together for some purpose - often highly structured in the realm of what we call "politics“Politics - the spatial aspect of social forceInstitutions control the use of force within a territorial framework (chiefdom or state)
20PoliticsThe power to bring about results through authority or influencethrough possession of forceful meansA human universal?No, politics only emerged with increase in private propertyYes, there is no boundary between how kinship and political organizations organize power
21In Political Analysis You Must Understand: the territorial extent and organization of the societyhow space and resources are dividedthe social system through which force is allocated to and by different individuals playing different roleshow that system is viewed by those living in itthe institutional control of force by warfare: the maintenance of territory from outsidersthe institutional control of force by law enforcement: maintenance of territory from insiders
22Egalitarian Societies No individual or group has more access to resources, power, or prestige than any other.No fixed number of social positions for which individuals must compete.Associated with bands and tribes.
23Shamans and Public Opinion Shamans: Part-time religious, healing, or magic specialistsShamans may attribute forces to enemies, both within and withoutShamans may prescribe social solutions in the guise of magicShamans may organize the group around perceptions and supernatural commands.
24HeadmanshipHeadmen are individuals whose opinion carries more weight than others. They lead by exampleA good headman can judge the prevailing opinions and gauge his statements to themMotivation by example is the chief tool of the headman
25The Leopard Skin ChiefThe Leopard Skin Chiefs are an institution among the Nuer (Sudan).Mediate the disputes arising out of homicideCan ritually cleansethe murdererNegotiatescompensationCurses thosewho would breakthe settlement
26Non-kin Associations: Sodalities Sodality: A non-kin group or association within a society organized around kinship groupsAge Grade AssociationsProvides convenient way to teach youthAllocates civic responsibilitiesSingle Sex Associations (often combined with other factors, e.g. age)Agreement or Voluntary GroupsVary widely in formOrganized for almost any purpose imaginableSlight differences in the structures of parallel organizations
27Rank SocietyInstitutionalized differences in prestige but no restrictions on access to basic resources.Individuals obtain what they need to survive through their kinship group.Associated with horticulture or pastoral societies with a surplus of food.Associated with chiefdoms.
28Stratified Society Formal, permanent, social and economic inequality. Some people are denied access to basic resources.Characterized by differences in standard of living, security, prestige and political power.
29Stratified Society Economically organized by market systems (usually). Based on intensive cultivation (agriculture) and industrialism.Often associated with a form of political organization called the state.
30Social Stratification Societies place people in categories. Social groups relate differently to each other depending on their status.Achieved StatusAscribed StatusClassRaceEthnicityCaste
31Dimensions of Stratification Power—control resources in one’s own interest.Wealth—accumulation of material resources or access to the means of producing these resources.Prestige—social honor or respect.
32Ascribed Vs. Achieved Status Ascribed Status Social position into which a person is born. (sex, race, kinship group)Achieved Status Social position that a person chooses or achieves. (professor, criminal, artist)
33Social Class in the United States Status depends on occupation, education, and lifestyle.“The American Dream,” is based on the democratic principle of equality and opportunity for all.Social class in the United States correlates with attitudinal, behavioral, and lifestyle differences.
34Caste System System of stratification based on birth. Movement from one caste to another is not possible.Castes are hereditary, endogamous, ranked in relation to one another and usually associated with a traditional occupation.
35Hindu Caste System Four caste categories Brahmins - priests and scholarsKshatriyas - ruling and warrior casteVaisyas - the merchantsShudras - menial workers and artisansHarijans – “untouchables”
36U.S. Racial Stratification Systems Race is constructed on the basis of skin color and presumed ancestry.Divides people into “blacks” and “whites” ignoring the reality of the skin color spectrum.By the 20th century, the system of race in the American south was very similar to the caste system in India.
37Race Stratification in the U.S. and Brazil Two largest multiracial societies in the Americas.In both societies the legacy of slavery continues in the form of racial inequality.Brazil: 45% of nonwhite families and 25% of white families live below the poverty line.U.S.: 30% of nonwhite families and 8% of white families live below the poverty line.
38Types of Social Groups Friendship Clubs and fraternities Counterculture groupsWork groupsCooperativesActivist groups
39Friendship amongst the urban poor A cultural universalCan be gender and race segregatedInstitutional relationships (e.g. prison)FriendshipUsually between social equalsSometimes based on shared story-telling
40Clubs and Fraternities Define membership on shared identityCan serve economic and political rolesMen’s clubs featuring male-male bonding activities are commonoften involve objectification and mistreatment of womensome US college fraternities
41Counterculture Groups Feature in industrialized societiesMembers desire to be identified with a special groupyouth gangsinitialization ritualsa leaderspecial clothingbody modification groups
42Work Groups Organized to perform particular task Prominent in horticultural and agricultural communitiesOften made up of youth groups
43Cooperatives Surpluses are shared among the members One person, one voteFarmer cooperativese.g. in western IndiaCraft cooperativese.g. in Panama
44Activist GroupsFormed with the goal of protesting certain conditions such as political repression or human rights violationse.g. CO-MADRESAlso formed because of concerns about personal problemse.g. AA
45Civil SocietyDiverse interest groups that operate outside the government to organize aspects of lifethe ChurchTrade UnionsEnvironmental groups
46“We conclude that the concept of “race” has no validity as a biological category in the human species. Because it homogenizes widely varying individuals, it impedes research and understanding of the true nature of human biological variations.”AAA Statement on Race, 1996Race
47Types of Political Organizations BandsHeadmanTribesHeadman / Big-manChiefdomsChiefStatesKing/Queen/ President
48Band Societies ~ Summary Related by blood or marriageLive together and are loosely associated with a territory in which they forageEgalitarian
49Bands Foraging groups Comprises a small group of households Between 20 and a few hundred peopleMembership is flexibleLeader is “first among equals”Leader has no power, only authority and influence
50Band Societies: Leadership Decision-making is by consensus.Leaders are older men and women.Leaders cannot enforce their decisions; They can only persuade.Sharing and generosity are important sources of respect.
51Band Societies: Social Order Maintained by gossip, ridicule, and avoidance.Violations of norms are sins.Offenders may be controlled through ritual means such as public confessions.Offender is defined as a patient rather than a criminal.
52Tribes ~ SummaryMembers consider themselves descended from the same ancestor.Found primarily among pastoralists and horticulturalists.EgalitarianLeadership: Bigman
53Big-Man SocietiesBig Man: A local entrepreneur who successfully mobilizes and manipulates wealth on behalf of his group in order to hold feasts and enhance his status and rank relative to other leaders in the region.He has no formal authority or power, nor does he necessarily have more wealth.
54Tribal SocietiesHorticulture and pastoralism dominant, sometimes limited agricultureComprises several bands, each with similar lifestyle, language and territoryLeadership combines both achieved and ascribed statusesLeader resolves conflictLeader relies on authority and influence
55Big-man, big-woman Personalistic, favor-based leadership Heavy responsibilities in regulating internal affairsOften, sons of big-men are big-men tooCommon in Papua New Guinea- Sahlins 1963, Strathern 1971
56Chiefdoms ~ Summary Allied tribes and villages under one leader More centralized and complexHeritable systems of rankSocial stratificationChiefship is an “office”Achievement is a measure of success
57Chiefdom Societies Characteristics: Monumental architecture Distinct ceremonial centersElaborate grave goods reflect high social statusLarger settlements by smaller villagesCultivators and pastoralists
58Definition of a StateA formal organization of roles in which legal and military authority is vested and in which authority is considered by the members of the state to be its primary functionA special group charged with allocating authority to use physical force to achieve peace and conformance with law and custom and to maintain territorial integrity against external threats
59State SocietiesCentral government with monopoly over the use of force.More populous, heterogeneous, and powerful than other political organizations.Able to organize large populations for coordinated action.Defend against external threats.
60Characteristics of States Define citizenship and rightsMaintain law and orderMaintain standing armiesKeep track of their citizensHave the power the taxPower to manipulate informationHierarchical and patriarchal
61Political Change in States Today Nation v. StateThe KurdsTransnational NationsPuerto RicoDemocratizationSoviet UnionWomen in politicsBecome “like men”?Globalization
62WARArmed conflict between groups of people who constitute separate territorial teams or political communitiesSome groups seldom, if ever, war while with others it is endemicInterpersonal violence and armed conflict are a tendency of all societies when certain internal or external pressures arise
63WAR IS:A significant factor in demographic and political change within the last 10,000 yearsAttested to by a great deal of archaeological evidence worldwideNot innate per se, but in historical terms it seems to be one of the universally recurring realities of human existenceall Hell, as General W.T. Sherman once noted
64Warfare Among Hunter-gatherers Depending on the circumstances, low-level conflict can and does occur between foragersYet hunter-gatherers seldom try to annihilate each other. Why?The loss of 2 male individuals per generation in a band of 30 represents more than 10 percent of all adult male deathsSmall bands cannot sustain fatalities at these levels and survive.Protection of women from violent death is even more critical from the biological standpoint. Why?
65Warfare Among Hunter-gatherers Armed conflict between simple hunter-gatherers usually takes the form of personal feuds between individuals; typically older men who have long-standing conflicts.Just as in other social animals, conflict between groups of hunter-gatherers is more frequent during periods of population pressure and environmental stress.
66Warfare Among Sedentary Village Societies Warfare is much more common among sedentary populations than with foragersThe more people have invested in fixed elements in their environment the more likely they are to defend it.Sedentary groups cannot resolve disputes by moving off to another location.Example: Among the Yanomami almost 33% of all male deaths and 7% of female deaths were due to armed conflict.
67Why War? War as instinct: War is innate. Not all societies are warlike, and most societies only war occasionally.There are alternatives to war which are often chosen.If it were deeply instinctive, the complex means of conflict resolution and social organization would not evolve.
68Why War? War as sport and Entertainment Martial arts, war movies, war games, guns and military paraphernalia, are all very popular. People are fascinated with warIn the United States the majority of people do not have any concept of what war is really about. And, in large part, some of modern warfare has been “sterilized” through the use of stand-off weaponry.No one who has been in direct combat views it as entertainment. As historian Stephen Ambrose puts it, it is the worst experience a human being can find themselves in.In the past people had to kill others with their bare hands. It was brutal, direct, and required an immense amount of courage.War is terrible destructive, especially to non-industrial societies. The cost in resources is very high in most cases.
69Why War?War as revenge:This is frequently the stated motivation in many non-state conflicts.However, all societies have ways to circumvent war for revenge, and all societies have ways in which the aggrieved parties can choose not to retaliate indefinitelySo revenge may be an emic explanation, but it is not an underlying and universal cause for warfare.
70Why War? War as a struggle for Reproductive Success The warriors get the girls, and the successful warriors (who live, and gain prestige as well as plunder) get more of the girls. Warriors have status and are intimidating to others.HOWEVER, those who live by the sword usually die by the sword. Men who are aggressive warriors typically die young, and are often pre-occupied with the conflicts to the detriment of their family life.
71Why War? War as a Struggle for material benefits In general warfare is expensive in terms of human costs, but the larger the society the more able they are to absorb these costs.The immediate material gains of war may be significant despite the casualties.less than 1% of male deaths in Europe and the U.S. have been battlefield deaths in the last century, and that includes WWI where almost ¼ of the Entire European male population died, and WWII where over half a billion people were killed.
72Why War: ConclusionsBand and village people go to war when they lack alternative solutions to conflicts related to procuring resources in response to population pressure and environmental depletion.Chiefdoms and States go to war because it is the primary means by which the ruling elite solidifies control, gains resources, and acquires territory.