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Political Organizations

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1 Political Organizations

2 anthropology’s interest in power and maintenance of order
political organization refers to the way power is distributed and embedded in societies who has power how does power differ from authority how is power organized and administered How is order maintained How is conflict organized

3 Political organizations and the maintenance of order
Social control needed for people to live together Joking, ridicule and derision often used to keep deviant behavior in check Song duels using derisive songs to solve conflicts between individuals Ostracism - banning a person from a group Judiciary systems

4 Eric Wolf: 4 Modalities of Power
Potency, capability, charisma (individual) Ability of person to impose its will in social action upon another Tactical or organizational power -- The instrumentalities through which individuals or groups direct or circumscribe the actions of others Structural power – power that organizes and orchestrates the settings themselves & that specifies the direction & distribution of energy flows

5 distinction between power and authority
power: ability to bring about results power may be informal and based on force coercive power versus persuasive power Symbolic power based on positive expectations of those who accede to it authority is the socially recognized right to exert power legitimacy - the socially recognized right to hold, use, and allocate power

6 political organizations: an early pre-occupation of anthropologists
British India and Africa: how are people ruled without a state Victorian Europe and the appearance of the modern nation-state idea of acephalous societies without heads

7 early evolutionary scheme matched with subsistence strategies
band, tribe, chiefdom, state (Elman Service) foragers, horticulturalists, agriculturalists, industrialists different types of political organization related to subsistence strategy population density and heterogeneity degree of hierarchy and social stratification presence of bounded territory degree of formalization of rule

8 Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, State

9 Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, State
sequence can be replaced with contrast between uncentralized and centralized political systems Replace evolutionary perspective with: ethnographic present historical perspective

10 Bands and Tribes: Uncentralized political systems
associated with: subsistence level economies such as foraging small, homogeneous populations little social stratification relatively autonomous groups often relatively mobile without strict territorial boundaries formal leader or organization beyond kinship rare

11 Chiefdom & State: Centralized political systems
associated with: intensive agricultural or industrialization technology becomes more complicated labour specialization increases large, diverse population less mobility opportunity for control of resources appears appearance of coercive force Wolf’s 3rd modality male leaders more frequent political authority is concentrated in a single individual (chiefdoms) or a body of individuals (the state)

12 the band small group of politically independent, though related, households all social relationships based on kinship least complex form of political organization perhaps the oldest form as well associated with foraging forms of subsistence decisions made through consensus disgruntled leave no fixed leadership, only informal recognition of prowess typically male, but females have power as well most successful hunter and most senior woman

13 The band Bands of generally less than 100 people tied by kinship and marriage Membership fluid Egalitarian with some gender and age differences Conflict resolution by social means Prestige based on ability

14 The Tribe tribal system consists of separate bands or villages
integrated through lineages, clans, age grades, or other associations cross-cutting kinship and territory less autonomy for greater security associated with farming or herding subsistence strategies greater food production greater population density

15 The tribe consists of one or more autonomous communities which may then form alliances may range across a broad territory social stratification related to kinship and cross-cutting associations needs for alliance defense or raiding pooling of resources capitalize on a windfall often return to autonomous communities

16 The tribe no centralized leadership
typically someone respected for wisdom or prowess – charisma & “big men” Wolf’s first modality group decisions by consensus leaders may influence through oratory decisions enforced through withdrawal of cooperation gossip criticism beliefs that anti-social actions cause disease -- witchcraft

17 What is kinship? A system of social ties deriving from the recognition of genealogical relations universally recognized universally accorded social importance

18 KIN TYPES Consanguineals Affinals Fictive kin Lineals Collaterals

19 Kinship Diagram


21 The tribe leaders of localized descent groups or a territorial group
authority is personal not elected, no formal office status result of personal behavior status often achieved through exchange Gift exchange Redistribution – public exchange of scarce resources Wolf’s 2nd modality

22 kinship and descent kinship as an idiom selective
a way of expressing social relations and the exchanges, rights, and obligations implied selective each system emphasizes different relations kinship principles define social groups produces forms of social stratification locate people within those groups position people and groups in relation to one another both in space and time

23 kinship & political organization in tribes
segmentary lineage system maximal lineage, major, minor, minimal lingeage all segments equal and no leadership above minimal or primary segments form alliances to face threats

24 Descent Systems Rules that people in different cultures use to:
determine parenthood identify ancestry assign people to social categories, groups, and roles on the basis of inherited status corporate = shares resources in common own property organize labour assign status regulate relations with other groups endures beyond individual members

25 What is a descent group? A group of people who recognize descent from a real or mythical ancestor - a criterion of membership A publicly recognised social entity everyone is unambiguously assigned to a group Obligations and roles keeps group together Citizenship derived from lineage membership and legal status depends on it Political power and religious power derived from it A strong effective base for social relations

26 DESCENT TERMS Unilineal Ambilineal Bilateral or Cognatic Matrilineal
Patrilineal Ambilineal Bilateral or Cognatic

27 Structures of Descent lineages (patri & matri) - common ancestor
clan – several lineages common ancestor, usually large groups that are associated with mythical ancestors phratry - unilineal descent group composed of a number of supposedly related clans moieties - means half, when an entire society is divided into 2 unilineal descent groups many societies have 2 or more types of descent groups in various combinations some have lineages & clans, others may have clans & phrateries but no lineages

28 Exogamy & Endogamy Exogamy – seeking people to have sexual relations outside one’s group Seeking others to become us Endogamy – mating or marriage within a group to which one belongs Most societies are endogamous groups Exogamy links groups together Endogamy keeps groups apart Rules of endogamy help maintain social, economic, & political distinctions & preserve limitations to the access of wealth & resources

29 Insiders & Outsiders

30 The Lineage: Descent Groups as Political Organization
Lineal Kin - ancestors or descendants Collateral Kin - sibling branches

31 Patrilineage: Male Ego

32 Patrilineage: Female Ego

33 Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin

34 Tribe: segmentary lineage system

35 Tribes and Lineages maximal lineages (tribes)
major lineages (families) minor lineages (fathers' houses) minimal lineages (extended patrilocal households)

36 “Headless” (uncentralized) Political organization

37 Segmentray lineage system

38 Kinship Centered Political Organization

39 Us and Them Bedouin proverb:
I against my brother; I and my brother against our cousin; I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbors; all of us against the foreigners based on complementary or balanced opposition

40 Sodalities Organizations that cross-cut kin ties
Often based on common age Creates non-kin linkages and a sense of ethnic identity May be confined to one settlement or be pantribal (include several settlements) Pantribal sodalities can mobilize people for cooperative endeavors (hunting, warfare)

41 chiefdom a regional polity in which one or more local groups are organized under a single ruling individual – the chief – who is at the head of a ranked hierarchy of people

42 The Chief Divine king – macrocosm and microcosm
status determined by closeness to chief office of chief often hereditary passing to son or to sister’s son also based on talents often conceived as a semi-sacred position may amass personal wealth to add to power

43 Nana Osei Tutu II The King of Ashanti Photo credit: G. F
Nana Osei Tutu II The King of Ashanti Photo credit: G. F. Kojo Arthur Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems Copyright© PT Sangga Sarana Persada, Designed by Sangga Web Team

44 chiefdom a true authority figure with a formal office
can distribute resources associated with redistributive economies chief controls surpluses and labour may collect taxes or tribute may recruit labour for community projects irrigation, a temple, a palace can conscript for military recognized hierarchy linked to chief tend to be unstable may form confederacies Iroquois League of Five Nation, Algonquin Confederacy

45 chiefdom Rank society do not have unequal access to economic resources or to power, but they do contain social groups having unequal access to prestige unequal access to prestige often reflected in position of chief to which only some members of a specified group in the society can succeed Ascribed status

46 Band & tribe vs. chiefdom
in band and tribal societies competitive displays & conspicuous consumption by individuals disappears & anyone foolish enough to boast how great he is gets accused of witchcraft & is stoned to death reciprocity predominates, not redistribution

47 the state the most formal of political organizations and is one of the hallmarks of civilization political power is centralized in a government which may LEGITIMATELY use force to regulate the affairs of its citizens Weber’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force

48 The state: associated with --
increased food production (agriculture and industry) irrigation and transformation of landscape increased population fixed territory developed market system appearance of cities developed urban sector

49 The state: associated with --
appearance of bureaucracy military usually an official religion delegation of authority to maintain order within and without its borders right to control information authority is formal and impersonal Holding office and the person

50 The state: associated with --
differentiation in population appears – social stratification appearance of ethnicity permanent, heritable inequality slaves, castes and classes social conflict increases

51 original states appeared 5000 years ago
primary states are agricultural theories about their formation military needs, irrigation needs, environmental conditions

52 why the state? from band to state
more wealth more people more sedentism more inequality and ranking less reliance on kinship more internal and external conflict increased power and responsibility to leaders increased burden to citizens to support political organization increased use of formal, legal structures for adjudication

53 The Nation (-State) modern nation-state a more recent phenomenon
most have appeared since the end of WWII communities of people who see themselves as “one people” on the basis of common ancestry, history, society, institutions, ideology, language, territory, and (often) religion anthropology questions this reality while recognizing the power of the idea differences are suppressed in modern nation-states

54 NATION & NATIONALITY nation was once a term that referred to tribe, indigenous people, or ethnic group - collectivity sharing single language, religion, history, territory, ancestry, kinship (Herder & volk) nation comes to mean the state = a country a sociopolitical form, the modern state composed of diverse ethnic groups

55 Nation as “Imagined Community”
"it is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion" (Anderson p.15)

56 imagined community A community that “imagines” itself
No possibility of face-to-face communication Moments of simultaneity Language & “print capitalism” Monuments and memorials Anthropology questions this reality while recognizing the power of the idea Differences are marked and suppressed in modern nation-states A form of amnesia?

57 The Nation, Social Structure & National Identity
based upon sentiments of prestige extend deep into the masses of political structures (located in the field of politics) groups who hold the power to steer common conduct within a polity will most strongly instill themselves with this ideal fervor of power prestige Those who think of themselves as being specific partners of a specific culture diffused among members of the polity

58 The State, The Nation, and Ethnicity
181 states but 5000 nations? idea that nation and state coincide is rare The appearance of ethnicity and the rise of the nation-state (Nash) nation-state responsible for the rise and definition of social entities called ethnic groups - last 500 years grew out of the wreck of empires, breakups of civilizations - disruptions of mechanic societies within borders of nation-state - social and cultural diversity

59 Political Organization and Ethnicity
ethnicity is founded upon structural inequities among dissimilar groups into a single political entity based on cultural differences & similarities perceived as shared identification with & feeling a part of an ethnic group & exclusion from certain other groups because of this affiliation

60 Assimilation & Nation Building
increase in shared characteristics among social groups and an increasing social homogeneity are a key to nation building erasure of differences (in ethnicity, cognitive orientations, patterns of social interactions, etc.) for the creation of a cohesive, productive, just and affluent society various communication media assume an important role in providing information that facilitates key transformations in individuals and communities

61 Pluri-Ethnic States Pluralist model treats groups as permanent and enduring Group rights Cosmopolitan model that accepts shifting boundaries, multiple affiliations, hybrid identities Individual rights Accommodation of immigrant ethnicity Minority nationalism – nations within (indigenous peoples and Québécois) Stateless nations, ethnic nationalism vs. indigenous groups Nations within – groups that formed complete and functioning societies on their historic homeland before being incorporated into a larger state Typically been involuntary – colonization, conquest, etc.

62 Ethnic Conflict Assimilation Apartheid Diaspora Ethnocide Genocide

63 indigeneity Nations within – groups that formed complete and functioning societies on their historic homeland before being incorporated into a larger state Typically been involuntary – colonization, conquest, etc. Indigenous groups around the world Drive for recognition of rights Sovereignty and self-governance

64 Anthropology of War The materialist/ecological school
causes of pre-state warfare are to be found largely in the material foundations of the cultural system The biocultural school causes of warfare are ultimately to be found in a combination of ecological and biological elements The historical school war is to be found in the specific historical context of the events in question and the personal motivations of the people involved in those events

65 Anthropology of Violence
The seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes -- violence is in the heart of all humans Society as the alternative to violence violence is an extremely wide and diverse phenomenon insight in extremely specific, small-scale situations of the infliction, experience and justification of violence (in families, villages, neighbourhoods, gangs, combat groups, committees, presidential advisory groups); and insight in the extremely general questions concerning humankind as a whole: what is it, in the make-up of humans that makes us violent animals given to intra-species aggression?

66 Violence Violence, its forms and controls, is fundamental to human social existence and is central to theories regarding the nature of society. Violence as cultural expression and/or performance Scripted From anthropology of identity (pol. org.) to experience, emotive forces, bodily practices A discursive practice with rituals and symbols Violence as cultural practice Not just instrumental A way of affirming and subverting “culture”

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