Political Organization and the Maintenance of Order
Political Organizations anthropologys 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 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
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 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 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 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 Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, State Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, State sequence can be replaced with contrast between uncentralized and centralized political systems Replace evolutionary perspective with: ethnographic present historical perspective
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 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 Wolfs 3rd modality
male leaders more frequent political authority is concentrated in a single individual (chiefdoms) or a body of individuals (the state) 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 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 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 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 The tribe no centralized leadership typically someone respected for wisdom or prowess charisma & big men Wolfs 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 What is kinship?
A system of social ties deriving from the recognition of genealogical relations universally recognized universally accorded social importance KIN TYPES Consanguineals Affinals Fictive
kin Lineals Collaterals Kinship Diagram 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 Wolfs 2nd modality kinship and descent kinship as an idiom
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 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 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
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 DESCENT TERMS Unilineal Matrilineal Patrilineal Ambilineal Bilateral
or Cognatic 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 Exogamy & Endogamy Exogamy seeking people to have sexual relations outside ones 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 Insiders & Outsiders
The Lineage: Descent Groups as Political Organization Lineal Kin - ancestors or descendants Collateral Kin - sibling branches Patrilineage: Male Ego Patrilineage: Female Ego Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin Tribe: segmentary lineage
system Tribes and Lineages maximal lineages (tribes) major lineages (families) minor lineages (fathers' houses) minimal lineages (extended patrilocal households) Headless (uncentralized) Political organization Segmentray lineage system
Kinship Centered Political Organization 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 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) 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 The Chief Divine
king macrocosm and microcosm status determined by closeness to chief office of chief often hereditary passing to son or to sisters son also based on talents often conceived as a semi-sacred position may amass personal wealth to add to power
Nana Osei Tutu II The King of Ashanti Photo credit: G. F. Kojo Arthur Centre for Indigenous Knowl edge Systems Copyright PT Sangga Sarana Persada, 1997-2000 Designed by Sangga Web Team 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 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 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 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 Webers monopoly on the legitimate use of force 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 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 The state: associated with - differentiation in population appears social stratification appearance of ethnicity
permanent, heritable inequality slaves, castes and classes social conflict increases original states appeared 5000 years ago primary states are agricultural theories about their formation military needs, irrigation needs, environmental conditions
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 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 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 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) 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? 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 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 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 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 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 Qubcois)
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. Ethnic Conflict Assimilation
Apartheid Diaspora Ethnocide Genocide 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 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 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? 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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