Cultural Anthropology ANT2410.002F16 Chapter 12 Highlight = Important Person Highlight = Key Concept Highlight = Key Term• Power is often described as the ability or potential to bring about change through action or influence. Ones own, group, or institution. How Have Anthro’s VieweDon't forget about the age old question of mesopotamian stepped tower, roughly pyramid shaped, that diminishes in size toward a platform summit.
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d the Origins of Human Political History? • In small egalitarian groups of hunter gathers is where core human characteristics and cultural patterns emerged. • Political anthro was specialization created to examine local political systems of Africa, Middle East and Asia. • Elman Service classified world of political systems into 4 basic types: -bands -tribes -chiefdoms -states • He proposed that these systems developed though natural evolutionary progression, from simple to complex and from less integrated to more integrated. -Patterns of leadership evolving from weaker to stronger. Bands Band: small kinship based group of foragers who hunt and gather for a living over a particular territory. • Band range in size from 20 to several hundred depending on time of year and groups hunting and ritual cycles. -Break up and reform regularly based off of conflicts among members -Bands are politically highly decentralized, decisions made primarily by consensus. -Minimal stratification of wealth and power. • Christopher Boehm argues that for hunter gathers bands, charing scares reassures was an economic strategy. -This strategy could only be sustained through egalitarianism. Tribes Tribes: culturally distinct population, often combining several bands that imagined itself as on people descended from a common ancestor; currently used to describe an indigenous group with its own set of loyalties and leaders living to some extent outside the control of a centralized authoritative state. • Leaders do emerge called “village heads” or “big men” but their power is limited. -Built and maintained through leaders personal achievements rather than awarded through political institutions. • Today no groups operate totally outside the framework of the state. -Called ethnic group instead of tribe. Chiefdoms Chiefdoms: an autonomous political unit composed of a number of villages or communities under the permanent control of a paramount chief. • Social relations were built on extended kinship networks or lineages and might encompass thousands of people over many villages. • Leadership was centralized under a single ruling authority figure. -Often passing through direct descent and inheritance. • Redistribution of communal wealth was main role in moderating inequality and limiting conflict within chiefdom. Putting Typologies in Perspective • Evidence now clearly suggests that across human history, groups of bands tribes and chiefdoms were never as isolated or homogenous as antrhos proposed. • Today argue that movement, encounter, exchange and change have been hallmarks of human groups. • They also couldnt be trustworthy representations of human past, recent or distant. • Today no band tribe or chiefdom can operate outside the pervasive influence of the state. What Is the State? State: Autonomous regional structure of political, economic, and military rule with a central government authorized to make laws and use force to maintain order and defend its territory. • Some loosely constructed states existed like Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, parts of America. • Global landscape reflects impact of western expansion over past 500 years, particularly European empires and colonial expansion. The Modern Western-Style State • Modern states featured a central administration designed to penetrate the everyday social life of its citizens. -army asserts control over territory -Administrative, communication and military infrastructures define and enforce state borders. -State served as source of laws and law enforcement. • Modern states compete economically and militarily with other states for resources and territory. -establish a monopoly of legit use of force within territorial domain——> Max Weber • Political anthers study focus on process of state not institutions and structures. • Constantly being shaped and reshaped though daily interactions with people, communities, non state institutions, social movements, other states, etc. • Spatial realization of the state——> the perception that the state fills a particular space, encompasses all aspects of culture, and stands above all other elements of the society. -Produced though mundane bureaucratic state practices. • Routine and receptive acts make state feel “in charge” and well as the media. Aspects of State Power Hegemony: The ability of a dominant group to create consent and agreement within a population without use of threat of force. • State reinforces hegemony by promoting intense feelings of nationalism to show state as a unified one. • Can make people discipline own behavior believing they are acting normal without threat of force. How Is Globalization Affecting the State? • Boundaries of the state seems to be shrinking due to pressures with globalization. International Nonstate Actors Challenge State Sovereignty • State sovereignty: Right of the state to maintain self determination within its borders• International financial institutions are pressuring states to adopt nonliteral economic polices. -free markets -free trade -free movement of goods, capital and ideas -access to local markets for transitional corporations. Civil Society Organization: A local nongovernmental organization that challenges state polices and uneven development, and advocates for resources and opportunities for members of its local communities. Civl Society Organizations Gain A Social Reach • They have joined with transnational movements and networks to transform local problems and conflicts into part of global project for rights and resources. • Promotes more observers, participants and advisors as well as stimulate global info flow of on the ground developments and organizing strategies. • This way coalitions challenge ultimate claims of state sovereignty over affairs within state borders. Whats Is the Relationship among Politics, the State, Violence, and War? Are Humans Naturally Violent Or Peaceful? 3 genralizations • Human violence can be seen as natural expression of inherent human condition. - this view says voice and aggression caused by psychological factors • Humans inherently peaceful. -This view, violence arises through cultural practices and patterns that overwhelm basic human nature. • Root of human violence is in between nature and culture. -Prone to violence by culturally capable of avoiding it or naturally peaceful and only culturally provoked into forsaking their nature. Challenging the Myth of Killer Apes and Aggressive Humans • Believe aggression, competition and violence are part of apes and we came from them then those impulses are deeply ingrained into human nature too. -Aggression comes from genes and released with social interactions. • Frans de Waal found this to be myth when studying primates. -Distancing pattern would lead to everyone living alone which means no social relationships that are crucial for human survival. -Instead reconciliation occurs often showing less violence. -He reveals that violence isn’t inner drive but an option when there is a conflict of interest. The State and War • Warfare has become the most visible of all human political institutions that revel states pursuit of power. Militarization Militarization: The contested social process through which a civil society organizes for the production of military violence. • Catherine Lutz says process of militarization includes production of material objects and glorification of war and those who make war as states seek to shape their national histories and political culture. -left uncheck, can threaten to shape other aspects of cultural institutions to its own end. Anthro On the Front of War and Globalization• Carolyn Nordstrom focuses on real experiences of violence, resistance, survival and creativity in actual communities where war occurs and shows the complex web of local and foreign interactions and actors that drive the war. In Mozambique • Low intensity conflict called “terror warfare” destroyed the local populations political will by destroying and disrupting the institutions and key practitioners of local culture. • Creativity in midst of violence. Ex: A health care practitioner hid herself and health supplies in bushes until soldiers left, although community knew who she was and where they kept identity secret. • This creativity shows to be one of the most potent weapons against war——> determination to survive and resist. • She found instead of using violence to conquer war they carried on with day to day activities to create a meaningful life despite the ongoing war. A Comparative Study • Nordstrom traced extensive global networks of people and industries that feed and fuel local violence and war. • War influences architects of war and the people who suffer the consequences on wars front lines———> due to globalization. How Do People Mobilize Power outside the States Control? Agency: The potential power of individuals and groups to contest cultural norms, values, mental maps of reality, symbols, institutions and structures of power. • Because of agency, cultures don't remain rigid or static. • Can be expressed though individual strategies of resistance, collective efforts such as social movements, and alternative institutions to state. Social Movements Social Movements: Collective group actions in response to uneven development, inequality and injustice that seek to build institutional networks to transform cultural patterns and government policies. • Study of social movements is interdisciplinary needing anthro’s, sociologists, political scientists and historians. • Have emerged forcefully after 1960s and 1970s through European and North American civil rights, women rights, environment, gay rights and antiwar movements. Rural Social Movements • Marc Edelman studied the rural poor in Costa Rica and their fight against globalization. • After gaining independence from Spain, Costa Rica was most stable south american country until it was drawn in by civil wars with neighbors. • Needed help from the USA that ultimately put farmers out of business and loss Costa Rica’s food self sufficiency. -Structural adjustments only made the crisis worse. • After farmers protested a government building they gained access to low interest credit for rural farmers a good victory despite it all. • Shows collective action lessened the damage although didn't stop globalization. Occupy Wall Street • Activation of social justice only occurs in certain situations. • Materials, human, cognitive, technical, and organizational resources necessary for social movements according to antrho’s Framing Process: The creation of shared meanings and definitions that motivate and justify collective action by social movements.• Jeffrey Juris noted that social media drew diverse group of people with shared concerns into shared physical spaces. • “We are the 99%” framed the movements cause gradually focused public discourse on questions of fundamental fairness of US global eco on inequality Alternative Legal Structures • Hussein Ali Agrama spent 2 years in Egypt conducting research on local courts and council Islamic Fatwa Councils in Cairo, Egypt • Agrama compared the Personal Status courts operated by Egyptian estate and the Al Azhar Fatwa Council independently established. • Fatwa council has interpreters of muslim law called muftis that respond freely with fatwa——> Response to question about how to live ethically and rightly • Both court systems -deal with matters of marriage, sex, divorce, reconciliation and inheritance. -draw decisions from Islamic Sharia (Personal Status engage in Islamic law through Egyptian constitutions and muftis refer directly to Sharia) • Legally binding judgements of Personal Status court generally looked at with suspicion. • Fatwa is not obligatory or legally binding but petitioners take fatwas very seriously even if decision is hard or leads to unhappiness. -Why? Mufti seeks to apply Islamic tradition and law to resolve particular problems, identify solution and point seeker toward a path forward. • Both seeker and mutfi share collective responsibility for success of fatwa. -this practice ensures trusts and conveys legitimacy.