Lecture #15 Politics
Lecture #15 Politics Anthropology 1000
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Bird on Wednesday November 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Anthropology 1000 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Christopher Berk in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 159 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 11/11/15
Politics gt Lecture 15 Politics We will begin our discussion of politics by contrasting two different ways in which people in uence the actions of others 1 Power the ability to exercise one s will over others 2 Authority the formal socially approved use of power Politics is shaped by an essential contradiction To engage in politics that is to use power and authority to in uence that actions of others people must do two things at once They must 1 Contain channel exploit and resolve con ict 2 Limit encourage exploit and regulate cooperation Why Because humans must cooperate to produce and reproduce and all modes of production adaptive strategies are based on divisions of labor and forms of inequality that lead to con ict Politics in the most general sense is the means by which con ict and cooperation are regulated as part of a larger context of social reproduction Anthropologist Elman Service 1962 listed four types or levels of political organization BANDS TRIBES CHIEFDOMS AND STATES o This is another typology The same caveats and disclaimers apply Need to be taken as a grain of salt 0 Just like Yehudi Cohen s adaptive strategies typologies Service s typologies also have correlations that are often interlinked including Cohen s typologies themselves Type Economic Regulation Leadership Examples Band Foraging Local quotLeader lnuit San Amongst Equalsquot Tribe Horticulture Local Headmen Big Yanomami Pastoralism temporary Men Pantribal Mosai regional Sodalities Kapauku Chiefdom Productive Permanent ChiefsquotNobles Qushaqai Horticulture Regional quot Polynesia Pastoral Cherokee Nomadism Agriculture State Agriculture Permanent Governments Ancient lndustrialism Regional Elected Mesopotamia Officials contemporary USA and I I Canada Max Weber gt Many years ago in uential sociologist one of the holy trinity Max Weber distinguished between three related dimensions of strati cation 1 Wealth economic status Encompasses all the person s material assets 2 Power political status 0 The ability to get what one wants and is very variable 3 Prestige social status 0 Based on esteem respect etc Bands gt Small kinbased groups meaning all of its members are related by kinship or by marriage gt It is commonly found among foragers 0 IE The Kung gt Division of labor and forms of inequality are based on differences in age and sex gt Bands have exible membership and egalitarian informal relations among members gt Social system is based on kinship reciprocity and sharing This is appropriate for an economy with few people and limited resources gt Band leaders are quot rst among equalsquot meaning they are leaders in name only They may offer advice but lack formal authority and power of any kind gt So how do bands resolve con ict political or otherwise 0 Many foragers lacked a formalized system of law in the sense of a legal code with trial and enforcement but all societies have norms namely cultural standards or guidelines that enable individuals to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a given society Band leaders rst among equals Most disputes were between men and originated over women Wronged men had options Murder but brings retaliation negative reciprocity Song battle insulting songs but wife might not return because the winning is not binding gt Band Example The lnuit 0 Indigenous population in the Arctic Ocean region 0 Hunting and shing by men primary subsistence activities 0 Egalitarian limited notion of private landanimals 0 Most important social units are the nuclear family and the band NI OOO 0 Traveling and hunting on ice and sea is dangerous so there are more male deaths than female Inuit women outnumber men Men are allowed to take many wives o Inuit lacked formal law but had methods of social control to settle disputes Tribes gt Commonly found amongst horticulturalists and pastoralists gt Live in villages and are organized into kin groups based on common descent 0 IE Clans and Lineages gt No formal government and no reliable means of enforcing political decisions gt Clearly de ned social classes are not typical of tribes gt Tribal Cultivators o The main regulatory officials are village heads quotBig Menquot descentgroup leaders village councils and leaders of pantribal associations 0 Officials have limited authority 0 Officials lead through persuasion and by example not through coercion 0 Leadership is usually an achieved rather than an ascribed status gt Tribal Leaders 0 There are three types of tribal leaders but we look to Kottak for more details 1 Village Head 0 IE The Yanomamo 2 The quotBig Menquot 0 IE Melanesia and PNG 3 Pantribal Sodalities 0 IE Mende and Maasai Chiefdoms gt gt Sociopolitical organization intermediate between the tribe and the state Like bands and tribes social relations in chiefdoms were based mainly on kinship marriage descent age generation and gender Unlike bands and tribes chiefdoms had differential access to resources THROUGH SOCIAL STRATIFICATION and a permanent political structure When horticultural and pastoral production become more intensive tribal societies acquire more pronounced forms of inequality and a more elaborate division of labor gt Some families and lineage are considered superior to others gt Often the leaders of these families called chiefs or nobles receive gifts of surplus food from families of lower rank which the chiefs redistribute to their followers in several villages In this way chiefs regulate a regional economy gt The division of society into higher and lower quotranksquot is still accomplished using an idiom of kinship but the stage for more radical forms of inequality is set gt Unlike leadership positions in tribes and bands the position of chief was a permanent position IE An office that must be re lled when it is vacated due to death or retirement gt Social status in chiefdoms was based on seniority of descent o Primogeniture the passing of descent based on who the rstborn child is o Endogamy the passing of descent based on marriage States gt Autonomous political units with social strata and a formal government gt Power Wealth and Prestige are monopolized by the ruling elites and by functionaries who depend on elites for support gt Superordinate vs Subordinate o Superordinate a person who has authority over or control of another within an organization 0 Subordinate a person under the authority or control of another within an organization gt Social strati cation is codi ed in law gt The state is driven and sustained by 4 practical activities 1 Population Control 2 Judicial Policy 3 Enforcement 4 Fiscal Support BandTribeChiefdomState Continuum gt Movement along the bandtribechiefdomstate continuum is related to several shifts 1 The growing complexity of food production and the size of production surpluses 2 The growth of political associations that are larger than kinship and are de ned in ways that transcend kinship or limit it 3 The emergence of permanent of ces as opposed to personality based roles 4 The development of quotpoliticsquot as a specialized activity as opposed to one dimension of more general forms of social interaction 5 The establishment of larger more densely concentrated human populations 6 Increasing levels of social inequality Paradoxes gt All of this leaves us with a blatant paradox 0 We live in a society marked by radical permanent inequality sanctioned by law yet most Americans are convinced that they live in a quotfree societyquot 0 They are obsessed with ideas of equality personal autonomy universal human rights and choice gt Why do we think this way when most of us control very little of the political world in which we live gt Are we simply deluding ourselves or is it a mistake to describe bands tribes and chiefdoms as societies in which people have greater control over the political world in which they live gt Is an Inuit person any freer than you are A Yanomamo person Maasai Mende Zapotec Conformity and Con ict gt FOCUS SPECIFICALLY ON THE FOLLOWING READINGS o 25 Law and Order by Spradley and McCurdy De ne law substantive law procedural law legal levels and legal principles How do the Zapotec dispute cases illustrate these concepts What about examples from our society Some anthropologists think every society has some informal substantive and procedural legal rules Comment on this assertion using the Zapotec and American examples from this reading Why do you think Zapotec law emphasizes make the balancequot while US law seems more concerned with determining guilt o 26 Navigating Nigerian Bureaucracies by Ea mes What are the differences between American and Nigerian bureaucracies How do these differences perhaps due to different historical forms of power and authority If Nigerians use personal relationships to navigate through bureaucracies why do practices like dash and LongLeg exist 0 27 Illegal Economies and the Untold Story of Amputees by Nordstrom What kinds of obstacles do the women face in their desire to attain nancial stability What are some of the solutions they have come up with to address these obstacles What role do communal organizations and social networks play in the sequence of economic growth Domingas descnbes
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